Meet the Chair

I am interested in how images both reflect and shape culture.

How does a single photograph of a boy washed up on the shore of Turkey inspire a global debate on the Syrian refugee crisis? How do the images that we circulate of ourselves --on Instagram and Snapchat --construct an idea of who we are? In my own research on images of black athletes, for example, I consider the ways that black athletes are represented (in both fine art and popular media)  and the racial and gendered stereotypes that these representations provoke.

In Visual Studies we help students to recognize and to critically engage with the the reality of living in a world of images. Merging “high” and “low” art forms, we study how visual content and codes migrate from one form to another.

 

Studying in the Visual Studies Program at CCA gives students an opportunity to practice interdisciplinarity. Our students move between the seminar room and the studio, and have the opportunity to learn alongside peers from a variety of disciplines at the college. In our classes, students learn from leading (and internationally recognized) experts in the field and have the opportunity to critically engage with everyday life. We offer courses about timely issues and in alternative formats. We take students out into the world to consider the larger landscape of visual culture in real time and space. In our classes you are just as likely to visit exhibitions and attend performances and film screenings as to take a tour of Whole Foods Market.

Visual Studies students do not sit by and passively absorb the world around them. They create a dialogue between studio practice and a critical framework. They engage diverse histories, perspectives, and values. Most important, they explore the connections between what we see and who we are.