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A Reader

Edited by:

December 2006 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Images: A Reader provides a key resource for students, academics, practitioners and other readers engaged in the critical, theoretical and practical study of images. The Reader is concerned with the notion of the 'image' in all its theoretical, critical and practical contexts, uses and history. The Reader provides a map of the differences and similarities between the various disciplinary approaches to images, breaking the ground for a new interdisciplinary study of images, in the arts and humanities and beyond.


Images: A Reader is divided into three parts:


Historical and Philosophical Precedents sets the background for contemporary debates about images.

Theories of Images provides key texts of the major approaches through which images are conceptualised.

Image Culture introduces some of the more recent debates about images and today's visual environment.


The selection of over 80 key readings, across the domains of philosophy, art, literature, science, critical theory and cultural studies tells the story of images through intellectual history from the Bible to the present. By including both well-established writings and more recent, innovative research, the Reader outlines crucial developments in contemporary discourses about images.


Part One: Historical and Philosophical Precedents
Genesis to Locke
Man Created in God's Image
Genesis 2: 26 and 27
Graven Images
Exodus 20: 4-6
Abraham and the Idol Shop of his Father Terah
Midrash Rabbah
The Simile of the Cave
Art and Illusion
The Origins of Imitation
Thinking with Images
Iconodules and Iconoclasts in Byzantium
John of Damascus
Horos at Nicaea, 787 A.D.
Horos at Niera, 754 A.D.
Image and Idolatry
Thomas Hobbes
Evil Demon
René Descartes
Images and the Brain
René Descartes
Of Ideas
John Locke
Kant to Freud
Representation and Imagination
Immanuel Kant
Space and Time
Gotthold Lessing
Camera Obscura
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof
Karl Marx
How the Real World at Last Became a Myth
Friedrich Nietzsche
On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense
Friedrich Nietzsche
Images, Bodies and Consciousness
Henri Bergson
The Dream-Work
Sigmund Freud
Part Two: Theories of Images
Ideology Critique
Television: Multilayered Structure
Theodor Adorno
Society of the Spectacle
Guy Debord
The Precession of Simulacra
Jean Baudrillard
Image as Commodity
Fredric Jameson
'Race' and Nation
Paul Gilroy
Never Just Pictures
Susan Bordo
Art History
Studies in Iconology
Erwin Panofsky
Invention and Discovery
Ernst Gombrich
Interpretation without Representation, or, The Viewing of Las Meninas
Svetlana Alpers
Towards a Visual Critical Theory
Susan Buck-Morss
Nature of the Linguistic Sign
Ferdinand de Saussure
The Sign: Icon, Index, and Symbol
Charles Sanders Peirce
The Third Meaning
Roland Barthes
From Sub- to Suprasemiotic: The Sign as Event
Mieke Bal
The Semiotic Landscape
Gunter Kress and Theo van Leeuwen
Thing and Work
Martin Heidegger
Eye and Mind
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Jean-Paul Sartre
Mikel Dufrenne
Scientific Visualism
Don Ihde
The Gaze / Anamorphosis
Jacques Lacan
The All-Perceiving Subject
Christian Metz
Woman as Image (Man as Bearer of the Look)
Laura Mulvey
Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills
Joan Copjec
Two Kinds of Attention
Anton Ehrenzweig
Part Three: Image Culture
Images and Words
The Roots of Poetry
Ernest Fenollosa
Icon and Image
Paul Ricoeur
This is Not a Pipe
Michel Foucault
The Despotic Eye and its Shadow: Media Image in the Age of Literacy
Robert Romanyshyn
Images, Audiences, and Readings
Kevin DeLuca
Image as Thought
Pictures and Facts
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Body Images
Antonio Damasio
Involuntary Memory
Marcel Proust
The Philosophical Imaginary
Michèle Le Doeuff
Thought and Cinema: The Time-Image
Gilles Deleuze
The Dialectical Image
Walter Benjamin
Ways of Remembering
John Berger
Taking a Line for a Walk
Paul Klee
On Montage and the Filmic Fourth Dimension
Sergei Eisenstein
Electronic Tools
William J. Mitchell
Camera Lucida
David Hockney
Images Scatter into Data, Data Gather into Images
Peter Galison
Visual Culture
The Medium is the Message
Marshal McLuhan
The Image of the City
Kevin Lynch
The Image-World
Susan Sontag
The Philosopher as Andy Warhol
Arthur Danto
Symbol, Idol and Murti: Hindu God-images and the Politics of Mediation
Gregory Price Grieve
The United Colors of Diversity
Celia Lury
The Unbearable Lightness Of Sight
Meiling Cheng
Vision and Visuality
Modernising Vision
Jonathan Crary
The Im/Pulse to See
Rosalind Krauss
Lighting for Whiteness
Richard Dyer
Cultural Relativism and the Visual Turn
Martin Jay
The Modularity of Vision
Semir Zeki
Image Studies
The Family of Images
W.J.T. Mitchell
The Domain of Images
James Elkins
A Constructivist Manifesto
Barbara Stafford
Images, Not Signs
Régis Debray
What is Iconoclash? Or is there a World Beyond the Image Wars?

Fascinating read and essential to anyone interested in image analysis

Ms Louise O'Boyle
School of Art and Design, Ulster University
August 12, 2014

Excellent anthology, containing a wide range of engaging, stimulating, important essays relevant to image studies. Selection is intelligent and imaginative. Editorial texts are of adequate length and substance. Will recommend this to final-year students in cultural history as ideal introduction to ways of understanding the visual sources that they are using.

Dr Nick Baron
Dept of History, Nottingham University
January 10, 2014

I will write the review after the end of the course.

Dr Marton Demeter
Department of Social Sciences and Communication Studies/Társadalom és kommunikációtudományi Intézet, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church/Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem
December 3, 2013

very useable as a reader!

Professor Dr. Christoph Jacke
Popular Music and Media, University of Paderborn
March 6, 2012

A very good selection of key texts .
Particularly of interest the chapters "Phenomenology" , "Image as thought" & "Fabrication" as they engage with set of texts that are far more challenging than traditional literature in visual culture theory.

Dr Stella Baraklianou
School of Art, Design and Media, Portsmouth University
November 28, 2011

This reader is ideal for fine art students grappling with the complexity of the world of images. While there are other readers on the market the breath and structure of this publication gives students an invaluable and readable introduction to the key thinkers in this field. If students are to buy only one book it should be this one.

Dr Mary O'neill
Fine Art, Lincoln University
October 7, 2011

Very good selection of texts, only concern is that I wish the selections were slightly longer.

Dr Steen Christiansen
Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University
May 30, 2011

the reader, as always, good for suplemental reading. i reccomend it to my library as well

Mr Satrya Wibawa
Communications , Universitas Airlangga
April 7, 2010

Excellent selection of primary readings, edited to manageable length for undergraduates. Also the selection of authors is just about perfect for a visual culture studies class and the cross-referencing of themes providing the editors has been helpful in adapting the book to the existing course syllabus.

Professor Vince Carducci
LIBERAL ARTS DEPT, College For Creative Studies
April 5, 2010

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