Teaching Visual History

Teaching Visual History: Resource Document

December 2016

Ms. Seonaid Rogers, Dr. Catherine Armstrong and Professor Susan Reid

Funding for this project was provided by the East Midlands Centre (EMC) and is a result of the Doing Visual History workshop, Loughborough University, September 2016.

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Guide outline

  1. Books and articles
  2. Online Resources: Databases, Online Journals and Archives
  3. Themes in teaching visual history:
    1. The materiality of images
    2. Conventions of creation and production of images
    3. Interdisciplinarity in use of images
    4. Benefits and challenges: working with museums and curators
    5. How people see the past
    6. Historicizing visuality
    7. How to present troubling images to students
    8. Gender and the visual
    9. Race and the visual
    10. LGBTQ+ and the visual
    11. Disability and the visaul
    12. Visual assessment methods

 

Guide descriptor

This resource document is designed to guide Higher Education (HE) teaching practitioners with accessible information on key themes, issues and resources in the teaching of visual history. It is not intended to be complete, or cover all areas of visual studies, but rather to broadly cover the main themes and issues around visual history.

Contributions and additions are invited and welcome, especially where it is noted that they would be particularly helpful.

The document is comprised of three sections:

Section 1 provides an overview of some books and articles we have found particularly useful in teaching visual history in higher education.

Section 2 provides an overview of relevant online resources including databases, online journals and archival sources for the teaching of visual history on higher education.

Section 3 provides an overview of the key themes in teaching visual history, including an annotated bibliographic survey of works suitable for teaching, and the main methodological debates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Books and articles

This list, of the key general works on visual history, is not intended to be entirely comprehensive but rather to provide a list of helpful resources for teachers looking for works to set undergraduate students as reading material.

ALPERS, S. The art of describing: Dutch art in the seventeenth century. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

A classic reader which explores Dutch art in the context of the visual culture it enacts. Links art history to visual history, theories here can be used to interpret other types of visual culture.

ARMSTRONG, C. Using non-textual sources: a historian’s guide. (London: Bloomsbury, 2016).

An introduction to theoretical and interpretive skills for non-textual sources. Offers practical guidance on how to interpret a range of sources including images; film; television; audio; material culture; and the built environment. Covers production and distribution of sources, how to read these sources and interdisciplinary information.

 

BARTHES, R. Camera lucida: reflections on photography. (London: Flamingo, 1984).

Influential series of personal essays and theories on photography, exploring the effects of photography on the viewer as separate from the subject and photographer.

 

BARNARD, M. Approaches to understanding visual culture (London: Palgrave,2001)

Accessible introduction to methodologies and strategies for reading various objects including fine art, photography, fashion, textiles and so on. Includes critical discussion of key thinkers including Barthes.

 

BAXANDALL, M. Patterns of intention: on the historical explanation of pictures. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985).

Through three case studies, examines objects from bridges to painting to explore the historical aspect of the visual. Useful for understanding materiality.

 

BERGER, J. Ways of seeing. (London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1972).

Short book and accompanying BBC television series analysing the cultural representations of men and women and the effects of those representations on self. Useful introduction to the concept of the gaze., specifically the male gaze. Often referenced in feminist visual culture research (see also Lacan, hooks, Mulvey).

 

BENJAMIN, W. ‘The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.’ In Arendt, H. (ed.) Illuminations. (New York: Schocken Books, 1969): 1-26.

Influential essay on the shift in perception after the advent of photography and film. Discusses ways of seeing and how this has changed in the era of mass reproduction, argues a photograph has no ‘aura’ as is an image of an image. Discusses the manipulation of ways of seeing in the directed medium of photography.

 

BENNET, T. and JOYCE, P. (eds.) Material powers: cultural studies, history and the material turn. (Oxon: Routledge, 2010).

Reader on the material turn in social sciences and humanities. Explores power structures and the role of material culture in the organization of those structures. Has a wide geographic and temporal remit, with specific chapters on colonial power and photography.

 

DAVIS, W. A general theory of visual culture. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011).

