The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Traditional art historians have depended on two types of analysis when dealing with visual imagery: iconography and iconology. Burke describes and evaluates these approaches, concluding that they are insufficient. Focusing instead on the medium as message and on the social contexts and uses of images, he discusses both religious images and political ones, also looking at images in advertising and as commodities.
Ultimately, Burke's purpose is to show how iconographic and post-iconographic methods – psychoanalysis, semiotics, viewer response, deconstruction – are both useful and problematic to contemporary historians.