The Problem of Introducing Visuality to a General University Audience
Free Public Lecture
Macgeorge Fellowship Lecture
This is a report on a book James Elkins is co-authoring with Erna Fiorentini (Karlsruhe) for Oxford University Press called Visual Worlds. It is a big textbook (including all-color, a website and international marketing) intended as an introduction to visuality in all fields. The book will address the claim that we are an exceptionally visual culture; this is often said, but there is still no introductory university course or textbook on visuality in all fields, except for 'art appreciation' or 'visual literacy' books, which are at a secondary school level, and visual studies texts (beginning with John Berger’s), which omit science, medicine, engineering and other university subjects taught with visual components.
Here Elkins will sketch the conceptual and educational issues involved in attempting to address the many forms and practices of visuality, and vision in general, in a single book.
Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Professor James Elkins, E.C. Chadbourne Professor
Professor James Elkins
E.C. Chadbourne Professor
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
James Elkins is an American art historian and art critic. He is E.C. Chadbourne Chair of art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also coordinates the Stone Summer Theory Institute, a famous, short term school/colloquium on contemporary art history based at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Elkins's writing focuses on the history and theory of images in art, science, and nature. Some of his books are exclusively on fine art (*What Painting Is, Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?*). Others include scientific and nonart images, writing systems, and archaeology (*The Domain of Images, On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them*), and some are about natural history (*How to Use Your Eyes*). Recent books include *What Photography Is*, written against Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida; *Artists with PhDs*, second edition; and *Art Critiques: A Guide*, third edition.