Wide in scope, using examples from prehistory to the twentieth century. Draws on art historical theoretical tradition, as well as visual culture studies, vision science, psychology and philosophy to present the theory of ‘visuality’: that objects/images have a visual perspective visible to culturally informed viewers.

 

DURING, S. (ed.) The cultural studies reader. 3rd edition. (Oxon: Routledge, 2007).

An introductory text for students, with a collection of articles and an introduction explaining the historiography of cultural studies. Includes suggestions for further reading with each article. Articles from cultural scholars such as Edward Said and Gilles Deleuze.

 

EDWARDS, E. and HART, J. (eds.) Photographs, objects, histories: on the materiality of images.(London: Routledge, 2004).

Innovative text which discusses the idea that photographs are material objects as well as images, and argues for the integral nature of that materiality to understanding photographs and other visual media. Interdisciplinary contributors from history, anthropology and art history, and a range of methodological strategies.

 

EVANS, J. and HALL, S. (eds.) Visual culture: the reader. (London: SAGE Publications Ltd., 1999).

A collection of over thirty essays focusing on three central aspects of visual culture research – the reader of the image, the sign of the image and the institution. Includes essays by Barthes, Benjamin, Foucault Sontag, Debord, Bourdieu, Sekula, Tagg, Fanon and others who are key thinkers in visual culture research.

 

FOSTER, H. (ed.) Vision and visuality: discussions in contemporary culture #2. (Washington: Dia Art Foundation, 1988).

A collection of essays by thinkers such as Martin Jay, Norman Bryson, Jacqueline Rose and others. Key theories here.

 

FOUCAULT, M. ‘Panopticism.’ In Foucalt, M. Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison. (New York: Vintage, 1977): 105-130.

If not included in a set reader, Foucault’s essay is a useful theoretical text to set in order to explore understandings of power relationships and hegemonies, and how these relate to visibility as the visual as a means of control.

 

HOOKS, b. ‘The oppositional gaze.’ In hooks, b. Black looks: race and representation. (Boston: South End Press, 1993): 115-132.

Can be read alongside Mulvey (see below), as a response. Interrogates the nature of the gaze by introducing discussion of the black female gaze and underrepresentation on screen. As a response to feminist critics like Mulvey, hooks argues that they often speak for ‘women’ when they mean ‘white women’. Introduces an intersectional approach to feminist critiques of cinema and can be extrapolated outward to other visual culture.

 

JORDANOVA, L. The look of the past: visual culture and material evidence in historical practice. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

An introductory reader intended to guide users toward using visual and material culture as historical sources. Includes short essays on specific buildings, objects and images in order to demonstrate discussed critical methodological techniques and analytical frameworks.

 

 

 

KLEEGE, G. ‘Blindness and visual culture: an eyewitness account.’ Journal of Visual Culture 4:2 (2005): 179-190.

A response to visual culture research that has often used a hypothetical blind man as a prop for consciousness theory. The article posits a different approach to blindness as it relates to visual culture that avoids appropriating blindness for theoretical ends.

 

LACAN, J. ‘What is a picture?’ In Lacan, J. The four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. (New York: Norton and Company, 1981): 105-119.

Important theorist exploring the idea of the gaze as it relates to the materiality of the real and desire. Useful as it has been drawn upon especially in feminist film theory to explore women as passive objects of desire in film (see also Berger, hooks, Mulvey).

 

MITCHELL, W.J.T. Picture theory: essays on verbal and visual representation. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995).

An exploration of images and visual culture research at a time when the pictorial turn was supplanting the linguistic turn in cultural studies. Looks at the relationship between image and text in culture, including in literature, art and mass media.

 

MIRZOEFF, N. ‘The right to look.’ Critical Inquiry 37:3 (2011): 473-496.

Discussion of visuality and its centrality to legitimizing dominant Western hegemonic power structures. Through the examples of slavery, imperialism and the military-industrial complex Mizroeff explores how the visual creates and reinforces authority. Also explores resistance and counter-hegemony through the right to look.

 

MULVEY, L. ‘Visual pleasure and narrative cinema.’ Screen 16:3 (1975): 6-18.

