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Farewell to Visual Studies

The Stone Summer Theory Institute 2011
Theme: Farewell to Visual Studies

July 17-23, 2011
Application deadline: Apr 15, 2011
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Stone Summer Theory Institute – Fellowship opportunities

James Elkins (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); Sunil Manghani (York St. John’s University); Gustav Frank (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Munich) Chicago

The Stone Summer Theory Institute is an intensive week of seminars, lectures, and panel discussions, which will be published as a series of books involving over 300 scholars. It is held each July in Chicago.
Fellows are not expected to present papers, but are asked to do up to 1,500 pages of advance readings for the seminars.

Theme 2011: Farewell to Visual Studies

Faculty include Lisa Cartwright, Keith Moxey, Whitney Davis, and Michael Ann Holly.

The field of Visual Studies, inaugurated in the 1990s, has not fulfilled its promise—which was, roughly, to provide an optimal methodological model for the study of images of all sorts, and to
create a new academic space partly inside, and partly outside, existing structures. Despite the appearance of new journals and online sites devoted to visual studies, and despite the continuously increasing number of departments worldwide, the field of visual studies remains a minority interest with an increasingly predictable set of interpretive agendas and subjects. Typically it attracts students in the humanities, who explore Marxist critiques of mass media and fine art. The growth of vision science, together with the rise of hybrid departments without the term “visual studies” or its analogues—such as the initiatives in East Anglia and Leiden, which study “world art”—may signal the end of the project of visual studies. Our purpose is to assess the relevant history, current condition, and future prospects of visual studies, image studies, visual culture, Bildvetenskap, Bildwissenschaft, and other initiatives.

Fellowship opportunities:
Lectures and panel discussions are open to the public. Most of the week, however, is occupied by closed seminars, which are attended by 15 Fellows chosen in an international competition. There are 6 hours of seminars each day, with assigned readings, circulated in advance. Places are available for fifteen Fellows; accommodation is provided, and some travel funds are also available.

Applications are invited from advanced graduate students, faculty, artists, and administrators.

Full information about applying is available on the website
The deadline is April 15, 2011; successful applicants will be notified April 20.
For programme updates see


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