Nicholas Mirzoeff


The Right to Look: A Counter History of Visuality

The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality
Duke University Press, 2011.
ISBN: 978-0822348955
408 pp, 75 illustrations

In The Right to Look, Nicholas Mirzoeff develops a comparative decolonial framework for visual culture studies, the field that he helped to create and shape. Casting modernity as an ongoing contest between visuality and countervisuality, or “the right to look,” he explains how visuality sutures authority to power and renders the association natural. An early-nineteenth-century concept, meaning the visualization of history, visuality has been central to the legitimization of Western hegemony.

Introduction to Visual Culture, Second Edition

An Introduction to Visual Culture, Second edition
Routledge, 2009.
ISBN: 041532758X
321 pp, 100 color illustrations

An Introduction to Visual Culture provides a wide-ranging introduction to the now established interdisciplinary field of visual culture. Mapping a global history and theory of visual culture, An Introduction to Visual Culture asks how and why visual media have become so central to everyday life. This new, completely updated second edition has been adapted to match the challenges of interpreting globalization since the publication of the first edition a decade ago.

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British Film Institute Publishing, 2008

This book explores Seinfeld's obsession with the rules in the key areas of comedy itself, dating and relationships and Jewishness and how to be a New Yorker, wherever you happen to live and situates Seinfeld as an expression of Clinton-era America, from its consistently ironic take on social life and its fixation on how to describe it, to the changing culture of sexuality and ethnicity.

Book Cover Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On
with Guoqiang Cai, Friedhelm Hutte, Dan Cameron
Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH & Co KG, 2007
ISBN: 3775718621

The artist Cai Guo-Qiang conceived the works that appear in this book-within-a-book for the Deutsche Guggenheim. This project reflects both his own heritage and Berlin's, combining symbols of the Middle Kingdom with Western elements--notably gunpowder and fireworks
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Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture
Routledge, 2005
ISBN: 0415343100

This book examines the experience of watching the war against Iraq on television, on the Internet, in print media and in cinema. Looking at the endless stream of images from Iraq requires a new form of visual thinking that highlights the intersection of local and global while recognizing the way in which the war turned images themselves into weapons.

Translated into Italian as Guardare la Guerra (Rome: Meltemi, 2005)

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The Visual Culture Reader
Routledge, second edition, 2002
ISBN: 0415252229

The Reader brings together key writings on visual culture, covering a wealth of visual forms including photography, painting, sculpture, fashion, advertising, virtual reality, and other electronic imaging systems.

Also translated into Italian, Chinese and Spanish.

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An Introduction to Visual Culture
Routledge, 2000
ISBN: 0415158761

This book begins by defining what visual culture is, and explores how and why visual media--fine art, cinema, the Internet, advertising, performance, photography, television--have become so central to contemporary everyday life.

Second full revised edition (forthcoming, 2009).

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Diaspora and Visual Culture: Representing Africans and Jews
Routledge, 1999
ISBN-10: 0415166705

Diaspora and Visual Culture marks the increasing importance of diaspora as a means of understanding the new modes of postnational identity. In examining the visual culture of the "classic" African and Jewish diasporas, contributors address different aspects of the multiple viewpoints inherent in diasporic cultures.

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Bodyscape: Art, Modernity and the Ideal Figure
Routledge, 1995
ISBN: 0415098017

Western art has long sought to visualize the perfect body. Whether composed from fragments or derived from a single model, this ideal, straight, white body is now in crisis. This book traces the roots of our current obsession with body images from revolutionary France to contemporary New York and argues that the representation of the body has always shaped, and been shaped by, crises of political and cultural identity.

Book cover Silent Poetry: Deafness, Sign, and Visual Culture in Modern France
Princeton University Press, 1995
ISBN: 0691037892

This text explores the dynamic interaction between art and the sign language of the Deaf in France from the "philosophes" to the introduction of the sound motion picture.

Refereed and Journal Articles

“Nomadic Entities: Space, Race and the Levittown Complex,”
7: 1
(forthcoming, 2010).

The Sea and the Land: Biopower and Visuality from Slavery to Katrina,” Culture, Theory and Society, vol. 50, no. 2, 2009: 289-30.