Argues that a societal patriarchal subconscious shapes our perception and experience of cinema; that women exist as passive objects onto which male fantasies are projected. Can be read in conjunction with Lacan and Berger(see above), and for hooks’ response addressing the lack of intersectionality

 

POLLOCK, G. Vision and difference: feminism, femininity and histories of art. (London: Routledge, 2003).

A feminist re-interpretation of works from canonical male artists and their female contemporaries, examines the difficulties of working within a culture that places the feminine as an object of the male gaze.

 

ROSE, G. Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials. (London: SAGE Publications Ltd, 2001).

Clear, understandable introductory reader for students. Introduces the key methodological frameworks and includes case studies and suggested further reading for each.

 

STURKEN, M. and CARTWRIGHT, L. Practices of looking: an introduction to visual culture. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Introductory text for students exploring how various types of images acquire meaning in various settings. Explore the movement of images globally and culturally, as well as a range of methodologies. Contains examples to explain practically the application of these methodologies.

 

  1. Online Resources: Databases, Online Journals, Archives.

This list, of online resources for the teaching of visual history, is not intended to be entirely comprehensive but rather to provide a list of useful online resources which can be used to supplement set texts and teaching materials around visual history.

BASTA! Art Criticism from the Global South. (http://culturasvisualesglobales.net/journal/)

Open access online journal publishing works of artistic diasporas, visual culture studies, exhibition studies, global art studies, postcolonial and decolonial aesthetics among other topics. Multi-lingual but primarily English and Spanish.

BBC Archive (http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/index.shtml)

Collection of radio, television, documents and photography from the BBC dating from the 1930s onward.

British Cartoon Archive (http://cartoons.ac.uk)

Over 150,000 British editorial, pocket and socio-political cartoons dating from 1904.

Early Popular Visual Culture (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/repv20/current)

Academic journal publishing interdisciplinary works on popular visual culture pre-1930.  Primarily focused on the social, economic, and technological contexts in which popular visual culture developed prior to 1930.

Filmarchives Online (http://www.filmarchives-online.eu/)

A catalogue of film archives from across Europe searchable by content, filmographic data and physical characteristics. Non-fiction material only such as documentary and educational films, newsreel, advertising, scientific and industrial films, sports, animation and travelogue.

Google Arts & Culture (https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/)

Digital presentation of content from over 1000 museums and archives partnering with the Google Cultural Institute. Includes a Projects feature which spotlights various collections.

Internet Archive (https://archive.org/)

A non-profit online library of film, software, music, websites, photography and text. Purpose designed to create open access to historical collections in a digital format.

InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture. (http://ivc.lib.rochester.edu/)

A student run interdisciplinary journal from the University of Rochester, US, published twice-yearly in open access online format. The stated aim is to explore changing themes in visual culture.

Journal of Visual Culture. (http://vcu.sagepub.com/)

Publishing since 2002, this journal covers work on a broad range of topics pertaining to visual history including cultural studies, film and media studies, art, design, fashion and architecture history, photography, geography/urban studies.

Library of Congress. (https://www.loc.gov/)

Digital collection from the world’s largest library, including photographs, newspapers, maps, manuscripts and recordings. Includes collections by theme, a blog, an online magazine and database resources.

The Mother of All Art and Art History Links Pages.( http://umich.edu/~motherha/)

The University of Michigan’s master list of resources, including image collections, digital art, research resources, art history departments and textual resources. Includes sub-sections related to specific geographic research areas.

The New York Public Library Digital Collections. (http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/)

Living database of items digitized from the library’s collection, including prints, photographs, maps, video and more. Searchable by keywords, or researchers can browse by collections of donated items or those organised by theme.

Photographic History Research Centre. (https://photographichistory.wordpress.com/)

Based at De Montfort University, the PHRC undertakes research on photography and its practices from the early nineteenth century onward. The website holds information on research seminars and annual conferences, as well as a blog.

Visual History. (http://www.libraweb.net/riviste.php?chiave=124&h=603&w=600)

Relatively new journal promoting research into the field of visual history. Italian and English. Behind a paywall.

