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, <i>Visual Culture</i> teaches readers how to interpret visual texts with their own eyes.

While the first part of the book takes readers through differing theoretical approaches to visual analysis, the second part shifts to a medium-based analysis, connected by an underlying theme about the complex relationship between visual culture and reality. Howells and Negreiros draw together seemingly diverse methodologies, 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 text is a new section on images of power, fear and seduction, a new segment on video games, as well as fresh material on taste and judgement. This timely edition also offers a glossary and suggestions for further reading.

Written in a clear, lively and engaging style, <i>Visual Culture</i> continues 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, and art and design.

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  • April 2019 (hb)
    February 2019 (pb)
  • 360 pages
  • 170 x 244 mm / 7 x 10 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $84.95
  • 9781509518777
  • Paperback $28.95
  • 9781509518784
  • Open eBook $23.99
  • 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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‘Updated, authoritative, and ranging from traditional to the newest media, Visual Culture remains the premier, portal-opening text.’
John R. Stilgoe, Harvard University

‘Summoning Vasari, Arnold, Baxandall, Berger and a dozen other masters of visual culture, the authors equip the text with idioms, definitions and a code of manners with which to appraise, to judge, to put in order and to relish the vast range of what we all see.’
Fred Inglis, University of Warwick

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