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This book undertakes a critical survey of art history across Europe, examining the recent conceptual and methodological concerns informing the discipline as well as the political, social and ideological factors that have shaped its development in specific national contexts.
In his latest book, James Elkins offers a road map through the field of visual studies, describing its major concerns and its principal theoretical sources. Then, with the skill and insight that have marked his successful books on art and visuality, Elkins takes the reader down a side road where visual studies can become a more interesting place. Why look only at the same handful of theorists? Why exclude from one's field of vision non-Western art or the wealth of scientific images?
Visual Studies is a phrase much bandied about and ballyhooed by artists and art historians, as well as those engaged in a variety of intellectual and technical pursuits--from film and television to the Internet and medical imaging. But what is visual culture? What is its theory and method? Visual Studies is a welcome text that rehearses the fundamental concepts driving this vibrant field of inquiry since its noisy emergence on to the academic scene. Tracing the history of visual studies, its disciplinary (or not) parameters, and outlining its relationship to traditionally important concepts---aesthetics, ideology, and performativity--Visual Studies dramatizes for students the stakes involved in any and all enterprises visual.
This forward-thinking collection brings together over sixty essays that invoke images to summon, interpret, and argue with visual studies and its neighboring fields such as art history, media studies, visual anthropology, critical theory, cultural studies, and aesthetics. The product of a multi-year collaboration between graduate students from around the world, spearheaded by James Elkins, this one-of-a-kind anthology is a truly international, interdisciplinary point of entry into cutting-edge visual studies research. The book is fluid in relation to disciplines; it is frequently inventive in relation to guiding theories; it is unpredictable in its allegiance and interest in the past of the discipline—reflecting the ongoing growth of visual studies.
The proposed volumes are aimed at a multidisciplinary audience and seek to fill the gap between law, semiotics and visuality providing a comprehensive theoretical and analytical overview of legal visual semiotics. They seek to promote an interdisciplinary debate from law, semiotics and visuality bringing together the cumulative research traditions of these related areas as a prelude to identifying fertile avenues for research going forward. Advance Praise for Law, Culture and Visual Studies This diverse and exhilarating collection of essays explores the many facets both historical and contemporary of visual culture in the law. It opens a window onto the substantive, jurisdictional, disciplinary and methodological diversity of current research. It is a cornucopia of materials that will enliven legal studies for those new to the field as well as for established scholars. It is a ‘must read’ that will leave you wondering about the validity of the long held obsession that reduces the law and legal studies to little more than a preoccupation with the word. Leslie J Moran Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London Law, Culture & Visual Studies is a treasure trove of insights on the entwined roles of legality and visuality. From multiple interdisciplinary perspectives by scholars from around the world, these pieces reflect the fullness and complexities of our visual encounters with law and culture. From pictures to places to postage stamps, from forensics to film to folklore, this anthology is an exciting journey through the fertile field of law and visual culture as well as a testament that the field has come of age. Naomi Mezey, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., USA This highly interdisciplinary reference work brings together diverse fields including cultural studies, communication theory, rhetoric, law and film studies, legal and social history, visual and legal theory, in order to document the various historical, cultural, representational and theoretical links that bind together law and the visual. This book offers a breath-taking range of resources from both well-established and newer scholars who together cover the field of law’s representation in, interrogation of, and dialogue with forms of visual rhetoric, practice, and discourse. Taken together this scholarship presents state of the art research into an important and developing dimension of contemporary legal and cultural inquiry. Above all, Law Culture and Visual Studies lays the groundwork for rethinking the nature of law in our densely visual culture: How are legal meanings produced, encoded, distributed, and decoded? What critical and hermeneutic skills, new or old, familiar or unfamiliar, will be needed? Topical, diverse, and enlivening, Law Culture and Visual Studies is a vital research tool and an urgent invitation to further critical thinking in the areas so well laid out in this collection. Desmond Manderson, Future Fellow, ANU College of Law / Research School of Humanities & the Arts, Australian National University, Australia

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