Visual Past. (http://visualpast.de)

Open access online journal focusing on interdisciplinary research of past visual cultures, dedicated to diversity of methodological approaches. German and English.

Visual Studies. (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rvst20/current)

Interdisciplinary academic journal focusing on visually-based research which aims to promote understanding of a broad range of methods and approaches to image-based research and developing visual research methodologies.

Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry. (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/twim20/current)

Journal dealing with the study of encounters between the verbal and the visual. Publishes articles on the relationship between words and images from all historical periods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Themes in teaching visual history

This section provides an overview of some of the main themes and methodological debates presently informing research and teaching around visual history. It is meant as a basis for further individual research and should be seen as an introductory access point for higher education teaching practitioners so that they may prepare their teaching materials.

The sub-sections, listed below, represent some key thematic elements around the teaching of visual history and include information on methodological and historiographical practice, as well as bibliographic references to works suitable for further understanding. Where possible, references are given to works of suitable length and readability for student’s weekly readings and practitioners’ seminar/lecture preparation.

Sub-sections:

  1. The materiality of images
  2. Conventions of creation and production of images
  3. Interdisciplinarity in use of images
  4. Benefits and challenges: working with museums and curators
  5. How historians see the past
  6. Historicizing visuality
  7. Gender and the visual
  8. Race and the visual
  9. LGBTQ+ and the visual
  10. Disability and the visual
  11. Troubling images: how to discuss disturbing images with students
  12. Visual assessment methods

 

 

  1. The materiality of images

Teaching the materiality of the image-as-object often involves drawing on anthropology and archaeology pedagogies, as well as curatorship.  This occasionally means engaging the students not only in the theory around materiality [see reading list, particularly Edwards, Baxendall], but also in the activity of visual analysis and studying objects practically.

Although it may seem simple, having the students follow an exercise where they identify an item of visual culture (such as a photograph, poster, comic book) that is personal to them and answer several questions can make clear the wider methodologies.

Agnes Tulstrup Henriksen, PhD Researcher and tutor at UCL, argues that asking students to identify a personal object, and think about who gave them that object and why it is special to them can indirectly allow students to think about the importance of individuals in image production and circulation, as well as the various ways of seeing that have occurred over time, especially in heirloom image-objects.

This can be expanded by asking students to identify who made the image; what it is made of; how it was produced and disseminated; when it was made and who it was intended for. In conjunction with questions addressing the content of the image and its’ symbolic significance, questions about the image-as-object allow students to grapple with this concept in a practical and demonstrable sense.

Using the British Museum resource ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’, available as a website, podcast and book, can allow for students to draw a connection between more tangible objects and images-as-objects. The objects in the resource include decorative items, tools and coins, as well as prints, maps and newspapers.

THE BRITISH MUSEUM. ‘A History of the World in 100 objects.’ The British Museum. (https://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/a_history_of_the_world.aspx).

Link to the British Museum website which hosts a directory of all the objects, a link to the book and the podcast series.

As Deborah Skinner, Nottingham Trent University, points out, students may also benefit from object-based learning. This pedagogical method allows students to engage with their subjects in a way that may provoke and challenge their understanding. Some theory around this and exercises can be found below.

CHATTERJEE, H.J. and HANNAN, L. (eds.) Engaging the senses: object-based learning in higher education. (London: Routledge, 2015)

A comprehensive guide to object-based learning, with a group of authors presenting various approaches from their experience teaching in higher education.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON. ‘Introduction to object based learning.’ UCL Museums and Collections. (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/learning-resources/object-based-learning).

An online guide to object based learning, including videos, case studies, e-resources and a list of further reading and resources.

 

[INSERT POWERPOINTS/WORD DOCS AS GOOGLE DOCS FROM D. SKINNER’S ASSESSMENT METHODS]

  1. The role of conventions of in the creation, production and understanding of images

Following on from thinking about the image as a material object, it will be essential to have students understand the ways various images or visual culture objects are produced and disseminated. It is key to deconstruct ideas around ‘accuracy’, ‘bias’ and ‘realism’.

