The University of Chicago News Office
February 17, 1995 Press Contact: Josh Schonwald
(773) 702-6421

Art Historian to look at future of Information Technology

Internationally-renowned art and media theorist Barbara Stafford, Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, will give a presentation on “The New Imagist, Visual Expertise in a Transdisciplinary Multimedia Society” at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Stafford will argue that while there is a growing awareness that the communications revolution is changing how we learn, little attention has been paid to the complex and sophisticated perceptual expertise this computer-driven shift requires from both specialists and general audiences. Stafford uses the phrase “imagist” to describe the new professional who will guide us imaginatively into, along and through the electronic information highway. Her presentation will explore some of the major roles the future imagist must play, the historical context of contemporary visualization issues, and the need for an interdisciplinary field of study to deal with contemporary issues of imaging.

Stafford has explored some of these issues in her recent books “Artful Science: Enlightenment Entertainment and the Eclipse of Visual Education" (1994) and “Body Criticism: Imaging the Unseen in Enlightenment Art and Medicine” (1991).

In 1992, Stafford was co-organizer with Chicago’s Robert Beck of “Imaging the Body: Art and Science in Modern Culture,” a ground-breaking international symposium on the medical, social and aesthetic implications of “visualizing" the human body through such biomedical imaging techniques as MRIs and CT scans.

Currently, Stafford is president-elect of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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