Doctor in Visual and Media Studies


Coordinator of the Teaching Board Vincenzo Trione

Doctor in Visual and Media Studies

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[Coordinator of the Teaching Board:

The PhD in Visual and Media Studies at the IULM University of Milan is a place of convergence of theoretical knowledge and operational strategies related to the study of media, visual languages and literature.

In order to direct its research activities towards innovative areas of shared and strategic interest at an international level, it has chosen to deepen its study of media and visual culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on experiences such as those of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television in Los Angeles, New York University and Chicago University.

Curricula activated 

  1. Visual Arts
  2. Film and Media Studies
  3. Literature and Transmedia Studies

Duration of the Doctorate

3 years

The main areas of research:

Film and Media Studies
Within a perspective of Visual Culture - attentive to the historical, culturally and socially determined dimension of images - the curriculum of Film and Media Studies focuses on the study of audiovisual media, starting with cinema. In particular, there are some lines of research related to the different areas of media theory and history (photography, cinema, television / digital culture / critical theory of Internet / game studies). The first path, more directly linked to Film Studies, includes: media archaeology; the relationship between image and memory, not only in the historical or testimonial sense; visual memory in cinema and the arts; amateur practices and non-theatrical production; the relationships between cinema and photography: film and photography, still image and moving image; visual aesthetics of the contemporary; aesthetics and narratives of digital.
Another line of research specifically concerns contemporary television production, with particular attention to: forms and techniques of television serial productions; practices of television and media consumption; analysis of media narratives. A further course focuses on the history of the media (application of models of economic history, long-term historiography and social construction of technologies) and the history of the cultural industry (analysis of cultural markets, models of quantitative history, production and distribution cycles).
The study of Digital Humanities - with particular attention to the critical theory of the Internet, the political economy of the Web and the relationship between online and offline behaviour practices - and Game Studies, also in their art-related dimension, complete the research paths of the curriculum in Film and Media Studies.

Visual Arts
Part of the PhD in Visual and Media Studies, the curriculum of Visual arts falls within the sphere of visual studies adopting the same perspective and methodology towards the study of the image, but choosing as a specific field of investigation the system of visual arts. Languages investigated according to a specific in-depth study of the individual disciplines or from an intermedia point of view, open to bringing out the links that exist between the different disciplines, aimed at tracing their cultural and social effects, and at comparing and developing practices and exhibition media.
In particular, various research areas are covered by the teachers involved in the curriculum of Visual arts: Visual Culture; History of Medieval Byzantine Art; History of Modern Art; History of Contemporary Art; Art and Cinema; Art and Media; Photography; Video Art; Art and Television; Museology; History of Collecting; Exhibition Curatorship, Iconography and Iconology; Aesthetics.

Literature and Transmedia Studies:
As part of the PhD in Visual and Media Studies, the curriculum in Literature and Transmedia Studies focuses on the evolution of literary polysystems in the light of multiple historical and geographical contexts, specific media landscapes and different cultural backgrounds. Comparing different methodological perspectives, the didactic project aims in particular to explore the changing boundaries between the tools of artistic communication, the technological potential of individual media and their correlations, with a specific focus on the hybridization between various languages and various devices.
The activities of analysis and research range across the methodological horizons of literary historiography, narratology, comparative literature, integrating them into an interdisciplinary approach to the practice of writing. Along these main axes, we propose to offer the essential hermeneutical keys useful to measure ourselves both with the historical evolution of the art of storytelling and with problems connected to the increasingly frequent synergies between different sectors of the market for the production of symbolic assets: from infra- and intersemiotic translation to the policies of adaptation, from the theories of rewriting to the various declinations of intermediality.