MCLUHAN, M. ‘The medium is the message.’ In McLuhan, M. Understanding Media: the extensions of man. (London: Routledge, 2001).

Formative argument which contends that the medium of the message itself becomes embedded in the message – the medium influences the perception of the message according to McLuhan.

In order to explore McLuhan’s theory it may be useful to set students an exercise where they think about the same image presented in various mediums and the ways this would alter perceptions of the image.

Depending on the type of visual culture being researched, it would be prudent to include an overview history of that medium or process, such as a history of photography which focuses at least in part on the process of photography and the use of materials.

  1. Interdisciplinarity in use of images

JORDANOVA, L. History in practice. 2nd edition. (London and New York: Bloomsbury Acadmic, 2009).

Contains a section on ‘History and other disciplines’ which explores the relationship between history and sociology, anthropology, philosophy, literature, and archaeology. Shows how these interdisciplinary approaches can open the historian to the study of visual/material culture and offers insight into the benefits of using the methodologies of other disciplines in these studies.

The study of the history of visual culture is of course influenced by art historical practice, but the investigation of the materiality of the image also draws on  anthropology and archaeology. It is possible to find methodologies and strategies for the examination of visual culture in various other fields and it may be useful to adapt these or introduce them to students in order to provide a wider framework for study. Some issues to be aware of when thinking in interdisciplinary ways about visual culture are outlined in the article below.

MITCHELL, W.J.T. ‘Interdisciplinarity and visual culture.’ Art Bulletin 77:3 (1995): 540-544.

Explores the idea of an interdisciplinary approach to visual culture and concludes with some points to keep in mind. Includes a warning to resist unmitigated pluralism.

 

  1. Benefits and challenges: working with museums and curators

As previously addressed, museums offer excellent resources for having students engage with images and objects and think critically about ways of seeing. Their free-to-use image resources listed above make useful teaching tools and coursework tools for students too. It may be helpful to have students investigate copyright issues with use of images from museums and investigate open access resources, thinking about issues of accessibility.

However it is important to also have students engage critically with the museum itself as well as the images and objects within the institution.  Some reading is listed here for having students think about the museum in the colonial context, and about who has access to and the right to display the history of the world.

ALDRICH, R. ‘Colonial museums in a postcolonial Europe.’ African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal.2:2 (2009): 137-156. DOI: 10.1080/17528630902981118.

EDWARDS, E. and MEAD, A. ‘Absent histories and absent images: photographs, museums and the colonial past.’ Museum and Society. 11:1 (2013): 19-38.

These two articles introduce students to the concept of colonial museums, framing objects in a colonial context, and in the case of the latter essay deal specifically with visual culture and photography.

FOSTER, H. ‘An archival impulse.’ October 110 (2004): 3-22.

KARP, I. ‘How museums define other cultures.’ American Art. 5:1 (1991): 10-15.

These two articles deal with power relationships, who defines culture and displays it and how this may change the way cultures are interpreted and seen.

In order to have students think about accessibility, and issues of race, gender, etc. in the museum context it can be useful to use existing exercises in a local context. The Canadian Thinking Through the Museum project has published some activities for students that are Canada-specific but can be adapted to your local situation.

THINKING THROUGH THE MUSEUM. ‘Pedagogy.’ Thinking Through the Museum. (http://thinkingthroughthemuseum.org/tools/pedagogy/).

Links to two student exercises which ask students to explore a local museum and think about the notion of storytelling through the visual and objects; and how their museums present race, gender etc.

HOOPER-GREENHILL, E. Museums and the interpretation of visual culture. (New York: Routledge, 2000).

Multi-disciplinary study focusing on meaning-making in museums through pedagogy and visual culture lenses. Asks how and why museums shape knowledge, select artefacts, produce values etc. Also how audiences make meaning from their experiences.

Deborah Skinner, Nottingham Trent University, suggests some reading around museum engagement and learning.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. ‘Behind Closed Doors: a strategic framework for improving the stores visitor experience.’ (https://mdonessherblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/behind-closed-doors-a-strategic-framework-for-improving-the-stores-visitor-experience/).

