The Right to Look. A Counterhistory of Visuality

Autor/Herausgeber: 
Nicholas Mirzoeff

The Right to Look. A Counterhistory of Visuality

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Kurzbeschreibung: 

In "The Right to Look", Nicholas Mirzoeff develops a comparative decolonial framework for visual culture studies. 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. Mirzoeff identifies three "complexes of visuality"—plantation slavery, imperialism, and the present-day military-industrial complex—and explains how, within each, power is made to seem self-evident through techniques of classification, separation, and aestheticization. At the same time, he shows how each complex of visuality has been countered—by the enslaved, the colonized, and opponents of war, all of whom assert autonomy from authority by claiming the right to look. Mirzoeff's study encompasses the Caribbean plantation and the Haitian revolution, anticolonialism in the South Pacific, antifascism in Italy and Algeria, and the contemporary global counterinsurgency, spanning geographic, temporal, and conceptual contexts.

Visit Mirzoeff's blog on contemporary politics and the Right to Look: http://nicholasmirzoeff.com/RTL/

Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. He is the author and editor of numerous books on Visual Culture, including "An Introduction to Visual Culture" and "The Visual Culture Reader".

Autor/Herausgeber: 
Nicholas Mirzoeff

The Right to Look. A Counterhistory of Visuality

Duke University Press, 2011, 978-0-8223-4918-1