Unframing the Visual: Visual Literacy Pedagogy in Academic Libraries and Information Spaces

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Visual literacy is an interconnected set of practices, habits, and values for participating in visual culture that can be developed through critical, ethical, reflective, and creative engagement with visual media. Approaches to teaching visual literacy in higher education must include a focus on context and not just content, process and not just product, impact and not just intent. Unframing is an approach to visual literacy pedagogy that acknowledges that visuals are a pervasive part of everyday life, as well as embedded into every scholarly discipline.
In four parts, Unframing the Visual: Visual Literacy Pedagogy in Academic Libraries and Information Spaces explores:

  • Participating in a Changing Visual Information Landscape
  • Perceiving Visuals as Communicating Information
  • Practicing Visual Discernment and Criticality
  • Pursuing Social Justice through Visual Practice

Twenty-four full color chapters present a range of theoretical and practical approaches to visual literacy pedagogy that illustrate, connect with, extend, and criticize concepts from the Framework for Visual Literacy in Higher Education: Companion Document to the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Topics include using TikTok to begin a conversation on academic honesty and marginalization; supporting disciplines to move to multimodal public communication assignments; critical data visualization; and exclusionary practices in visual media.
In exploring the discussions and engaging with the activities in Unframing the Visual, you will find new inspiration for how to unframe, adapt, and apply visual literacy pedagogy and praxis in your work.

“Unframing” as a Pedagogical Philosophy
Maggie Murphy

Part I: Participating in a Changing Visual Information Landscape
Introduction to Part I
Explorers of the Information Age
Katie Greer
Chapter 1
Remix Literacy and Digital Cultural Heritage Collections
Molly McGuire
Chapter 2
Bridging the In/formal: The Participation and Performance of Museums in Online Remix Cultures
Maria Arias and Arran J. Rees
Chapter 3
#FYP (For Your Paper): Using TikTok to Begin a Conversation around Academic Honesty and Marginalization
Jessica Rardin and Kristina Clement
Chapter 4
Practicing Visual Literacy through the Tools of the International Image Interoperability Framework
Rebecca Michelson and Ruth Wallach
Chapter 5
Visual Literacy Unframed: Planning an OER to Improve College-Level Visual Analysis Skills
Marty Miller
Chapter 6
Strategies for Critical Visual Literacy Instruction in Small Liberal Arts Institutions
Jesi Buell, Sarah Keen, and Debbie Krahmer

Part II: Perceiving Visuals as Communicating Information
Introduction to Part II
Navigating the Complexities of Visuals as Communication
Sara Schumacher
Chapter 7
Killing the Hidden Essay: Supporting Disciplines to Move to Multimodal Public Communication Assignments
Jacqui Bartram and Lee Fallin
Chapter 8
Critical Data Visualization in Visual Literacy
Susan E. Montgomery
Chapter 9
Aligning Visual Literacy Concepts with Nursing Curriculum Objectives to Maximize Potential
Amy Minix and Jackie Huddle
Chapter 10
Connecting the Dots: Making Sense of Sociograms
Jennilyn M. Wiley
Chapter 11
Collaborative Approaches to Teaching and Building Visual Literacies
Chris Lopez, Salma Abumeeiz, Neha Gupta, Simon Lee, Sylvia Page, Ashley Peterson, and Monique Tudon
Chapter 12
Unforeseen Consequences of Visual Literacy: Alternative Mechanisms for Creating a More Inclusive Environment
Lorin Jackson, Kelleen Maluski, and Jonathan Pringle
Part III: Practicing Visual Discernment and Criticality
Introduction to Part III
Developing a Critical Eye and Discerning Visual Mindset
Dana Statton Thompson
Chapter 13
Dodging Truths and Burning Facts: Visual Literacy and Critical Thinking in the Photography Classroom
Larissa Garcia and Jessica Labatte
Chapter 14
Content and Context in a Single Image: Multi-format Analysis of Lewis Hine Photographs at UMBC
Susan Graham and Lindsey Loeper
Chapter 15
Bridging Visual Literacies: Interdisciplinary Intersections and Disciplinary Practices in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Peggy Keeran, Jennifer Bowers, and Katherine Crowe
Chapter 16
Active Visual Inquiry through Empathy, Mindfulness, and Curiosity
Kristina A. Bush and Nicole E. Brown
Chapter 17
Teaching Visual Literacy with Artists’ Books: A Case Study
Anna Boutin-Cooper
Chapter 18
Learning on Display: Student-Curated Art History Exhibitions in the Academic Library
Catherine Girard and Rose Sliger Krause
Part IV: Pursuing Social Justice through Visual Practice
Introduction to Part IV
Pursuing Social Justice through Visual Practice
Stephanie Beene
Chapter 19
What We Aren’t Seeing: Exclusionary Practices in Visual Media
Kai Alexis Smith and Christine Malinowski
Chapter 20
Reading Between the Lines
Nicole Fox
Chapter 21
Engaging Students in the Ethics of Visual Remix and Appropriation
Alexander Watkins
Chapter 22
Display of Plenty: Addressing Food Insecurity on Campus
Adrienne Warner, Sarita Cargas, and Sarah Johnson
Chapter 23
Street Stickers as Subversive Visual Discourse
Catherine L. Tedford
Chapter 24
Using a Trauma-Informed Perspective with Archival Photography Collections
Jennifer Follen
About the Editors and Authors

Maggie Murphy

Maggie Murphy is an associate professor and art and design librarian at UNC Greensboro, where she works with students, faculty, and curators in the School of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and Departments of Interior Architecture and Media Studies. Her scholarly interests include practice-based research methods for studio artists and speculative pedagogies for creative engagement with artificial intelligence. As a practicing artist, her print and mixed-media work explore the vulnerability of existential disquietude.

Stephanie Beene

Stephanie Beene is the Art, Architecture, and Planning Librarian at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She served as a member of the ACRL Visual Literacy Task Force and is active in the Art Libraries Society of North America, the Association of Architecture School Libraries, and the International Visual Literacy Association. Before coming to UNM, she worked at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, as the Visual Resources and Arts Librarian. Her research interests include visual and information literacy frameworks as they relate to trust, lifelong learning, and the politics of identity.

Katie Greer

Katie Greer is an associate professor at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She has an MA in art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MLIS from Drexel University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in educational leadership from Oakland University. Her published research includes undergraduate information behaviors and best practices for online pedagogy and information literacy. She is currently studying the problems of conspiracy ideation and how that is affecting information professionals, and how librarians and educators can utilize pedagogical and affective strategies to help engender metaliterate and information literate learners.

Sara Schumacher

Sara Schumacher is the architecture image librarian at Texas Tech University, where she works to improve visual media resources and promote visual literacy through discipline-specific and professional applications. She holds an MA in art history from the University of Oregon (2007) and an MS in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2011). Her research interests include ethical concerns surrounding using and creating visual media, disciplinary-based visual literacy instruction, and bias within visual collections. She serves as the content editor for the Visual Resources Association Bulletin, has published articles in Journal of DocumentationJournal of Visual Literacyportal: Libraries and the Academy, and Art Documentation, and was part of the task force that authored the ACRL Framework for Visual Literacy in Higher Education.

Dana Statton Thompson

Dana Statton Thompson is a Research and Instruction Librarian at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky and Assistant Dean of Libraries. She is an Institute for Research Design in Librarianship scholar and served as a member of the ACRL Visual Literacy Task Force. She is active in the International Visual Literacy Association and the Art Libraries Society of North America. Her research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of visual literacy and news literacy, the integration of visual literacy instruction into higher education, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.