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Eamonn Slater and Michel Peillon

This article argues that the physical structure of the front garden and its ecosystem is determined by an ensemble of diverse social and natural processes. The essential social form is that of visuality, an abstract compositional force that provides conventions for assessing objects as well as for reshaping their surface countenance and establishing their location within the garden. Accordingly, the social processes of visuality are materially realized in the labor processes of gardening, while their consumption is mediated through the concrete process of gazing. The identified social processes include the prospect, aesthetic, and panoptic dimensions of visuality. Labor conceives and creates them, while the physical structures and the natural processes reproduce and maintain them beyond the production time attributed to gardening. But they are increasingly undermined by the natural tendency of the plant ecosystem to grow. Consequently, the essential contradiction of the front garden is how the laws and tendencies of the plant ecosystem act as a countertendency to the social forms of visuality. This article demonstrates that beneath the surface appearance, there exists complex relationships between nature and society in this space we call the front garden.

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Noa Hazan and Avital Barak

thorough review of visual archives, war albums, posters, and newspapers, both in Israel and abroad, reveals that from the nineteenth century onward, the walled-in gilded dome—whether photographed from a bird’s eye view or captured from the ground, in times

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Danai S. Mupotsa and Elina Oinas

In this themed issue we explore images that unsettle, disrupt, disqualify, and transgress the visual and affective expectations visited upon contemporary girls. The articles here suggest new ways of seeing, visualizing, and representing the girl, and of feeling and thinking about her. We begin from the recognition that girls are seduced into qualifying and passing in normative, intersecting ways that work along the various axes of sex, gender, age, corporeality, class, and race, and that we need to attend to possible disruptions of this logic. How do girls both entertain and interrupt the presumably obligatory wish to qualify? We attempt to answer this by looking at the intimate and embodied aspects of being a girl, and at the processes of estheticizing, and fetishizing the girly. We ask how the girl as subject-in-process establishes and challenges the notions of failing and passing.

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Ekaterina B. Tolmacheva

Field, and particularly ethnographic and anthropological, photography, began to develop in Russia in the 1870s. A particular surge of interest in visual documentation of culture can be traced back to an ethnographic exhibition held in Moscow in 1867

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Denis Vuka

, where the dynamic aura surrounding each of these glorious historic climaxes was further heightened by the presence of a national leader. This article addresses the visual construction of the myth of the national leader in Albanian textbooks. While some

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Alexandra Howson

This article reports on the incorporation of visual material as a tool for learning sociology and discusses a poster assignment introduced as a means of assessment in an academic context committed to innovative learning strategies and to teaching and learning enhancement. The article draws on an evaluation of using the poster assignment to assess student learning and argues that visual images can provide valid and insightful ways of 'telling about society' which challenge the reliance on text as a means of teaching and learning sociology. The article explores the context in which visual materials are used in teaching and learning sociology and their impact on and significance for assessment and learning.

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Maarten Coëgnarts and Peter Kravanja

This article examines embodied visual meaning in film, the ways that film makes use of recurring dynamic patterns of our shared bodily interactions with the world (image schemas) to communicate abstract meaning to the viewer. Following the lead of recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience, the article argues that this metaphorical transference of abstract thought by means of image schemas is possible via the activation of embodied mirroring mechanisms in the observer. This empathetic and physical encounter of the viewer with the representational content and form of the work is crucial to the understanding of abstract conceptual thought in film.

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Stephen Prince

Digital visual effects bridge art and science in ways that have expanded the expressive tools available to filmmakers. Digital imaging also has enlarged a domain for realism in cinema based on indexical and perceptual factors. Examining these factors, the article questions the visual skepticism that often surrounds discussion of visual effects in film studies. A conjunction of art and science has characterized cinema throughout its history, especially in the era of “philosophical toys” from which the medium originated. The article examines that era in light of what it suggests about digital imaging today and the aesthetic forms that it enables.

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Katalin Eszter Morgan

Since the 1990s researchers have explored the design features of instructional texts from a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective. This article draws on their work in order to formulate analytical questions. Selected examples from four South African eleventh grade history textbooks are analyzed in an attempt to understand how the application of design principles, or the lack thereof, affects the potential mediating function of the text for historical learning as a whole. The relationship between visual processing and analytical and affective thinking is introduced to the discussion. The article concludes by commenting on the sociocultural context of textbook production.

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Markus Schlecker and Kirsten W. Endres

During the Vietnam War, unprecedented numbers of dead soldiers were buried in unmarked graves and remain missing today. Starting in the mid-1990s, the services of psychics came into high demand, prompting the establishment of a state-approved Center for Research into Human Capabilities that continues to offer grave-finding assistance for the general public. This article discusses the cases of two well-known female psychics. As the case studies demonstrate, such research programs have established a niche for psychics on the perimeters of the official discursive nexus of truth, science, and visuality. They also highlight the variability of social and semantic proc esses by which different psychics are positioned in relation to recognized distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate knowledge practices and truth claims.