Visual Practices Across the University
Renowned art historian James Elkins will discuss the wide range of image interpreting practices that take place across the departments of a university: lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers, humanists, and social scientists all produce images and make arguments about them in different ways. This talk assesses the state of scholarship on links between art and science, arguing that it is possible to consider images in various fields without using tropes from the humanities or social sciences as explanatory tools—in other words, by letting the different disciplines speak in their own languages. This talk also explores the model of a university-wide course on visual experience, which would act as a corrective to the almost exclusively humanities-based perspective of existing “visual culture” courses, while also acknowledging the visual nature of much of contemporary research and experience over and against the emphasis in most curricula on words and equations.
A limited number of complimentary light dinners will be served at 6 PM to enjoy as part of the talk. Wine and refreshments will also be available as part of our paid cafe service.
James Elkins is E.C. Chadbourne Professor in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He writes on art and non-art images, and his recent books include On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art, Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction, What Happened to Art Criticism? and Master Narratives and Their Discontents. He edited two book series for Routledge: The Art Seminar (conversations on different subjects in art theory) and Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Arts (short monographs on the shape of the twentieth century). Currently, he is organizing a seven-year series called the Stone Summer Theory Institute.