The Pictorial Turn  book cover
1st Edition

The Pictorial Turn

Edited By

Neal Curtis

ISBN 9780415508742
Published December 15, 2011 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

In 1992 W. J. T. Mitchell argued for a "pictorial turn" in the humanities, registering a renewed interest in and prevalence of pictures and images in what had been understood as an age of simulation, or an increasingly extensive and diverse visual culture. However, in what is often characterized as a society of the "spectacle" we still do not know exactly what pictures or images are, what their relation to language is, how they operate on observers and the world, how their history is to be understood, and what is to be done with or about them.

In this seminal collection of essays, the first to be devoted to the "pictorial turn", theorists from across the humanities and social sciences, representing the disciplines of art history, philosophy, geography, media studies, visual studies and anthropology, are brought together with a paleontologist and practising artists to consider amongst other things the relation between pictures and images, the power of landscape, the nature of political images, the status of images in the natural sciences, the "life" of images, and the pictorial uncanny. With these topics in mind, picture theory and iconology exceed in scope the objects of visual culture conventionally understood.

This book was published as a special issue of Culture, Theory and Critique.

Table of Contents

1. “As if”: Situating the Pictorial Turn  Neal Curtis  2. Pictorial versus Iconic Turn: Two Letters  Gottfried Boehm and W. J. T. Mitchell  3. Do Pictures Really Want to Live?  Jacques Rancière  4. The Future of the Image: Rancière’s Road Not Taken  W. J. T. Mitchell  5. Obama and the Image  Susan Buck-Morss  6. Magical Nominalism: Photography and the Re-enchantment of the World  Martin Jay  7. Images, Totems, Types and Memes: Perspectives on an Iconological Mimetics  Norman MacLeod  8. The Pictorial Uncanny  Lydia H. Liu  9. Looking at Saying in W. J. T. Mitchell  Robert Morris  10. Responses to Tom Mitchell’s Enquiry into the Life of Images  Antony Gormley  11. What Do Drawings Want?  Michael Taussig  12. What Does Landscape Want? A Walk in W. J. T. Mitchell’s Holy Landscape  Larry Abramson  13. The Sea and the Land: Biopower and Visuality from Slavery to Katrina  Nicholas Mirzoeff  14. The Trip to Jerusalem  Stephen Daniels  15. Politics: An Interview with W. J. T. Mitchell  Marquard Smith

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At the time of writing this book, Neal Curtis was Director of the Centre for Critical Theory, and Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is now Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is the author of Against Autonomy: Lyotard, Judgement and Action (2001) and War and Social Theory: World, Value and Identity (2006).