Visual Sense : A Cultural Reader book cover
1st Edition

Visual Sense
A Cultural Reader

ISBN 9781845207410
Published November 1, 2008 by Routledge
496 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $45.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Vision is more than looking or seeing. It is integral to all human action. Visual Sense presents a series of readings which offer a range of alternatives to conventional psychological and social scientific approaches to the study of the ocular. The book highlights the multitude of ways in which vision is linked to the other senses by virtue of being embedded in complex cultural processes.Visual Sense introduces students to the analysis of a wide range of ways of experiencing sight across time and across cultures: from Renaissance Italy, Aztec Mexico and early Christian Europe, to Tibet, West Africa, Aboriginal Australia and South America, amongst others. It is arranged around broad themes of visual experience, ranging from navigating the sacred and ordering knowledge about the world to thinking creatively, socially and beyond vision into cyberspace and daydream. This unique approach allows cross-cultural and thematic connections to be made. A Guide to Further Reading allows students to expand their learning independently, and section introductions place the readings in context.Visual Sense expands the field of visual studies and explores the place of vision in the sensory world.

Table of Contents

IllustrationsAcknowledgementsQuote: Merleau-Ponty1. Introduction2. Labyrinth2.1. Section Introduction2.2. Merleau-Ponty, 'The Intertwining - Chiasm' 2.3. Alain Grosrichard, 'Labyrinthine Complexities: The Ottoman Harem as seen by Western Orientalists'2.4. Mosche Barasch, 'The Blind in the Early Christian World'2.5. Susanna Biernoff , 'Sight and Embodiment in the Middle Ages'2.6. Howard Morphy, 'The Light of Wangarr'2.7. Alan Klima, 'Corpore Obscuro: Meditation on the Dead in Thailand'2.8. Susan Stewart, 'On Longing: The Grotesque'2.9. Patrice Caldwell, 'Lifting the Veil: Shared Culture Values of Control' 2.10. Jane Gaines, 'Jacqueline Onassis and the Look-Alike.' 3. Orderings3.1.Section Introduction3.2. Lorraine Daston, 'Attention and the Values of Nature in the Enlightenment'3.3. Andrew Zimmerman, 'Scientific Seeing: Commodities, Curiosities, and Anthropological Object'3.4. F. Feliu, 'Science, Sight and the Ordering of Colonial Societies'3.5. Rachel Dwyer, 'Gossip and the Creation of Cinematic Space'3.6. Tom Gunning, 'The Films of Fritz Lang'3.7. Gulammohammed Sheikh, 'Viewer's View: Looking at Pictures'3.8. Constance Classen, 'An Andean Cosmology'3.9. Karen Strassler 'Witness of History: Student Photography and Reformasi Politics in Indonesia'3.10. Norma Field, 'The Naming of a Heroine'4. Creating4.1. Section Introduction4.2. Liam Buckley, 'Photography, Elegance and the Aesthetics of Citizenship'4.3. Isolde Standish, 'Akira Postmodernism and Resistance' 4.4. David Morgan, 'Patriotism and Nationalism: The Face of Consensus: Mid-Twentieth Century and the Image of Jesus'4.5. Paul Landau, 'The Illumination of Christ in the Kalahari' 4.6. Lois Parkinson Zamora, 'Quetzalcóatl's Mirror' 4.7. Elizabeth Edwards, 'Photography and the Sound of History'4.8. Michel Chion, 'Sound Film - Worthy of the Name'4.9. Jean-Luc Godard, 'Cinema and History: In Conversation with Youssef Ishaghpour.'4.10. Annalee Newitz, 'Madonna's Revenge" 4.11. Marla S. Stone, "A Fascist Theme Park" 5. Ruptures5.1. Section Introduction5.2. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, 'The Railway Journey - Panoramic Travel'5.3. Lynda Nead, 'The Secret of Gas'5.4. Marc Augé , 'Supermodernity: From Places to Non-Placed'5.5. Linda Nochlin, 'Camille Pissaro: The Unassuming Eye'5.6.Chantel Thomas, 'The Wicked Queen: Marie-Antoinette'5.7. Finbarr Barry Flood, 'Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan and Iconoclasm'5.8. Clare Harris, 'The Creation of a Tibetan Modernist: The Painting of Gonkar Gyantso' 5.9. Elisha Renne, 'Extraordinary Vision and Two Sides of Cloth'5.10. Eric G.Wilson, 'The Spiritual History of Ice'6. Extensions6.1. Section Introduction6.2. Tim Ingold, 'The Eye of the Storm: Visual Perception and the Weather'6.3. Robert Faris Thompson, 'Basnjom and the Witches' 6.4. Yuri Tsivian, 'The Cultural reception of Early Russian Cinema'6.5. Laura U. Marks, 'Haptic Cinema'6.6. Catherine Lupton, 'Chris Marker: Memories of the Future'6.7. Christopher Pinney, 'What Do Pictures Want Now? Rural Consumers of Images in India'6.8. Jan Eric Olsén, 'Surgical Vision and Digital Culture'6.9.Tim Hyman, 'In the Service of Ben Comun: Visions of Good and Bad Government in Siena'6.10. Gaston Bachelard, 'Intimate Immensity'Final Quote7. Selected BibliographyContributorsCopyright acknowledgements

View More



Elizabeth Edwards is Professor and Senior Research Fellow, University of the Arts London.Kaushik Bhaumik is Vice President of Osian's - Connoisseurs of Art, a leading cultural institution dedicated to building an infrastructure for the arts in India.


Visual Sense: A Cultural Reader, is an excellent addition to the Sensory Formations series and offers a comprehensive and often inspiring account of the role of vision within different cultural contexts and historical eras - Andrew Irving, Anthropos Journal