Theory and Practice
Routledge – 2013 – 274 pages
Image Studies offers an engaging introduction to visual and image studies.
In order to better understand images and visual culture the book seeks to bridge between theory and practice; asking the reader to think critically about images and image practices, but also simultaneously to make images and engage with image-makers and image-making processes. Looking across a range of domains and disciplines, we find the image is never a single, static thing. Rather, the image can be a concept, an object, a picture, or medium – and all these things combined. At the heart of this book is the idea of an ‘ecology of images’, through which we can examine the full ‘life’ of an image – to understand how an image resonates within a complex set of contexts, processes and uses.
A wide range of illustrations complement the text throughout and each chapter includes creative tasks, keywords (linked to an online resource), summaries and suggested further reading. In addition, each of the main chapters include selected readings by notable authors across a range of subject areas, including: Art History, Business, Cognitive Science, Communication Studies, Infographics, Neuroscience, Photography, Physics, Science Studies, Social Semiotics, Statistics, and Visual Culture.
'Image Studies provides a clear and challenging account of the crucial issues relating to the study of images. The book brings together approaches from a range of related fields, from art history, sociology, media studies and communications, and uses a variety of examples and practical tasks in what adds up to an invaluable teaching and study tool for students and academics alike.' - Richard Rushton, Lancaster University, UK
‘Sunil Manghani’s engaging new study offers a balanced and well-reasoned account of current theoretical debates and insights with regard to images in their multitude of forms, and also contains concise but authoritative analyses of some key domains of visual culture, like drawing and painting, photography, info-graphics and scientific imaging. Challenging the unproductive divide between theory and practice Image Studies convincingly fosters the idea that actively engaging in image making processes will contribute to improving both scholarly and societal uses of visual representations. This text deserves a broad interdisciplinary readership.’ –Luc Pauwels, University of Antwerp, Belgium
‘This lively and literate book effectively situates image studies "in the making" — that is, not only as an ongoing intellectual, cultural, and critical inquiry in a variety of disciplines (from art history to zoology) but also as a productive social activity in which the reader is asked to engage by way of concrete exercises. In succinct and thoughtful introductions to difficult concepts (such as iconicity, remediation, visuality, and "inner vision") and the work of key writers (such as Barthes and Berger), Manghani shows that an "ecology of images" can be both analytical and critical without sacrificing the precision required to deal with images in different domains and media. At every turn, he supplies illuminating examples from past and present, extensive extracts from influential texts, and enticing projects for further investigation, all of which help to ground the wide-ranging theoretical perspectives.’ – Whitney Davis, University of California at Berkeley, USA
'Summarizing the current status of the field of image analysis and suggesting emerging possibilities for research, Manghani revisits notions of theory and practice, thinking and making, hand and brain, and thereby challenges students to address this divide as one of the critical tasks of our time.' – Anne-Marie Oliver, The Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Ford Institute for Visual Education
Introduction: Image-Makers PART 1: Image Critique 1. Beyond Semiotics Supplement 1: Just what is it that makes images so different? 2. Understanding Images Supplement 2: Image Research 3. Image and Text Supplement 3: Writing with Images PART 2: Image Practices 4. Drawing and Painting 5. Photography 6. Visual Culture 7. Scientific Imaging 8. Image and Information Afterword: Image Studies in the Making…
Sunil Manghani is Reader in Critical and Cultural Theory at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK. He is author of Image Critique (2008) and co-editor of Images: A Reader (2006), an anthology of writings on the image from Plato to the present.