The purpose of the Section Visual Cultures is to foster our shared interests in visual cultures. It is part of ECREA, the European Communication Research and Education Association.

Today the scientific world at large is witnessing increased interest in the visual field (the boost of university programmes in visual cultures and studies are an evident sign of this). Thanks in particular to the merging of the visual with the digital, images are today truly ubiquitous. A kind of ‘visual hypertrophy’ permeates the everyday life of many of us today. Yet, we should not take the meaning, nor the geopolitics of this hypertrophy for granted. While acknowledging that the visual is much more than a form of ‘thin description’, (as Hastrup provocatively suggested in 1992,) we need today to rethink the grounds on which we address visual cultures. Our Section is s space for collecting such reflections and for addressing questions of theory as well as of practice and methodology in the terrain of contemporary visual cultures.

The main work of the section consists of:

1. providing a recurring forum for research on visual culture and material practices

2. to encourage and develop theoretical and empirical work in the field, and

3. to publish and communicate work to academic and non-academic audiences.

This work includes enabling collaboration at various levels, and encouraging PhD students and junior researchers to work in this field. The ECREA Section Visual Cultures aims to collaborate broadly with researchers in the field, working in areas such as Media and Communication Studies, Visual Culture, Bildwissenschaft, Media Anthropology, Material Culture Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. Cooperation with other networks is envisaged, in the form of joint seminars, round-table discussions and conferences.