Developments in medieval science that elevated sight above the other senses found religious expression in the Christian emphasis on miracles, relics, and elaborate structures. In his incisive survey of Gothic art and architecture, Roland Recht argues that this preoccupation with vision as a key to religious knowledge profoundly affected a broad range of late medieval works.
In addition to the great cathedrals of France, Recht explores key religious buildings throughout Europe to reveal how their grand designs supported this profusion of images that made visible the signs of scripture. Metalworkers, for example, fashioned intricate monstrances and reliquaries for the presentation of sacred articles, and technical advances in stained glass production allowed for more expressive renderings of holy objects. Sculptors, meanwhile, created increasingly naturalistic works and painters used multihued palettes to enhance their subjects’ lifelike qualities. Reimagining these works as a link between devotional practices in the late Middle Ages and contemporaneous theories that deemed vision the basis of empirical truth, Recht provides students and scholars with a new and powerful lens through which to view Gothic art and architecture.
One of the first maps of Mars, published by an Italian astronomer in 1877, with its pattern of canals, fueled belief in intelligent life forms on the distant red planet—a hope that continued into the 1960s. Although the Martian canals have long since been dismissed as a famous error in the history of science, K. Maria D. Lane argues that there was nothing accidental about these early interpretations. Indeed, she argues, the construction of Mars as an incomprehensibly complex and engineered world both reflected and challenged dominant geopolitical themes during a time of major cultural, intellectual, political, and economic transition in the Western world.
Geographies of Mars telescopes in on a critical period in the development of the geographical imagination, when European imperialism was at its zenith and American expansionism had begun in earnest. Astronomers working in the new observatories of the American Southwest or in the remote heights of the South American Andes were inspired, Lane finds, by their own physical surroundings and used representations of the Earth’s arid landscapes to establish credibility for their observations of Mars. With this simple shift to the geographer’s point of view, Lane deftly explains some of the most perplexing stances on Mars taken by familiar protagonists such as Percival Lowell, Alfred Russel Wallace, and Lester Frank Ward.
A highly original exploration of geography’s spatial dimensions at the beginning of the twentieth century, Geographies of Mars offers a new view of the mapping of far-off worlds.
In Knowing and Seeing, Douglas Cooper reflects on his long career as a muralist in various cities around the world, including in Pittsburgh. The essays are also personal discussing family, memories from his childhood, mentoring from his Carnegie Mellon University professors, and his collaborations. They are also instructive. Murals are not walls but provide the appearance as such and require the artist to have a different skill set that is part architect, part painter, and part builder.
Drawing from a rich corpus of art works, including sarcophagi, tomb paintings, and floor mosaics, Patrick R. Crowley investigates how something as insubstantial as a ghost could be made visible through the material grit of stone and paint. In this fresh and wide-ranging study, he uses the figure of the ghost to offer a new understanding of the status of the image in Roman art and visual culture. Tracing the shifting practices and debates in antiquity about the nature of vision and representation, Crowley shows how images of ghosts make visible structures of beholding and strategies of depiction. Yet the figure of the ghost simultaneously contributes to a broader conceptual history that accounts for how modalities of belief emerged and developed in antiquity. Neither illustrations of ancient beliefs in ghosts nor depictions of afterlife, these images show us something about the visual event of seeing itself. The Phantom Image offers essential insight into ancient art, visual culture, and the history of the image.
A new approach to a director whose contribution to cinema is often overshadowed his personal life, Polanski and Perception focuses on Roman Polanski’s interest in the nature of perception and how this is manifested in his films. The incorporation of cognitive research into film theory is becoming increasingly widespread, with novel cinematic technologies and recent developments in digital projection making a strong grasp of perceptual psychology critical to fostering cognitive engagement.
Informed by the work of neuropsychologist R. L. Gregory, this volume focuses primarily on two sets of films: the Apartment trilogyof Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Tenant; and the Investigation trilogy of Chinatown, Frantic, and The Ninth Gate. Also included are case studies of Knife in the Water, Death and the Maiden, and The Ghost.Polanski and Perception presents a highly original and engaging new look at the work of this influential filmmaker.
A Question of Seeing: Poems
Donald Finkel University of Arkansas Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3556.I48Q47 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In lines electrified with lyricism and wit, Donald Finkel carves a clearing out of the backyard brush and the intellectual brambles of existence.
Whether he writes a short lyric or a long experimental series, Finkel relies on concrete images—a breeze through grass, a cigarette in a piano player’s hand—to ground his central questions about the clash of order and chaos in our everyday lives.