Website for a project exploring how museums can use stored collections more strategically for audience engagement. Useful for understanding how museums work to engage with visitors and the way they address access.

 

  1. How historians see the past

More contributions are encouraged for this section.

COVENTRY, M., FELTEN, P., JAFFEE, D., O’LEARY, C., WEIS, T. and MCGOWN, S.. ‘Ways of seeing: evidence and learning in the history classroom.’ Journal of American History 92:4 (2006) 1371-1402.

Collaborative essay by historians who worked on the Visible Knowledge Project. Includes sections on confronting prior visual knowledge, ways of seeing troubling historical events, and presenting arguments in multimedia formats.

 

  1. Historicizing visuality

At the EMC conference, Dr. Nick Baron, Nottingham University noted that visual culture is not just a reflection of reality or mimetic, it constitutes a way of seeing, or a ‘visuality’. Each individuals’ visuality changes the way they engage with visual sources, in conjunction with wider historical changes that influence ways of seeing.

It is therefore important to have students think critically and self-reflexively about their own visuality at all points of contact. This can be achieved through exercises like those laid out  in the Harvard Ways of Seeing Art course assignment.

ABLCONNECT. ‘Ways of seeing art.’ Harvard University. (http://ablconnect.harvard.edu/book/ways-seeing-art)

Includes a course outline and a link to an assignment document that asks students to think critically about the way they view visual sources by engaging with an item at a local museum.

David Jaffee has argued that it is not enough to present students with visual material, provide instructions and wait for insight. In his essay he outlines a process by which he encourages students to contextualise and historicise images and interpret ways of seeing.

JAFFEE, D. ‘From looking to seeing: student learning in the visual turn.’ Academic Commons. (https://web.archive.org/web/20100620185929/http://www.academiccommons.org/commons/essay/looking-seeing-student-learning-visual-turn).

Essay by Jaffee detailing pedagogical strategies for engaging students with visual culture and ways of seeing. May also be worth exploring other articles in this special issue of Academic Commons, which deal with other aspects of teaching history and visual culture specifically.

Addressing ways of seeing can be used in conjunction with the presentation of troubling images, and also in discussions around production and circulation and the ways these will change or develop ways of seeing the visual image-object.

 

  1. Troubling images: how to discuss disturbing images with students

In the teaching of visual history, there is some debate around the appropriateness of presenting disturbing or controversial images to students – particularly when those images are sexual or violent in nature. The debate centres mainly around the responsibilities of the teaching practitioner: to what extent must they frame these images for students, and give their students the option to view or not view the image? Additionally, there must be a discussion around deliberately challenging images and those that have become problematic because of changing attitudes to what is acceptable.

Using images in the teaching of history and requiring students to become visually literate is now seen as an essential element of teaching practice. Visual sources must now be considered among the primary source base for work like dissertations. However, some practitioners suggest that images of a particularly sensitive nature be framed and contextualised in advance, in a comfortable environment and, occasionally, with an option to not view the image.

PEARL, S. and SASTRE, A. (eds.) ‘The image is (not) the event: negotiating the pedagogy of controversial images.’ Visual Communication Quarterly. 21:4 (2014) 198-209. DOI: 10.1080/15551393.2014.987283.

An overview of the problems and practices around teaching with controversial or upsetting images, presenting several viewpoints and methods, and the main debate points around the topic through interviews.

PLATH, L. ‘Looking at lynching: ethical and practical matters faced when using lynching photographs in the classroom.’ In Armstrong, C. (ed.) Historical insights: teaching North American History using images and material culture. (2013) 16-33.

Explores the difficult topic of presenting lynching photographs to students and argues for the careful presentation, further reading, discussion and contextualisation around them. Discusses the extant literature on this topic to help teachers make informed choices, includes student responses to material. Argues for presenting alternate images of black men and women to demonstrate agency.

Considering the sensibilities of students is one aspect of this conversation around the presentation of controversial images. Another is the desire to present these images in a way that is informative and often discomfiting, but not to aestheticize atrocity or sensationalize violence.

