Photo credit: Domenico Aronica
W.J.T. Mitchell is editor of the interdisciplinary journal Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. A scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature, Mitchell is associated with the emergent fields of visual culture and iconology (the study of images across the media). He is known especially for his work on the relations of visual and verbal representations in the context of social and political issues. Under his editorship, Critical Inquiry has published special issues on public art, psychoanalysis, pluralism, feminism, the sociology of literature, canons, race and identity, narrative, the politics of interpretation, and postcolonial theory.
Mitchell has received numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Morey Prize in art history given by the College Art Association of America. His publications include The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon (1998); What Do Pictures Want? Essays on the Lives and Loves of Images (1997); Picture Theory (1994); Art and the Public Sphere (1994); Landscape and Power (1992); Critical Terms for Media Studies, ed. with Mark Hansen (Chicago: 2010); and Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9–11 to the Present (Chicago: 2011). In 2010, Mitchell spoke about race, media, and visual culture while delivering the W.E.B. Du Bois Lectures at Harvard University. The lectures were published by Harvard University Press in 2012.
Mitchell co-taught a full-length CDI Mellon seminar, “Spectacle and Surveillance,” at Columbia University and at the University of Chicago in the spring of 2015.
View W.J.T. Mitchell's lecture "What Do Pictures Want?" and learn more about his work.