He delights in naming weeds and towering trees, cars and streets. Yet, in each poem, there is a constant tension between the actual wind and the words we must use to convey the wind’s force.
Working fluently in formal lines and in free verse, he can write with equal authority of butchers or great painters, aged bookkeepers or schizophrenics, Greek gods or house cats. In this new collection, Finkel has given us the priceless keepsakes, the best gifts from the clearing his words have won.
In ancient Athenian courts of law, litigants presented their cases before juries of several hundred citizens. Their speeches effectively constituted performances that used the speakers’ appearances, gestures, tones of voice, and emotional appeals as much as their words to persuade the jury. Today, all that remains of Attic forensic speeches from the fifth and fourth centuries BCE are written texts, but, as Peter A. O’Connell convincingly demonstrates in this innovative book, a careful study of the speeches’ rhetoric of seeing can bring their performative aspect to life. Offering new interpretations of a wide range of Athenian forensic speeches, including detailed discussions of Demosthenes’ On the False Embassy, Aeschines’ Against Ktesiphon, and Lysias’ Against Andocides, O’Connell shows how litigants turned the jurors’ scrutiny to their advantage by manipulating their sense of sight. He analyzes how the litigants’ words work together with their movements and physical appearance, how they exploit the Athenian preference for visual evidence through the language of seeing and showing, and how they plant images in their jurors’ minds. These findings, which draw on ancient rhetorical theories about performance, seeing, and knowledge as well as modern legal discourse analysis, deepen our understanding of Athenian notions of visuality. They also uncover parallels among forensic, medical, sophistic, and historiographic discourses that reflect a shared concern with how listeners come to know what they have not seen.
The practice of morality and the formation of identity among an indigenous Latin American culture are framed in a pioneering ethnography of sight that attempts to reverse the trend of anthropological fieldwork and theory overshadowing one another. In this vital and richly detailed work, methodology and theory are treated as complementary partners as the author explores the dynamic Mayan customs of the Q'eqchi' people living in the cultural crossroads of Livingston, Guatemala. Here, Q'eqchi', Ladino, and Garifuna (Caribbean-coast Afro-Indians) societies interact among themselves and with others ranging from government officials to capitalists to contemporary tourists. The fieldwork explores the politics of sight and incorporates a video camera operated by multiple people—the author and the Q'eqchi' people themselves—to watch unobtrusively the traditions, rituals, and everyday actions that exemplify the long-standing moral concepts guiding the Q'eqchi' in their relationships and tribulations. Sharing the camera lens, as well as the lens of ethnographic authority, allows the author to slip into the world of the Q'eqchi' and capture their moral, social, political, economic, and spiritual constructs shaped by history, ancestry, external forces, and time itself. A comprehensive history of the Q'eqchi' illustrates how these former plantation laborers migrated to lands far from their Mayan ancestral homes to co-exist as one of several competing cultures, and what impact this had on maintaining continuity in their identities, moral codes of conduct, and perception of the changing outside world. With the innovative use of visual methods and theories, the author's reflexive, sensory-oriented ethnographic approach makes this a study that itself becomes a reflection of the complex set of social structures embodied in its subject.
Finalist for a 2018 United Kingdom National Urban Design Award • A 2017 KUOW Public Radio 2017 End-of-Year Book Choice
In order to understand and improve cities today, personal observation remains as important as ever. While big data, digital mapping, and simulated cityscapes are valuable tools for understanding urban space, using them without on-the-ground, human impressions risks creating places that do not reflect authentic local context. Seeing the Better City brings our attention back to the real world right in front of us, focusing it once more on the sights, sounds, and experiences of place in order to craft policies, plans, and regulations to shape better urban environments.
Through clear prose and vibrant photographs, Charles Wolfe shows those who experience cities how they might catalog the influences of urban form, neighborhood dynamics, public transportation, and myriad other basic city elements that impact their daily lives. He then shares insights into how they can use those observations to contribute to better planning and design decisions. Wolfe calls this the “urban diary” approach, and highlights how the perspective of the observer is key to understanding the dynamics of urban space. He concludes by offering contemporary examples and guidance on how to use carefully recorded and organized observations as a tool to create change in urban planning conversations and practice.
From city-dwellers to elected officials involved in local planning and design issues, this book is an invaluable tool for constructive, creative discourse about improving urban space.
