Course information




Prof. György E. Szönyi

Course code








Course description

Short description

Modern literary and cultural theory distinguishes two major 'turns' since the crystallization of the humanities as disciplines in the 19th century. These are the "linguistic turn" which occurred in the first half of the 20th century, primarily inspired by the concepts of Ferdinand de Saussure; and the "pictorial or iconic turn" which emerged in the last quarter of the 20th century. The chief theoreticians of the latter are the American W. J. T. Mitchell and the German art historian, Hans Belting. It is quite obvious that Anglo-American culture cannot be examined without taking into consideration the above theoretical concerns which then have to be completed by case studies, applied to various media of cultural representations.

An important historiographical aspect of the course deals with the debates concerning "Old and New Iconology." Beginning with the modern founders of iconology (Aby Warburg, Erwin Panofsky, Ernst Gombrich) we reach post-structuralist iconology (Hans Belting, Thomas Mitchell, James Elkins), including its critique as well as other "hot topics": e.g. the politics of images, visual expression and gender, the rhetoric of visual evidence, the performance of visual artefacts, visual encounters with “the other,” collecting and displaying knowledge, and, last but not least, the interplay between texts and images in describing nature and the world. Furthermore, the review of the above mentioned theoretical debates is meant to be linked to the very topic of the students' research fields (journal exercise, see under assignments), thus utilizing the core course as a mandatory exercise of combining theory, practice and interpretation.


14 x 90 minute lecture per week


Fall 2018


Requirements to get the grade

Grading is based on an examination (written or oral, inquiring about the material of the lectures and assigned selected critical literature). In addition, PhD students are expected to submit a 9 pages' journal, discussing 3 topics of the course, reflecting on the lectures as well as the corresponding readings.

Reading list

Poetical terms / concepts: familiarize yourselves with the terms and concepts of poetics and se­mi­otics; use any encyclopedia of poetry and poetics or handbook of literature / semiotics you have access to. Mandatory readings are provided as a pdf reader and listed in the detailed course description.

Suggested reading list


Friss Hírek

Friss Hírek RSS


Élettörténet és emlékezet címmel harmadik alkalommal rendezi meg a Szegedi Tudományegyetem Bölcsészet- és Társadalomtudányi Kara az SZTE Klebelsberg Könyvtárral közösen a Magyar Könyvkiadók Napját. A kétnapos eseménynek 2019. október 1-jén a BTK épülete, míg október 2-án a könyvtár ad otthont. Az esti könyvbemutatókra, beszélgetésekre, illetve az Esterházy Péter emlékére szervezett, filozófusok és írók közös felolvasására pedig mindkét nap a Grand Caféba várják az érdeklődőeket.