Visual Culture Research Group

VCRG is concerned to explore and analyse all forms of visuality and visual culture. In a period of 'convergence' where the boundaries between different practices are becoming increasingly permeable, VCRG provides a meeting point for the development of a wide range of inter- and cross-disciplinary research that challenges conventional ways of thinking and existing subject boundaries.

VCRG's prime purpose is to generate ideas, new knowledge and innovative critical methodologies. Members of the Group engage in a variety of partnerships and joint projects with other academics, practitioners, and public and commercial organisations, in order to explore critically cultural hierarchies, taste regimes, practices of looking and the nature of perception.

The Group’s research directly informs teaching and learning in the Department of Art and Design at all levels, from the first year ‘Introduction to Visual Culture’ through to doctoral study. The Group acts as a forum for curriculum development, the generation of ideas for symposia and lecture series, and forms of public engagement, as well as bids for external funding. In addition to organising collective events, members of the Group act as sympathetic advisers for each other’s work (research bids/book proposals etc) with the Group’s Director acting as mentor for individuals’ research and co-ordinator of the Group’s research. The Group also has a clear focus on REF 2014 (UoA 34), providing a stimulating environment where outputs can be generated, nurtured and developed.

aims to become a central focus for research within the Department of Art and Design.

  • How has ‘creativity’ and the role of the creative practitioner been understood historically and how have they changed in the transformed cultural landscape
    of post-industrial ‘disorganised’ capitalism?
  • What new demands are being made of the creative practitioner? What new skills and knowledges are required? What strategies are evolving to cope with
    these new demands
  • How do the present-day Creative Industries function, economically, socially and culturally?
  • The rapid increase in visual information increases the salience of a politics of representation, creating new spaces, opportunities and challenges for artists
    exploring ethnicity, race, religion and gender. What role do gender and ethnicity play in these broader changes?
  • Women artists are visible on the global art scene in a way that completely outstrips their position a generation ago. How this hard-won space has has
    been occupied and used creatively?
  • What new questions are emerging from black and other minority ethnic artists who explore issues of identity politics in their work?
  • Can participatory and community based practices influence and spearhead innovation within more mainstream creative industries, and approaches to creativity in general
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