Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture

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9780198742715: Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture

Ideal for students studying visual culture for the first time, Practices of Looking explores the ways we use and understand images. Truly interdisciplinary, this comprehensive and engaging introduction can be used in courses across a range of disciplines including media and film studies, communications, art history, and photography. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright examine the diverse range of recent approaches to visual analysis and lead students through key theories on visual culture, providing explanations of the fundamentals of these theories and presenting visual examples of how they function. Using over 175 illustrations, they examine how images--paintings, prints, photographs, film, television, video, advertisements, news images, the Internet, digital images, and images from science--gain meaning in different cultural arenas, from art and commerce to science and the law. They also consider how these images travel globally and in distinct cultures; how they are an integral and important aspect of our lives. The images are analyzed in relation to a range of cultural and representational issues (desire, power, the gaze, bodies, sexuality, ethnicity) and methodologies (semiotics, marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial theory). Central topics such as ideology, the concept of the spectator, the role of reproduction in visual culture, the mass media and the public sphere, consumer culture, and postmodernism are explained in depth.

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About the Author:


Marita Sturken is Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, teaching cultural studies, popular culture, and issues of technology and culture. She previously worked as a critic in independent film and video, and is the author of; Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic and the Politics of Remembering, University of California Press (1997) and Thelma and Louise, British Film Institute Modern Classics Series (2000). Lisa Cartwright is Associate Professor at the University of Rochester, and Director of the Susan B. Institute for Gender and Women's Studies. She is the author of Screening the Body: Tracing Medicine's Visual Culture and co-editor of The Visible Woman: Imaging Technologies, Gender and Science

Review:

This is a great book and I think it will be very useful to those teaching visual communication (and visual culture) courses. Professor Sandra Moriarty, Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado

This volume is a comprehensive and compelling introduction to the wide range body of critical thought that is now being combined under the banner of visual culture. Nick Mirzoeff, Department of Art, SUNY at Stony Brook

This strikes me as an excellent book. It is one of those rare texts that is extremely clear, introductory but not pedestrian; it flows so easily that is seems like it must have been a pleasure for the authors to write. Professor Amelia Jones, Department of Art History, University of California, Riverside

`Overall, Practices of Looking is a superb text for both beginning and advanced students in visual culture and communications related coursesThe text is both easily understood and engaging to the reader, and presented in a manner that allows for thorough absorbtion of most topics.' Joel Davies, Creighton University

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