Visual Literacy: An Institutional Imperative

Susan E. Metros and Kristina Woolsey

Academics have a long history of claiming and defending the superiority of verbal over visual for representing knowledge. By dismissing imagery as mere decoration, they have upheld the sanctity of print for academic discourse. However, in the last decade, digital technologies have broken down the barriers between words and pictures, and many of these same academics are now willing to acknowledge that melding text with image constructs new meaning, and some may even go so far as to admit that images, as communication devices, can stand on their own.

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