MIRZOEFF, N. ‘Invisible empire: visual culture, embodied spectacle, and Abu Ghraib.’ Radical History Review 95 (2006): 21-44.

A more theoretical discussion around the spectacle and power of the image, using the Abu Ghraib torture photographs as a case study through which to examine power structures, and the visibility/invisibility of images within them.

Students of Dr. Armstrong have allowed for their work on disturbing topics such as lynching to be used here as an example of outcomes of these teaching methods.

[INSERT GOOGLE DOC WITH STUDENT WORK HERE]

  1. Gender and the visual

As this document is intended as a starting point to which we invite others to contribute, the following four sections will include some introductory texts but users are especially encouraged to contribute here. Occasionally, broader texts listed above the deal specifically with the topics addressed here have been repeated but not all, and the broader list should also be examined. Obviously, there are also various scenarios in which race, gender, LGBTQ+ identities and disabled identities intersect, so an attempt to be intersectional in the instruction of these issues is key.

ALLOULA, M. The colonial harem. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987).

Several chapters on the female gaze and Orientalist visual culture.

HOOKS, b. ‘The oppositional gaze.’ In hooks, b. Black looks: race and representation. (Boston: South End Press, 1993): 115-132.

Can be read alongside Mulvey (see below), as a response. Interrogates the nature of the gaze by introducing discussion of the black female gaze and underrepresentation on screen. As a response to feminist critics like Mulvey, hooks argues that they often speak for ‘women’ when they mean ‘white women’. Introduces an intersectional approach to feminist critiques of cinema and can be extrapolated outward to other visual culture.

MULVEY, L. ‘Visual pleasure and narrative cinema.’ Screen 16:3 (1975): 6-18.

Argues that a societal patriarchal subconscious shapes our perception and experience of cinema; that women exist as passive objects onto which male fantasies are projected. Can be read in conjunction with Lacan and Berger(see above), and for hooks’ response addressing the lack of intersectionality

 

  1. Race and the visual

As this document is intended as a starting point to which we invite others to contribute, the following four sections will include some introductory texts but users are especially encouraged to contribute here. Occasionally, broader texts listed above the deal specifically with the topics addressed here have been repeated but not all, and the broader list should also be examined. Obviously, there are also various scenarios in which race, gender, LGBTQ+ identities and disabled identities intersect, so an attempt to be intersectional in the instruction of these issues is key.

FRANTZ, F. ‘The fact of Blackness.’ In Frantz, F. (ed.) Black skin, white masks. (New York: Grove Press, 1967): 109-140.

Fanon argues that blackness is a constructed identity, often imposed in opposition to whiteness. Important work in reading images of blackness and considering the visuality of the subject, image maker and viewer.

SRIVATSAN, R.(ed.) Conditions of visibility: writings on photography in contemporary India.  (Calcutta: Stree Publishers, 2000).

Collection of essays on contemporary photography in India. Theory can be extrapolated out to broader visual culture.

THOMPSON, K. An eye for the tropics: tourism, photography and framing the Caribbean picturesque. (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007).

Examines tourist aesthetics, visual culture around tourism, travel photography and so on through the lens of race and imperialism in the context of the Caribbean.

  1. LGBTQ+ and the visual

As this document is intended as a starting point to which we invite others to contribute, the following four sections will include some introductory texts but users are especially encouraged to contribute here. Occasionally, broader texts listed above the deal specifically with the topics addressed here have been repeated but not all, and the broader list should also be examined. Obviously, there are also various scenarios in which race, gender, LGBTQ+ identities and disabled identities intersect, so an attempt to be intersectional in the instruction of these issues is key.

AARON, M. (ed.) New queer cinema: a critical reader. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004).

Reader covering various topics in queer film theory and visual culture, including intersections with race and gender.

LEVIN, A.K.(ed.) Gender, sexuality and museums. (Oxon: Routledge, 2010).

Reader exploring gender and sexuality in the museum context. Includes chapters on representation and visuality.

