Eyewitnessing The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence

1st edition

Paperback (15 Dec 2019) | English

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Eyewitnessing evaluates the place and potency of images among other kinds of historical evidence. By reviewing the many varieties of images across region, period, and medium, and by looking at the pragmatic uses of images (from the Bayeux Tapestry to an engraving of a printing press or a reconstruction of a building), Peter Burke illuminates the damaging consequences of our assumption that these practical uses are reflections of specific historical meanings and influences.

Traditionally art historians have depended on two types of analysis when dealing with visual imagery: iconography and iconology. Burke describes and evaluates these approaches, concluding that they are insufficient. Focusing instead on the medium as message and on the social contexts and uses of images, he discusses both religious images and political ones, images in advertising and as commodities. Ultimately, Burke shows how iconographic as well as post-iconographic methods-the latter including psychoanalysis, semiotics, viewer response, and deconstruction-are both useful and problematic to contemporary historians.

About the Publisher

Reaktion Books

Reaktion Books

Reaktion originally focused on the fields of art, architecture and design – its first book was Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Visual Primer by Yves Abrioux. In recent years Reaktion’s list has broadened substantially, and now also encompasses animal studies, Asian art and culture, biography, cultural studies, current events, fashion, film, food history, geography, general history, music, philosophy, photography, politics, sports history and travel writing. Reaktion now produces around 80 new titles each year, and has about 600 titles in print.

Book information

ISBN: 9781789140613
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Imprint: Reaktion Books
Pub date:
Edition: 1st edition
Language: English
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 270g
Height: 130mm
Width: 198mm
Spine width: 27mm