What Is Visual Culture?

Answering this question is less easy than might be expected. While visual culture is everywhere and all around us, critical approaches to it and attempts to define it remain hotly contested. Some forms of visual culture, such as fine art or sculpture, have their own, long-established critical traditions. Others, such as cinema and photography, have gradually acquired theirs over the course of the past few decades; but how do we engage with other visual forms, such as graffiti or street art? What critical perspectives should be brought to bear on medical imagery? How might the critical orthodoxies which accumulate within disciplines obscure rather than illuminate their objects of study? In the coming weeks, members of GWW will be getting together to discuss how they understand visual culture, the critical debates which have shaped it as a field of study, and how their own research engages with it. Check back soon to hear their conversation.

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