The ISF Research Field on Visual Culture incorporates the breadth, depth and complexity of visuality in shaping aesthetics and culture, and also society and politics, in history and today. It presents a broad array of visual objects (from painting to cinema, but also the built environment) encompassing the field of art history and the humanities, and extending to disciplines throughout the social sciences, from geography to anthropology. By “visual culture”, we study at once the visual display of information in all disciplines and especially visual modes of constituting regimes and orders–inquiries that include the cognitive sciences and psychology. Visual materials produce and represent social change and historical evidence, are mobilized as legal and scientific proof, used to build and forge identities, and change modes of perception generally. These are the kinds of interdisciplinary domains for the study of visual culture.
Recent ISF Senior Theses
- Comparing Love: How Romantic Relationships are Portrayed in Hollywood and Bollywood Movies, 1999-2009
- Comparing Holocaust and Memorial Sites in Germany, South Africa, Chile and the US
- Street Art in Tahrir Square
- Westernizing China Through Images: How the West Influences Chinese Culture Despite Government Controls
- The Contemporary Spanish Art Film and its Effects on Mexican Cinema
- In the Eye of the Beholder: The French Art Museum and its Publics
- Image and Projected Space of Mind: The Role of Image in the Creation of Meaning
- Shaping Young Women: The Connection Between Photography in Advertising and Rates of Bulimia
- Politicization of Aesthetics and the Fetish of the Visual: The Veiled Muslim Woman as Sociopolitical Critique in Street Art
- Bin ich ein Berliner? Identity Construction Through the Use of Public Art and Space in Post-Reunification Berlin
- The Public Aesthetics of Social Change
- Appropriating Culture After War: The Street Art Movement in the Post-World War II United States
- Changing Society Through the Fake: How the Young Use their Imagination for Social Change
Relevant UC Berkeley Courses
- Practice of Art 119: Global Perspectives in Contemporary Art
- Rhetoric 114: Rhetoric of New Media–Visual Rhetoric
- Media Studies 101: Visual Communications
- Media Studies 170: Cultural History of Advertising
- Visual Studies 185X: Special Topics: Word and Image
- History of Art 180C: Nineteenth-Century Europe: The Invention of Avant-Gardes
- English 173: Language and Literature of Films
- Anthropology 152: Art and culture
- Rhetoric 133T: Theories of Film
- French 175A: Literature and Visual Arts
- Anthropology 138A: History and Theory of Ethnographic Film
- Sociology 160: Sociology of Culture
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Agamben, Giorgio. 2000. “Notes on Gesture,” “Marginal Notes on Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle,” and “The Face.” Pp. 49–62, 73–102 in Means Without End: Notes on Politics. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Auslander, Philip. 2008. Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.
Bal, Mieke. 2003. “Visual Essentialism and the Object of Visual Culture.” Journal of Visual Culture 2(1):5–32.
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Barthes, Roland. 2010. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. New York: Hill and Wang.
Barthes, Roland. 2013. Mythologies. New York: Hill and Wang.
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Belting, Hans. 2014. An Anthropology of Images: Picture, Medium, Body. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Benjamin, Walter. 1988. “Rigorous Study of Art: On the First Volume of the Kunstwissenschaftliche Forschungen.” October 47:84–90.
Benjamin, Walter. 1999. “Little History of Photography.” Pp. 506–30 in Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume 2, 1927-1934, edited by Michael Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Benjamin, Walter. 1999. “The Formula in Which the Dialectical Structure of Film Finds Expression.” Pp. 94–95 in Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume 3, 1935-1938, edited by Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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Bradley, Will and Charles Esche, eds. 2008. Art and Social Change: A Critical Reader. London and New York: Tate Publishing.
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Burgess, Jean and Joshua Green. 2009. YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity.
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Cheetham, Mark A., Michael Ann Holly, and Keith Moxey. 2005. “Visual Studies, Historiography and Aesthetics.” Journal of Visual Culture 4(1):75–90.
