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Visual Culture Research Centre

Research Centre Leader: Dr Philip A. Sykas

The Centre is concerned with a broad range of knowledge and understanding in visual culture. It carries out research into the practices, theories, histories, curating and reception of the visual and material manifestations of culture (art, architecture, advertising, graphics, photography, film, media, design, fashion and display). The Centre supports and encourages collaborative activity, especially with visual repositories: archives, collections, libraries and galleries.

Centre members examine the role played by visuality in circulating and creating meaning in the modern and 'post-modern' eras. The dynamics of visual media in contemporary and historical institutions, power systems, discourses and conflicts is at the heart of the Centre's exploration. The Centre promotes the study of visual culture at its margins and in its intersections with other disciplines, as well as at the foundations of global culture. Methodological approaches integrate empirical study with theoretical perspectives in fields as diverse as race and ethnicity, identity, the 'other', consumption, the everyday, folk culture, political ideology, post-colonialism, globalism, place, urbanism, memory, collecting and curatorship.

The Centre's work also encompasses the cataloguing, databasing and interpretation of archives and collections as research resources for the art and design community. Members are engaged in these activities with other research bodies, museums, galleries, business and cultural institutions at home and abroad.