A large book project on the visual world in art, science, and visual theory.

Our emblem for the book is this fireball, recorded by an automatic camera in the Czech Republic. Despite the many automatic cameras positioned around the world, and the fact that fireballs are relatively common, few cameras capture these events.

There isn't any way to capture the very wide variety of images we intend to use in the book, so this is a random companion to the fireball. It's an example of scientific visualization: an image of a cell, processed using NIHImage, a program widely used in biology. There are many more examples of images linked to the Table of Contents (below). 


Visual Worlds

Co-authored with Erna Fiorentini

Visual Worlds is a large textbook on the visual world. It's co-authored with the historian of art and science Erna Fiorentini, and it was published (after nearly six long years of work!) by Oxford University Press in 2020. It's a full-on North American style textbook, with marginal cross-references, an extensive glossary, and online material available for teachers (including quizzes).

We're hoping it will compete with existing introductory textbooks on art, but it also has images from biology, medicine, physics, and engineering; the idea is to integrate theories of vision from the arts, humanities, and sciences.

It is the first major, synthetic survey that no longer focuses on fine art (as in art history), popular culture (as in visual studies), or particular socio-economic contexts (as in anthropology and postcolonial theory), but addresses the sum total of writing on the subject of vision, visuality, and visual practices, in art, area studies, political theory, neurology, cognitive psychology, and other fields.

We hope Visual Worlds will be a primer for informed conversations on the visual across all the disciplines of the university.