Scoping:Images between Inscriptions and Views

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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
307MIIV Z 1 8 lecture hours (45 min) of instruction per semester, 19 to 24 hours of self-study English winter

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Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students will be able to develop and critically evaluate theories, concepts and methods and gain insight into contemporary scholarly thinking about image-making technologies.

Mode of study

attendance - in person

Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

Students will paticipate in an international workshop on „scoping“: In studies of visual technologies, most attention has been paid to devices and apparatuses that generate images or inscriptions. In addition we can identify an equally important and diverse family of visual technologies that produce certain kinds of “views”. The difference could be described by referring to the Greek terms “graphein” and “skopein” or rather them being used as suffixes in the names of many instruments (e.g. radiograph and radioscope). Whereas the -graphs typically make images or traces, the -scopes are used to observe, monitor and examine things in real-time and in close connection with them. From telescopes or microscopes to a large number of medical but also other viewing devices, fixed images can be produced but are not necessary. They enable momentary gazing at or into something, a continuous inspection which intimately couples the observer with the observed. Although this regime of scoping manifests itself in scientific instruments, we can relate it to other visual media as well, such as the emphasis on “views” in early photography or cinema. Furthemore, contemporary operational images do their work of observing, monitoring or examining in the mode of scoping, belonging to the family of -scopes rather than of -graphs, which might be one of the reasons we doubt they can be considered images at all. This dichotomy is, however, only heuristic.

For more details, see

Recommended or required reading

Jimena Canales, A Tenth of a Second: A History, Chicago UP 2009.

Orit Halpern, Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945, Duke UP 2014.

Peter Szendy, The Supermarket of the Visible, Fordham UP 2019.

Pasi Väliaho, Projecting Spirits, Stanford UP 2022.

Assessment methods and criteria

Participation in the seminar and a written assignment (2-page text that summarizes, comments on or develops ideas discussed and presented in the workshop), to be sent as a PDF to by 11 November 2022.



Schedule for winter semester 2022/2023:

Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
04.11.2022 14:00–19:00 Tomáš DVOŘÁK Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2022/2023:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans