In Visual Worlds: Looking, Images, Visual Disciplines (Oxford University Press, 2020), James Elkins and Erna Fiorentini provide a full introduction to the visual world across all the fields that theorize it. In contrast with typical visual culture texts, their book looks beyond the arts, taking a comparative approach that considers a number of fields, including art history and theory but also epistemology, ontology, vision science, neurology, cognitive psychology, law, advertising, medicine, warfare, and more. Intended for first-year university students from diverse backgrounds, Visual Worlds presents a broad array of examples and covers a wide range of topics in short, thematic chapters which offer instructors great flexibility. By focusing on different modes of looking, the book shows students how seeing can change depending on the object that is seen and on its interpretation by an individual.
Allison Leigh is Assistant Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries.