Visual Culture

This event was held as a part of the American Cultures Spotlight Series on Wednesday, December 6, 2006. Co-sponsored by: Division of Arts and Humanities in the College of Letters and Sciences

In part, the subject of race is noticed and communicated through visual messages, “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak”—John Berger. We still live in a highly segregated society. Such isolation heightens the influence of visual imagery, which serves as a powerful stand-in for real-life exchanges. Thus, understanding how visual media—television, film, comic books, newspapers, radio, magazines (and their on-line companions)—produce, disrupt and locate knowledges of “American Cultures” is increasingly important. Gaining the skills of critical visual literacy will enable new modes of cultural production, political engagement, and interpersonal communication and social relations. Through these exchanges, our conversations ask how consumers are also mobilized to become producers.

In this roundtable, Berkeley scholars will address these new media and question the ways in which media knowledge of culture necessitate a certain kind of pedagogy and classroom format.

Moderated by Professor Leigh Reiford, African American Studies