This Reader brings together, for the first time, key writings about the nineteenth century, a key period in contemporary discussion of visual culture.
Exploring such topics as photographs, exhibitions and advertising the editors suggest that 'modernity' rather than 'modernism' is a valuable way of understanding the changes particular to the visual culture of the time, and they investigate a variety of nineteenth-century images, technologies and visual experiences.
With three specially-written essays about definitions of visual culture as an object of study, the book examines genealogies and introduces key writings about culture from writers living in the nineteenth century itself or from those who scrutinized its visual culture from early in the twentieth century such as Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer.
The Nineteenth Century Visual Culture Reader is organized around key themes:
* technologies of vision
* practices of display and the circulation of images
* cities and the built environment
* visual representations of the past#
* visual representations of catagories of racial, sexual and social differences
* spatial configurations of inside and out, private and public.
Selections include well-known authors and new research by younger scholars to produce a well-balanced and comprehensive collection.