Forceville, Charles (2011). “Practical cues for helping develop image and multimodal discourse scholarship.”

Practical cues for helping develop image and multimodal discourse scholarship.” In: Klaus Sachs-Hombach and Rainer Totzke (eds), Bilder, Sehen, Denken: ZumVerhältnis von begrifflich-philosophischen und empirisch-psychologischen Ansätzen in der bildwissenschaftlichen Forschung, 33-51. Cologne: Von Halem.

Abstract: The Bilder-Sehen-Denken conference at Chemnitz University of Technology witnessed the foundation of the Gesellschaft für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft (GIB). In this paper, I will briefly sketch where I see good opportunities for humanities scholars to contribute to the fledgling discipline. To begin with, humanities scholars have a crucial role in reflecting on the ontology of the image, on the way images help constitute or destroy power relations between (groups of) people, on the ethics of representation, and on other philosophical issues. Secondly, it is essential that humanities scholars write macro- and micro histories of images and their uses.

I will not, however, comment on these two scholarly pursuits; others are far more qualified than I am to do so. My proposals pertain to a third issue which I consider indispensable for a healthy image science: the development of ›tools‹ for analysis. I present my program in the form of six suggestions, or cues, that are based on my own experiences in the field. Clearly, six is an arbitrary number, and the list has no pretence to be exhaustive, while there is also some overlap. Furthermore, my orientation is heavily biased toward English-language scholarship – but where appropriate I will briefly refer to chapters from the state-of-the art volume edited by Sachs-Hombach (2005a) in order to help build further bridges between the two language communities. Hopefully this paper provides starting points for getting to work – or else at least food for thought.

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