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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?
Drawing on interviews, responses to questionnaires, and oral histories by U.S.
The author traces the history and theory of visual culture asking how and why visual media have become so central to contemporary everday life. He explores a wide range of visual forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, television, cinema, virtual reality, and the Internet while addressing the subjects of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, the body, and the international media event that followed the death of Princess Diana.
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.
Each of the five volumes in the Stone Art Theory Institutes series brings together a range of scholars who are not always directly familiar with one another’s work. The outcome of each of these convergences is an extensive and “unpredictable conversation” on knotty and provocative issues about art. This fifth and final volume in the series focuses on the identity, nature, and future of visual studies, discussing critical questions about its history, objects, and methods. The contributors question the canon of literature of visual studies and the place of visual studies with relation to theories of vision, visuality, epistemology, politics, and art history, giving voice to a variety of inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives. Rather than dismissing visual studies, as its provocative title might suggest, this volume aims to engage a critical discussion of the state of visual studies today, how it might move forward, and what it might leave behind to evolve in productive ways. The contributors are Emmanuel Alloa, Nell Andrew, Linda Báez Rubí, Martin A. Berger, Hans Dam Christensen, Isabelle Decobecq, Bernhard J. Dotzler, Johanna Drucker, James Elkins, Michele Emmer, Yolaine Escande, Gustav Frank, Theodore Gracyk, Asbjørn Grønstad, Stephan Günzel, Charles W. Haxthausen, Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro, Tom Holert, Kıvanç Kılınç, Charlotte Klonk, Tirza True Latimer, Mark Linder, Sunil Manghani, Anna Notaro, Julia Orell, Mark Reinhardt, Vanessa R. Schwartz, Bernd Stiegler, Øyvind Vågnes, Sjoukje van der Meulen, Terri Weissman, Lisa Zaher, and Marta Zarzycka.
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.

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