Throughout the semester, you will be interrogating how our understandings of social identity are constructed in image as a part of the Intro to Visual Studies course. In order to do this, you’ll need to be aware of certain developments, current events, and key themes that are central to studies of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Below, we’ve provided a list of resources that can inform you as you locate images and begin your analyses.

News Research

Deeper Dives (extra guides)


Digital Image sources

Explore archival images, contemporary images, and other image sources:

Image Databases

Finding Images Guide

Social Media

Critical Looking Exercise

Inspired by the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and sustained police brutality against marginalized people in the United States, a series of protests erupted amongst the public. Many of the protests conducted by those who were negatively affected by police brutality and the former President’s policies were described amongst individuals and news outlets as “riots.” Why might Pepsi choose to publish this advertisement in 2017? How does the contemporary language surrounding protest movements inform how we read this advertisement? How is the moving image being utilized here to represent protest? How are race, gender, sexuality, and class functioning or not functioning in these images? How might we relate this advertisement to Guy Debord’s insights on celebrity and spectacle? What can the images within this advertisement tell us about nation, safety, and citizenship in the US?

The New York Times offers insights on the controversy sparked by the advertisement here.