The city is a complex object. Some researchers look at its shape, others at its people, animals, ecology, policy, infrastructures, buildings, history, art, or technical networks. Some researchers analyse processes of in- or exclusion, gentrification, or social mobility; others biological evolution, traffic flows, or spatial development. Many combine these topics or add still more topics beyond this list. Some projects cross the boundaries of research and practice and engage in action research, while others pursue knowledge for the sake of curiosity. This volume embraces this variety of perspectives and provides an essential collection of methodologies for studying the city from multiple, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary perspectives. We start by recognizing that the complexity of the urban environment cannot be understood from a single vantage point. We therefore offer multiple methodologies in order to gather and analyse data about the city, and provide ways to connect and integrate these approaches.
The contributors form a talented network of urban scholars and practitioners at the forefront of their fields. They offer hands-on methodological techniques and skills for data collection and analysis. Furthermore, they reveal honest and insightful reflections from behind the scenes. All methodologies are illustrated with examples drawn from the authors own research applying them in the city of Amsterdam. In this way, the volume also offers a rich collection of Amsterdam-based research and outcomes that may inform local urban practitioners and policy makers.
Altogether, the volume offers indispensable tools for and aims to educate a new generation of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary-minded urban scholars and practitioners.
One of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, the two-day engagement near Shiloh, Tennessee, in April 1862 left more than 23,000 casualties. Fighting alongside seasoned veterans were more than 160 newly recruited regiments and other soldiers who had yet to encounter serious action. In the phrase of the time, these men came to Shiloh to “see the elephant.”
Drawing on the letters, diaries, and other reminiscences of these raw recruits on both sides of the conflict, “Seeing the Elephant” gives a vivid and valuable primary account of the terrible struggle.
From the wide range of voices included in this volume emerges a nuanced picture of the psychology and motivations of the novice soldiers and the ways in which their attitudes toward the war were affected by their experiences at Shiloh.
The chorus of the Christian hymn “Amazing Grace” reads, “I once was lost, but now am found, / Was blind but now I see.” Composed by a minister who formerly worked as a slave trader, the song expresses his experience of divine intervention that ultimately caused him to see the error of his ways. This theme of personal awakening is a feature of countless stories throughout history, where the “lost” and the “blind” are saved from darkness and despair by suddenly seeing the light.
In Seeing the Light, Thomas DeGloma explores such accounts of personal awakening, in stories that range from the discovery of a religious truth to remembering a childhood trauma to embracing a new sexual orientation. He reveals a common social pattern: When people discover a life-changing truth, they typically ally with a new community. Individuals then use these autobiographical stories to shape their stances on highly controversial issues such as childhood abuse, war and patriotism, political ideology, human sexuality, and religion. Thus, while such stories are seemingly very personal, they also have a distinctly social nature. Tracing a wide variety of narratives through nearly three thousand years of history, Seeing the Light uncovers the common threads of such stories and reveals the crucial, little-recognized social logic of personal discovery.
Recent developments in computer technology are providing historians with new ways to see—and seek to hear, touch, or smell—traces of the past. Place-based augmented reality applications are an increasingly common feature at heritage sites and museums, allowing historians to create immersive, multifaceted learning experiences. Now that computer vision can be directed at the past, research involving thousands of images can recreate lost or destroyed objects or environments, and discern patterns in vast datasets that could not be perceived by the naked eye.
Seeing the Past with Computers is a collection of twelve thought-pieces on the current and potential uses of augmented reality and computer vision in historical research, teaching, and presentation. The experts gathered here reflect upon their experiences working with new technologies, share their ideas for best practices, and assess the implications of—and imagine future possibilities for—new methods of historical study. Among the experimental topics they explore are the use of augmented reality that empowers students to challenge the presentation of historical material in their textbooks; the application of seeing computers to unlock unusual cultural knowledge, such as the secrets of vaudevillian stage magic; hacking facial recognition technology to reveal victims of racism in a century-old Australian archive; and rebuilding the soundscape of an Iron Age village with aural augmented reality.
This volume is a valuable resource for scholars and students of history and the digital humanities more broadly. It will inspire them to apply innovative methods to open new paths for conducting and sharing their own research.
One of the youngest recipients of a MacArthur “genius” grant, Kara Walker, an African American artist, is best known for her iconic, often life-size, black-and-white silhouetted figures, arranged in unsettling scenes on gallery walls. These visually arresting narratives draw viewers into a dialogue about the dynamics of race, sexuality, and violence in both the antebellum South and contemporary culture. Walker’s work has been featured in exhibits around the world and in American museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney. At the same time, her ideologically provocative images have drawn vociferous criticism from several senior African American artists, and a number of her pieces have been pulled from exhibits amid protests against their disturbing representations. Seeing the Unspeakable provides a sustained consideration of the controversial art of Kara Walker.