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Davis, Whitney. 2011. A General Theory of Visual Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
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Dikovitskaya, Margaret. 2006. Visual Culture: The Study of the Visual after the Cultural Turn. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
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Elkins, James, Kristi McGuire, Maureen Burns, Alicia Chester, and Joel Kuennen, eds. 2012. Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline. New York: Routledge.
Ewen, Stuart. 1990. All Consuming Images: The Politics Of Style In Contemporary Culture. New York: Basic Books.
Feldman, Allen. 1997. “Violence and Vision: The Prosthetics and Aesthetics of Terror in Northern Ireland.” Public Culture10(1):25–60.
Feldman, Allen. 2005. “On the Actuarial Gaze: From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib.” Cultural Studies 19(2):203–26.
Fernie, Eric. 1995. Art History and Its Methods: A Critical Anthology. London: Phaidon Press.
Fisherkeller, JoEllen. 2002. Growing Up with Television: Everyday Learning Among Young Adolescents. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Fleming, Juliet. 2001. Graffiti and the Writing Arts of Early Modern England. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Foucault, Michel. 1994. “Las Meninas.” Pp. 3–16 in The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Vintage.
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Frank, Gustav. 2007. “Layers of the Visual: Towards a Literary History of Visual Culture.” Pp. 76–97 in Seeing Perception, edited by Silke Horstkotte and Karin Leonhard. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Gao, Minglu. 2011. Total Modernity and the Avant-Garde in Twentieth-Century Chinese Art. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Gillespie, Marie. 1995. Television, Ethnicity and Cultural Change. London and New York: Routledge.
Gitlin, Todd. 1981. The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Gitlin, Todd. 2000. Inside Prime Time. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Gole, Nilufer. 2002. “Islam in Public: New Visibilities and New Imaginaries.” Public Culture 14(1):173–90.
Gruzinski, Serge. 2001. Images at War: Mexico From Columbus to Blade Runner. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Hall, Stuart, Jessica Evans, and Sean Nixon, eds. 1998. Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Harvey, David. 1991. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Hedges, Chris. 2010. Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. New York: Nation Books.
Heywood, Ian and Barry Sandywell, eds. 1999. Interpreting Visual Culture: Explorations in the Hermeneutics of Vision. London and New York: Routledge.
Hilmes, Michele, ed. 2007. NBC: America’s Network. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Hite, Katherine. 2013. Politics and the Art of Commemoration: Memorials to Struggle in Latin America and Spain. New York: Routledge.
Horowitz, Noah. 2014. Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hung, Wu. 1996. The Double Screen: Medium and Representation in Chinese Painting. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Jain, Kajri. 2007. Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art. Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books.
Jenks, Chris, ed. 1995. Visual Culture. London and New York: Routledge.
Johnson, Galen A., ed. 1993. The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Kaes, Anton. 1993. “The Cold Gaze: Notes on Mobilization and Modernity.” New German Critique (59):24–26.
Kellner, Douglas. 1995. Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics between the Modern and the Post-Modern. London and New York: Routledge.
Kleege, Georgina. 2005. “Blindness and Visual Culture: An Eyewitness Account.” Journal of Visual Culture 4(2):179–90.
Lacan, Jacques. 1998. “Of the Gaze as Objet Petit a.” Pp. 67–122 in The Seminar of Jacques Lacan: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, edited by Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Lacan, Jacques. 2007. “The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I.” Pp. 75–81 in Ecrits. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Lamarche, Pierre. 2001. “Tradition, Crisis, and the Work of Art in Benjamin and Heidegger:” Philosophy Today 45(9999):37–45.
