Farewell to Visual Studies

Edited by James Elkins, Gustav Frank, Sunil Manghani

Hardback - £59.95

Publication date:

15 October 2015

Length of book:

288 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271070773

Each of the five volumes in the Stone Art Theory Institutes series brings together a range of scholars who are not always directly familiar with one another’s work. The outcome of each of these convergences is an extensive and “unpredictable conversation” on knotty and provocative issues about art.

This fifth and final volume in the series focuses on the identity, nature, and future of visual studies, discussing critical questions about its history, objects, and methods. The contributors question the canon of literature of visual studies and the place of visual studies with relation to theories of vision, visuality, epistemology, politics, and art history, giving voice to a variety of inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives. Rather than dismissing visual studies, as its provocative title might suggest, this volume aims to engage a critical discussion of the state of visual studies today, how it might move forward, and what it might leave behind to evolve in productive ways.

The contributors are Emmanuel Alloa, Nell Andrew, Linda Báez Rubí, Martin A. Berger, Hans Dam Christensen, Isabelle Decobecq, Bernhard J. Dotzler, Johanna Drucker, James Elkins, Michele Emmer, Yolaine Escande, Gustav Frank, Theodore Gracyk, Asbjørn Grønstad, Stephan Günzel, Charles W. Haxthausen, Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro, Tom Holert, Kıvanç Kılınç, Charlotte Klonk, Tirza True Latimer, Mark Linder, Sunil Manghani, Anna Notaro, Julia Orell, Mark Reinhardt, Vanessa R. Schwartz, Bernd Stiegler, Øyvind Vågnes, Sjoukje van der Meulen, Terri Weissman, Lisa Zaher, and Marta Zarzycka.

Farewell to Visual Studies is astonishing and impressive. It opens the field to self-critical questions about its history, objects, and methods (in contrast to art history and German Bildwissenschaft). The statements of the editors at the beginning, the open-minded and self-critical discussion among the participants in the Chicago Seminars, and the contributions of the experts at the end deliver a deep impression of how such a self-assessment may lead to new shores.”

—Martina Sauer, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Semiotik (DGS)