Journal of visual Literacy
Gender has become a central concept in visual research and is understood as a social construct rather than an essential matter. Moreover, theorists such as Judith Butler argue that both sex and gender are socially constructed; neither sex nor gender is determined by biology. Nonetheless, both still influence all cultural practices (Butler, 1988: 519). This notion applies in particular to the realm of the visual. Gendered aspects of visual imagery reflect social constructions, such as the ideological construction of femininity and masculinity. This has been the case in visual production throughout time, and it is especially relevant to our times, as manifested in mass media and social networks, which are based on socially constructed, ideologically based images. However, as much as they mirror our norms and conventions, visual representations of gender identities may also actively lead to changing our culture in multiple practices.
In this special issue we aim to explore the role of visual literacy skills in developing critical analysis and advanced competencies that will enable us to understand how gender representations are constructed and visualized. We welcome articles that engage with the diversity and variations of readings of visual representations of gender and would like to develop an in-depth understanding and nuanced reading of the various ways in which visual literacy can promote critical viewing and critical inquiry. Moreover, we are interested in learning how such critical inquiries can be employed as a means to effect issues of gender that intersect with additional categories of identity such as race and class. Likewise, we ask how visual literacy skills may contribute to gender diversity and how they affect social power relations and activist social struggles. We wonder in what ways critical viewing, as an acquired skill, can affect our notions and conducts in relation to different subjects, and especially women, with diverse backgrounds and from various cultural, and ethnic identities.
We are interested in articles that examine the ways in which acquired visual literacy skills can contribute to gender sensitivity in society. We are interested to also extend such notions and learn how visual literacy in education can affect the discourse in classrooms, and can it equip teachers with tools by which to address subjects such as gender bias, gender stereotypes, gender discrimination or gender marginalization in educational contexts.
We welcome papers on the following topics and related themes-full length paper /short case study paper, presenting classroom practice:
– Visual literacy and gender
– The visual embodiment of gender in the media
– Critical readings of visual representations of sexual identities/identifications.
– Innovative methodologies in the analysis of visual representations or critical analysis of images of gender, race, religion, class, nationality, ethnicity, Trans*, used in relation to visual literacy skills.
– Ethical dilemmas in conducting research on visual literacy and gender representations.
– Visual literacy skills as tools for struggle against gender discrimination and oppression in the public sphere.
– Case studies of applying visual literacy skills in gender discourse in classroom practices.
– Technologies and visual literacy skills in service of gender sensitivity and in the fight against discrimination in the media.
– The role of art museums in employing gender sensitive visual literacy in the process of curating and exhibiting materials that develop a critical discourse regarding gender.