War is Culture: Global Counterinsurgency, Visuality, and the Petraeus Doctrine,” PMLA , special issue “War,” edited by Diana Taylor and Srinivas Avaramudan. vol. 124, no. 5, 2009: 1737-1746.

“Response to War Questionnaire,” October, issue 123 (Spring, 2008): 123-125.

Invisible Empire: Abu Ghraib and Embodied Spectacle,” Visual Arts Research, vol. 32, no. 2 (Issue 63), 2006: 38-42.

“Disorientalism: Minority and Visuality in Imperial London,” TDR 51 (Summer 2006), 52-69.

On Visuality,” The Journal of Visual Culture 2006, vol. 5 no 1, 53-79.

“Invisible Empire: Embodied Spectacle and Abu Ghraib,” Radical History Review 95 (Spring 2006), 21-44

Invisible Again: Representations of the Genocide in Rwanda,” African Arts , vol. XXXVIII no. 5 (Autumn 2005), 36-39, 86-91, 96.

“Invisible Empire: The Spectacle at Abu Ghraib,” Takahe (New Zealand) 56: 33-39.

Newspapers,” Art Journal (Summer 2003), 22-24.

“The Empire of Camps,” Afterimage (Sep/Oct 2002), 13-14. Translated into Polish 2004.

Ghostwriting: Working Out Visual Culture,” The Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 1 no. 2, (2002): 239-54.

“Intervisuality,” Exploding Aesthetics, Lier en Boog, Series of Philosophy of Art and Art Theory, vol. 16 (Amsterdam, 2002): 124-133.

Revolution, Representation, Equality: Gender, Genre and Emulation in the Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture, 1785-1793,” Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 31 no. 2 (1997-98): 153-74.

“Photography at the Heart of Darkness: Herbert Lang's Photographs of the Congo (1909-1915),” in African Reflections, special number of the Elvehjem Museum Bulletin, ed. Henry J. Drewal (Spring 1996): 27-41.
Reprinted in Tim Barringer and Tom Flynn, Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture and the Museum (Routledge, 1998), pp. 167-87.

“Seducing Our Eyes: Gender, Jurisprudence and Visuality in Watteau,” Eighteenth Century Theory and Interpretation Vol. 35 no 2 (1994): 135-154.

Body Talk: Deafness, Sign and Visual Language in the Ancien Régime,” Eighteenth Century Studies Vol. 25 no 4 (Summer 1992): 561-586.

“The Silent Mind: Learning from Deafness,” History Today, Vol. 42 (July 1992): 19-25.

Chapters in Books of Essays

“Striking: The Right to Strike/The Striking Image/Striking the Right,” in Jonathan Harris (ed.), Identity Theft: The Cultural Colonization of Contemporary Art (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press+Tate Liverpool, 2008), 197-220.

“Empire der Lager,” in Linda Hentschel (ed.), Bilderpolitik in Zeiten von Krieg und Terror: Medien, Macht und Geschlechterverhältnisse (Berlin: Verlag, 2008), 303-23.

“Von Bildern und Helden: Sichtbarkeit im Kreig der Bilder,” in Lydia Haustein, Bernd M. Scherer and Martin Hager (eds.), Feinbilder: Ideologien und visuelle Strategien der Kulturen (Berlin: Wallstein Verlag, 2007), 135-156.

“‘That’s All Folks’: Contemporary Art and Popular Culture,” in Amelia Jones (ed.), A Companion to Contemporary Art Since 1945 (Oxford and Malden Ma.: Blackwell, 2006), 493-511.

“Network Subjects: or, The Ghost is the Message,” in Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (ed.), New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (New York: Routledge, 2005), 355-346

“The visual culture machine: or, Deterritorializing Mickey Mouse,” foreword to Amanda du Preez and Jeanne van Eeden (eds.), South African Visual Culture (Pretoria, South Africa: Van Schaik, 2005), v-vii.

“Libertad y Cultura Visual: Plantando cara a la globalización,” in José Luis Brea (ed.), Estudios Visuales: La espistemología de la visualidad en la era de la globalización (Madrid: Ediciones Akal, 2005),  161-173.

