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Visual Culture



Kjellaug Isaksen
Siri Skjold Lexau
Hilde Wallem Nielssen
Sigrun Åsebø
Sigrid Lien
Anne Hege Simonsen
Tonje Haugland Sørensen
Eli Kristine Økland Hausken
Marthe Tolnes Fjellestad
Christine Hansen
Tove Haugsbø
Jorunn Haakestad


Instituttt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier
Postboks 7805
5020 Bergen


Sigrid Lien

Ansvarlig enhet(er)

Institutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier


The research interest of this group is the contemporary visual culture and its historical roots. For, as argued by among others, Nicholas Mirzoeff, the emerging global society is highly visual in character. Only in 2014, a trillion photographs were produced on a worldwide basis. These photographs are, as other visuals, our way of understanding a changing world and our place in it. (Mirzoeff 2014). The research group Visual Culture is based in the art history environment at the University of Bergen. It is a closely integrated group with a long history of collaborative relations – both related to specific projects and the context of Phd-supervision. Some of the external members of the group are former Phd-students, now working with research and teaching in affiliated institutions, for example local museums and the academy of art and design. Furthermore, and in correspondence with multi-disciplinary character of the field, the group has members from a wide range of disciplines: art history, anthropology, cultural studies, museology, media and literary studies. Our field of interest encompasses a wide range of issues, among them 19th century visual culture, visual anthropology, feminist visual studies, visual activism, architecture, the multimedial and highly conceptual contemporary art scene, digital culture and museology. Photography studies seems however to be a very important common ground in our research efforts. We are continuously engaging in work concerning its theory and history, photography in 19th century as well as contemporary art, as documents, and/or in historic processes such as migration and colonialism, in museums, photo-journalism, as tools of self-presentation, etc. The research group is a meeting place for discussions concerning the the works of visuals, what people are doing with visuals, and how meaning is created through use. But we are also concerned with questions of how visuals are felt and experienced – on emotional, bodily and intellectual levels (Edwards og Bhaumik 2008) – and how images may be used as tools to think with (Edwards 2001).