Nicholas Mirzoeff

Nicholas Mirzoeff is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University.

My work is in the field of visual culture. In recent years it has fallen into four main areas.

First, I have been working on the genealogy of visuality, a key term in the field. Far from being a postmodern theory word, it was created to describe how Napoleonic era generals “visualized” a battlefield that they could not see. Applied to the social as a whole by Thomas Carlyle, visuality was a conservative strategy to oppose all emancipations and liberations in the name of the autocratic hero. My bookThe Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality was published by Duke University Press (2011).

Second, I produce texts and projects that support the general development of visual culture as a field of study and a methodology. The third Visual Culture Reader was published in 2012 by Routledge, The second fully revised edition of An Introduction to Visual Culture was published in 2009 by Routledge, with color illustrations throughout and new sections of Keywords and Key Images.

Third, I work on militant research with the global social movements that have arisen since 2011.

Finally, I am working on a new project on the cultures of climate change in conjunction with the not-for-profit Islands First.