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Visual Modernities

About the Series

The sociological imagination of modernity is entangled with our senses and, primarily, with vision, yet the process of being able to see something is often extraordinarily complex. Marx’s attempt to visualise commodities, Durkheim on totems of religious life, Simmel on money and the metropolis, Elias on social taste, are all projects which attempt to see beyond the empirical and into levels of abstraction and immateriality that lie beyond the senses. Visualisation is part of the making of modernity and a response to it.

This series explores and elaborates upon our experiences of modernity. It offers ways of seeing from the margins of our world and from its exemplary sites of industry and urbanisation. Grand narratives of human history mix with micro-histories that are embedded across our globe. Using multi-disciplinary methods, it seeks to expand upon our knowledge of global and local visual cultures, whether in architecture, painting, photography, theatre, film and other cultural forms. Examining the material and the tangible as well as the immaterial and the imaginary it aims to offer the best of sociological thinking and thought: literally re-visioning our social world.

Visual Modernities welcomes new studies that have visualisation at their heart and embed new ways of perceiving our shared world and our multiple and complex experience of modernity. It seeks to publish works that are innovative, multi-disciplinary in scope and which challenge and rupture the classical social sciences with new ways of looking at method, theory and our social futures.

7 Series Titles

Per Page

The Building of a Modern Antiquity Hymns and Laments for Athens

The Building of a Modern Antiquity: Hymns and Laments for Athens

1st Edition


By Georgia Giannakopoulou
November 25, 2024

This book considers post-19th-century Athens as a unique instance of a secret side of metropolitan capitalism. With a focus on modern antiquity as the hidden element of the dialectic between the past and the present, it suggests that the sociological study of one of the great European capital ...

Art Worlding Planning Relations

Art Worlding: Planning Relations

1st Edition

By Julie Crawshaw
September 25, 2023

Tracing the associations between artists, planners and engineers with and within the materials of our environment, this book introduces the relational theory of ‘art worlding’ as a way of coming to know our organic continuity. Through a series of ‘sculptural’ ethnographies of the making and doing ...

Visualising Worlds World-Making and Social Theory

Visualising Worlds: World-Making and Social Theory

1st Edition

By Martyn Hudson
May 31, 2023

This book examines the social production of our world, of the worlds of the past and of the worlds of the future, considering the ways in which worlds are created in both actuality and imagination. Bringing together central concepts of classical sociology, including social change, transformation, ...

Social Ghosts and the Dead of World History Ghost Theory

Social Ghosts and the Dead of World History: Ghost Theory

1st Edition

By Martyn Hudson
April 07, 2023

Social Ghosts and the Dead of World History looks at the global phenomena of the dead in world history, examining the phantasms and spirits of classical social science and philosophy. From Hegel’s ‘World-Spirit’ to Max Weber’s ‘Verstehen’ and Marx’s phantasms, there is a recurring obsession with ...

Pandemics, Authoritarian Populism, and Science Fiction Medicine, Military, and Morality in American Film

Pandemics, Authoritarian Populism, and Science Fiction: Medicine, Military, and Morality in American Film

1st Edition

By Jeremiah Morelock
January 09, 2023

With a focus on I Am Legend and Day of the Dead—two series of film remakes of popular science fiction stories—this book addresses the social origins of the recent surge in authoritarian and populist social movements. Exploring the ways in which the themes of tribalism, confidence in medical science...

Art, Critical Pedagogy and Capitalism

Art, Critical Pedagogy and Capitalism

1st Edition

By Paul Alexander Stewart
August 01, 2022

This book offers a re-examination of art production in terms that understand the process of learning as the production of art itself. Drawing on the thought of Ranciere, Freire, Gramsci and Mouffe, it provides an account of the politics of art production and a theoretical understanding of hegemonic...

Visualising the Empire of Capital

Visualising the Empire of Capital

1st Edition

By Martyn Hudson
August 27, 2019

Methods of visualising modernity and capitalism have been central to classical social science. Those methods of seeing, specifically in the work of Marx, were attempts to capture visually the fragmenting edifice of capital in its death throes and were part of a project to hasten its demise - yet ...

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