Examining Walker’s striking silhouettes, evocative gouache drawings, and dynamic prints, Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw analyzes the inspiration for and reception of four of Walker’s pieces: The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven, John Brown, A Means to an End, and Cut. She offers an overview of Walker’s life and career, and contextualizes her art within the history of African American visual culture and in relation to the work of contemporary artists including Faith Ringgold, Carrie Mae Weems, and Michael Ray Charles. Shaw describes how Walker deliberately challenges viewers’ sensibilities with radically de-sentimentalized images of slavery and racial stereotypes. This book reveals a powerful artist who is questioning, rather than accepting, the ideas and strategies of social responsibility that her parents’ generation fought to establish during the civil rights era. By exploiting the racist icons of the past, Walker forces viewers to see the unspeakable aspects of America’s racist past and conflicted present.
In an era in which the internet has made pornography readily accessible, Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart offers a theological critique of pornography and retrieves from the Christian tradition an alternative visual culture. This visual culture is constituted by both the character of the images we behold and the manner in which we see. Contributors include psychologists William M. Struthers and Jill Manning, who address the neurological effects of pornography and its influences on personal, familial, and social life. Their professional analysis is complemented by the testimony of a young man in recovery from pornography addiction. In an exposition of Christian visual culture, Orthodox iconographer Randi Sider-Rose describes the spiritual discipline of icon writing, Danielle M. Peters, S.T.D., surveys the iconography and art of Marian traditions, and art historian Dianne Phillips elucidates the meaning of divine desire as evident in Catholic visual culture of the late medieval and early modern periods. Catholic theologians Ann W. Astell, Nathanial Peters, Boyd Taylor Coolman, and Nicolas Ogle discuss specific practices and dimensions of the Catholic tradition that can contribute to the cultivation of sacramental vision, and David W. Fagerberg, Kimberly Hope Belcher, Jennifer Newsome Martin, and John C. Cavadini offer reflections on sacramental imagination and the healing of vision.
Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart is a work of scholarship composed with pastoral care and concern, and it will be serviceable to both classroom teachers and pastoral ministers. A special feature of the book is an inset of seventy-two full-color plates featuring both classic and contemporary works of Christian iconography and art. The essays and images invite readers to behold in beauty the truth that we are created by the triune God not for sexual objectification but with a sacramental vocation to deification through Christ and the Holy Spirit of love.
Tongass Odyssey is a biologist’s memoir of personal experiences over the past four decades studying brown bears, deer, and mountain goats and advocating for conservation of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The largest national forest in the nation, the Tongass encompasses the most significant expanse of intact old-growth temperate rainforest remaining on Earth. Tongass Odyssey is a cautionary tale of the harm that can result when science is eclipsed by politics that are focused on short-term economic gain. Yet even as those problems put the Tongass at risk, the forest also represents a unique opportunity for conserving large, intact landscapes with all their ecological parts, including wild salmon, bears, wolves, eagles, and other wildlife. Combining elements of personal memoir, field journal, natural history, conservation essay, and philosophical reflection, Tongass Odyssey tells an engaging story about an enchanting place.
This book begins with a single premise: that Vermeer painted images not only of extraordinary beauty, but of extraordinary strangeness. To understand that strangeness, Bryan Jay Wolf turns to the history of early modernism and to ways of seeing that first developed in the seventeenth century. In a series of provocative readings, Wolf presents Vermeer in bracing new ways, arguing for the painter's immersion in—rather than withdrawal from—the intellectual concerns of his day.
The result is a Vermeer we have not seen before: a painter whose serene spaces and calm subjects incorporate within themselves, however obliquely, the world's troubles. Vermeer abandons what his predecessors had labored so carefully to achieve: legible spaces, a world of moral clarity defined by the pressure of a hand against a table, or the scatter of light across a bare wall. Instead Vermeer complicated Dutch domestic art and invented what has puzzled and captivated his admirers ever since: the odd daubs of white pigment, scattered across the plane of the canvas; patches of blurred surface, contradicting the painting's illusionism without explanation; and the querulous silence that endows his women with secrets they dare not reveal.
This beautifully illustrated book situates Vermeer in relation to his predecessors and contemporaries, and it demonstrates how powerfully he wrestled with questions of gender, class, and representation. By rethinking Vermeer's achievement in relation to the early modern world that gave him birth, Wolf takes northern Renaissance and early modern studies in new directions.