Visual Culture
Visual Culture, 3rd Edition

This is a book about how to read visual images: from fine art to photography, film, television, and new media. It explores how meaning is communicated by the wide variety of texts that inhabit our increasingly visual world. But rather than simply providing set meanings to individual images, Visual Culture teaches readers how to interpret visual texts with their own eyes.

The first part of the book takes readers through differing theoretical approaches to visual analysis, and includes chapters on iconology, form, art history, ideology, semiotics and hermeneutics. The second part shifts from a theoretical to a medium-based approach, connected by an underlying theme about the complex relationship between visual culture and reality. Howells and Negreiros draw together seemingly diverse approaches, while ultimately arguing for a polysemic approach to visual analysis.

The third edition of this popular book contains over fifty illustrations, for the first time in colour. Included in the revised and updated text is a new section on images of power, fear and seduction, a new section on video games as well as fresh material on taste and judgment. This timely edition also offers a concluding glossary, and additional suggestions for further reading.

Written in a clear, lively and engaging style, the third edition of Visual Culture builds on the success of the previous editions. It will continue to be an ideal introduction for students taking courses in visual culture and communications in a range of disciplines, including media and cultural studies, sociology, art and design.

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  • November 2018 (pb)
    November 2018 (hb)
  • 360 pages
  • 171 x 246 mm / 7 x 10 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $84.95
  • 9781509518777
  • Paperback $28.95
  • 9781509518784
  • Open eBook $28.95
  • 9781509518814
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface to the Third Edition


Part I: Theory

1 Iconology

2 Form

3 Art History

4 Ideology

5 Semiotics

6 Hermeneutics

Part II: Media

7 Fine Art

8 Photography

9 Film

10 Television

11 New Media






About the Author

Richard Howells is Professor of Cultural Sociology at King’s College London.

Joaquim Negreiros is a former lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at ESCS, ISCTE, and other Portuguese higher education institutions, and now teaches at CSM, Lisbon.

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