Visual Culture and Comparative Media
The Visual Culture and Comparative Media cluster in the English Department approaches critical analysis of visual texts and media through a wide range of cross-disciplinary methods. We look at how visuality has shaped political, philosophical, and cultural texts in contemporary and historical periods. Faculty working in this field include Scott Derrick (American cinema, American popular music, culture of the sixties, sports and outdoor culture), Timothy Morton (philosophy; object-oriented ontology; ecology), Kirsten Ostherr (film, media, digital technologies; health, data, design; medicine and culture), Alexander Regier (Romanticism, language theory, literature and philosophy), Edward Snow (Vermeer, Bruegel, Charlotte Salomon, theories of the gaze, the hermeneutic of description), and Cary Wolfe (Modern and Contemporary Art).
Our curriculum ranges from comparative study of digital media forms to exploration of illustration in Romantic poetry, looking at the scientific and aesthetic dimensions of visualizations across time. Recent graduate seminars in this field include “Comparative Media Studies” (Ostherr), “Emergent Media: Networks, Technology, Culture” (Ostherr), “The Avant-Garde and Modernisms” (Roof). Graduate students in this cluster have many opportunities to present papers at conferences such as Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, and MLA. Faculty in this cluster have published research on visuality in science and medicine, the avant-garde, experimental and ephemeral media, film theory, Hollywood cinema, contemporary and cult cinema.