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Visual Pedagogy in Cold War America: Berenice Abbott, Will Burtin, and the International Visual Literacy Association

O'Reilly, Colleen (2018) Visual Pedagogy in Cold War America: Berenice Abbott, Will Burtin, and the International Visual Literacy Association. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation explores a Cold War moment in which artists, intellectuals, educators, and businessmen urgently argued that modern life was being newly defined by constant interaction with visual media. Many responded to the increased presence of photography, film, and TV in all sectors of society by proposing that an ability to skillfully consume and produce images was essential to participating as a free-thinking citizen in a modern liberal democracy. This notion was based on the assumption of deep connections between photography and human cognition and profoundly shaped education targeted at American youth and the general public in the period from the 1950s through the 1970s. Photographer Berenice Abbott, graphic designer Will Burtin, and the International Visual Literacy Association all engaged in practices of visual pedagogy that aligned the use of photography and other visual media with individual subjectivity, freedom of thought, and democratic access to knowledge. This dissertation connects these practices to show the role that visual pedagogy played in the articulation of American citizenship in the context of the Cold War.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
O'Reilly, Colleencwo8@pitt.educwo80000-0001-6295-4078
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairEllenbogen, Joshjmellenb@gmail.comjme23
Committee MemberSavage, Kirkksa@pitt.eduksa
Committee MemberArmstrong, Christopher Drewcda68@pitt.educda68
Committee MemberLangmead, Alisonadlangmead@pitt.eduadlangmead
Committee MemberMalin, Brentbmalin@pitt.edubmalin
Date: 27 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 June 2018
Approval Date: 27 September 2018
Submission Date: 9 August 2018
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 195
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual Media, United States, Exhibition Design, Photography, Scientific Representation, Education
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2018 20:07
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2023 05:15


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