LEWIS, R. ‘Looking good: the lesbian gaze and fashion imagery.’ Feminist Review, 55 (1997): 92-109.

Essay centring the lesbian gaze and visual pleasure, exploring the ways in which economics around culture contribute to an explicit elicitation of desire from visual imagery.

  1. Disability and the visual

As this document is intended as a starting point to which we invite others to contribute, the following four sections will include some introductory texts but users are especially encouraged to contribute here. Occasionally, broader texts listed above the deal specifically with the topics addressed here have been repeated but not all, and the broader list should also be examined. Obviously, there are also various scenarios in which race, gender, LGBTQ+ identities and disabled identities intersect, so an attempt to be intersectional in the instruction of these issues is key.

Obviously, there are also various scenarios in which race, gender, LGBTQ+ identities and disabled identities intersect, so an attempt to be intersectional in the instruction of these issues is key.

KLEEGE, G. ‘Blindness and visual culture: an eyewitness account.’ Journal of Visual Culture, 4:2 (2005): 179-190.

A response to visual culture research that has often used a hypothetical blind man as a prop for consciousness theory. The article posits a different approach to blindness as it relates to visual culture that avoids appropriating blindness for theoretical ends.

SANDELL, R. (ed.) Re-presenting disability: activism and agency in the museum. (London: Routledge, 2010).

Addresses issues around disability representation in the museum and galleries sector, including contributions from researchers and curators from a variety of fields which discuss inclusion and absence, identity politics, social agencies, audience visualities and organisational responsibility.

SIEBERS, T. Disability aesthetics. (Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2010).

Accessible book covering major theories around visual culture’s representations of disability and disabled people. Discusses oppression of disabled people justified through aesthetics, and the evolution of disability into an aesthetic value.

  1. Visual assessment methods

The availability of alternative teaching, coursework and feedback methods is closely related to the teaching of visual history. At the EMC Conference, Dr. Catherine Armstrong discussed how she provides alternative methods for coursework in one of her taught modules. Dr. Armstrong asks students to prepare a museum exhibit, presenting six items as well as a short written piece for a catalogue. She also asks her third year students to prepare poster presentations of various topics. Allowing alternative coursework methods has opened up learning opportunities and chances to excel for students who did less well in traditional learning environments. It also allowed students to experience a little of practical curatorial work, widening their skill base.

Ensuring all students have the ability to excel through inclusive coursework, and assessment methods has been explored in the studies listed below.

PLYMOUTH UNIVERSITY. ‘7 Steps to: Inclusive Assessment.’ Plymouth University. (https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/2/2401/7_Steps_to_Inclusive_Assessment.pdf)

This handbook addresses making HE accessible, relevant and engaging for all. Increasing the diversity of assessment methods including the creation of audio-visual material, performance, ensures that students are not disadvantaged by specific forms of assessment. Varying assessment activities will also help develop a broader range of personal and employability skills.

Additionally, providing feedback to students in alternative ways including video feedback is becoming a more common practice, and is often perceived by students as more useful and accessible.

SZEJNMANN, C. ‘Use of mini camcorders for feedback to student.’ (http://blog.lboro.ac.uk/teaching-learning/2011/03/30/use-of-mini-camcorders-for-feedback-to-students/)

Visual presentation by Chris Szejnmann, present at EMC conference, on the usefulness of visual feedback and also visual coursework.

 

McCARTHY, J. ‘Evaluating written, audio and video feedback in higher education summative assessment tasks.’ Issues in Educational Research. 25:2 (2015): 153-169. http://www.iier.org.au/iier25/mccarthy.html.

 

BRACHER, M. COLLIER, R. OTTEWILL, R. and SHEPHARD, K. ‘Accessing and engaging with video streams for educational purposes: experiences, issues and concerns.’ ALT-J, Research in Learning Technology. 13:2  (2005): 139-150. http://wwww.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/download/10990/12694.

These studies address feedback provided to students in a visual medium. In summary, video-based feedback was perceived by students as more individualised and personalised than text-based; and was also seen as easier to act upon and comprehend. Sixty-six per cent of participants preferred visual to audio or written feedback.