The graduate school offers outstanding doctorate students who are pursing an interest in the history and theory of images a structured program of study characterized by sustained advising, internationality, interdisciplinarity, regular exchange with visiting scholars, and career-related opportunities. The graduate school aims at a successful and speedy conclusion of the doctorate, the quality of which provides the preconditions of an academic career. Through cooperation at the doctoral level, participating disciplines develop their research profiles with respect to the strategic emphasis on visual and image studies within the NFS project “Iconic Criticism” at the University of Basel.
The graduate school program is defined by the entwinement of three complementary lines of inquiry regarding images as artifacts and also the semantics of images. In the first place, the program examines the significance of acts of perception and recognition that underlie specific functions of images and image metaphors in the arts, their media, and philosophical thought. Second, images are understood as artifacts that must be seen in relation to specific techniques of production, reproduction, and distribution, and as incorporated into aesthetic and epistemic practices, which they also alter. Third, fundamental modes of presentation and structures of images are under investigation, a line of inquiry that seeks to bring into view the variety of phenomena that are described as images in different historical and contemporary contexts.