 “Aboriginality: Gesture, Performance and Colonial Encounter,” in Migrating Images, Peter Seel (ed.) [Berlin: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2004).
Contributor to Maurice Berger (ed.), Postmodernism: A Virtual Discussion (New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2003).

The Empire of Camps,” in Feride Cicekoglu (ed.), 9-11 Istanbul-New York (Istanbul: Homer Kitabevi, 2003), 68-83.

“Teletubbies: Infant Cyborg Desire and the Fear of Global Visual Culture,”
in Lisa Parks and Shanti Kumar (eds.), Planet TV (New York: New York University Press, 2002), 439-454.

“Ghostwriting: Working Out Visual Culture,” in Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey (eds.),  Art History, Aesthetics and Visual Studies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002)

“Paper, Picture, Sign: Conversations between the Deaf, the Hard-of-Hearing and others,” in Helen Deutsch and Felicity Nussbaum (eds.), “Defect”: Engendering the Modern Body (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000), pp.75-92.

“Blindness and Art,” in Lennard J. Davis (ed.), The Disability Studies Reader (Routledge, 1997), pp. 182-200.

"Framed: The Deaf in the Harem," in Jennifer Terry and Jacqueline Urla (eds.), Deviant Bodies (Indiana University Press, 1995), pp. 49-77

"Signs and Citizens: Sign Language and Visual Sign in the French Revolution," in John Brewer and Ann Bermingham (eds.), The Consumption of Culture in Early Modern Europe (Routledge, 1995), pp.272-93.

"Manet: The Respectable Rebel," in Bruce Bernard (ed.), The Impressionist Revolution (New York: Orbis, 1986), p. 21-29.

Catalogue Essays

“On Visuality and Image Wars,” in Shaheen Merali (ed.), Everywhere Is War (and Rumours of War) (Mumbai: Bodhi Art, 2008), n.p.

“Watching Babylon Again,” catalogue for J & K Collective “Babylon Diorama” at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin (Berlin: Pergamon Museum, 2008), n.p.

“Hitting the Wall,” catalogue for Cai Guo-Qiang “Head On” at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (Frankfurt: Deutsche Bank, 2006), 57-66 (also translated into German as “Mauern und Wölfe”).

“Atlantic Postcards” in catalogue for “Crossing the Atlantic: Uneasy Spaces,” 80 Washington Square East Gallery, New York, 2006, 15-20.

“Agent Orange: Fashion, the Body and the Contemporary,” in Peter Carelli and Lena Wilhelmsson (eds.), In Fashion: New Swedish Clothing Design (Helsingborg, Sweden: Redaktorer Editions, 2005), 280-84.

“Anarchy in the Ruins: Dreaming the Experimental University,” in Nato Thompson and Greg Sholette (eds.), The Interventionists (Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 2004).

“The Shadow and the Substance: Photography and Indexicality in American Photography,” in Coco Fusco and Brian Wallis (eds.), Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, International Center for Photography, (New York: Abrams, 2003).

“The Haunted House: Visuality and Global Culture,” in Arquitecturanimation (Barcelona, 2002), 1-54 (with Spanish translation).

“Inside/Out: Jewishness Imagines Emancipation,” in Susan Tumarkin Goodman (ed.), The Emergence of Jewish Artists in Nineteenth Century Europe,  (New York: The Jewish Museum, New York City/Merell, 2001), 41-47.

“Eye Glasses,” catalogue essay for Ken Aptekar, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY, 2001

Catalogue essay for Elahe Massumi, Iranian Photography, Paris, 2001

“Intersections,” essay for Joseph Grigely: Body Signs, exhibit at W.P.A., Washington DC, Sep-Dec 1993, pp.1-5.

Commissions as editor of series: In·sight: Routledge Visual Culture

Ray Guins (ed.), The Object and Visual Culture (2009)

Vanessa Schwartz and Jeannene Pryzyblyski (eds.) The Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture Reader, 2004)

Amelia Jones (ed.), Feminism and Visual Culture (2003), 475pp