Larson, Stephanie Greco. 2005. Media & Minorities: The Politics of Race in News and Entertainment. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Latour, Bruno. 1990. “Visualization and Cognition: Drawing Things Together.” Pp. 19–68 in Representation in Scientific Activity, edited by Michael Lynch and Steve Woolgar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lavin, Maud. 2002. Clean New World: Culture, Politics, and Graphic Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lemish, Dafna. 2006. Children and Television: A Global Perspective. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
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Lewis, Lisa. 1991. Gender Politics And MTV: Voicing the Difference. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Manghani, Sunil. 2008. Image Critique and the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Manovich, Lev. 2002. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Masheck, Joseph. 1993. Building-Art: Modern Architecture under Cultural Construction. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
Massood, Paula, ed. 2008. The Spike Lee Reader. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Mayer, Vicki. 2003. Producing Dreams, Consuming Youth: Mexican Americans and Mass Media. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
McCarthy, Anna. 2010. The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America. New York: The New Press.
McLuhan, Marshall. 2008. The Mechanical Bride. Reprint edition. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press.
McLuhan, Marshall and Quentin Fiore. 2001. The Medium Is the Massage. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press.
McNair, Brian. 2002. Striptease Culture: Sex, Media and the Democratisation of Desire. London and New York: Routledge.
Miller, Mark Crispin. 1990. Seeing Through Movies. New York: Pantheon.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. 1999. Diaspora and Visual Culture: Representing Africans and Jews. London and New York: Routledge.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. 2004. Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture. London: Routledge.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. 2011. The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas, ed. 2012. The Visual Culture Reader. London and New York: Routledge.
Mitchell, W. J. T. 1987. Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Mitchell, W. J. T. 1995. Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Mitchell, W. J. T. 2002. “Showing Seeing: A Critique of Visual Culture.” Journal of Visual Culture 1(2):165–81.
Mitchell, W. J. T. 2006. What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Mosco, Vincent. 2009. The Political Economy of Communication. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
Murray, Susan and Laurie Ouellette, eds. 2008. Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture. 2nd ed. New York: New York University Press.
Najmabadi, Afsaneh. 2004. “Gender and the Sexual Politics of Public Visibility in Iranian Modernity.” In Going Public: Feminism and the Shifting Boundaries of the Private Sphere, edited by Joan W. Scott and Debra Keates. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
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Rancière, Jacques. 2013. The Politics of Aesthetics. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Richardson, John, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis, eds. 2013. The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics. New York: Oxford University Press.
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Saint-Amour, Paul K. 2003. “Modernist Reconnaissance.” Modernism/modernity 10(2):349–80.
Schiller, Daniel. 2000. Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Schneider, Alexandra and Birgit Mersmann. 2008. Transmission Image: Visual Translation and Cultural Agency. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Simon, Richard Keller. 1999. Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Smith, Marquard. 2005. “Visual Studies, or the Ossification of Thought.” Journal of Visual Culture 4(2):237–56.
Smith, Terry. 2006. The Architecture of Aftermath. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
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Spigel, Lynn. 1992. Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Straayer, Chris. 1996. Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies: Sexual Re-Orientation in Film and Video. New York: Columbia University Press.
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Tagg, John. 1993. Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
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Turner, Fred. 2008. “Romantic Automatism: Art, Technology, and Collaborative Labor in Cold War America.” Journal of Visual Culture 7(1):5–26.
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Wolff, Janet. 2000. “The Feminine in Modern Art: Benjamin, Simmel and the Gender of Modernity.” Theory, Culture & Society17(6):33–53.
Zimmermann, Michael F. 2003. The Art Historian: National Traditions and Institutional Practices. Williamstown, MA: Clark Art Institute.
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- Townsend Center for the Humanities, Course Threads Program (http://coursethreads.berkeley.edu/course-threads/visibilities-still-image) (http://coursethreads.berkeley.edu/course-threads/cultural-forms-transit)
- Arts Research Center; Newsletter, events (http://arts.berkeley.edu/)
- Visual Resources Center; library, digital image collection (http://ced.berkeley.edu/research/visual-resources-center/)
- Faculty Expertise Database; search faculty research profiles by searching research interest or expertise keywords (http://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/faculty-expertise?name=&expertise_area=la…)