VISION
 

The work of Lewis Mumford, Marshall McLuhan, and Walter Ong has shown how the rise of the printing press, the advent of instruments that empower the eye, and the development of visualist perspective contributed to the hegemony of the eye in modern-day western culture. Similarly, the work of Foucault has explored the development of sight – the ‘gaze’ - as a technique of social control in modernity. Whilst admiring these works, the historian Mark Smith suggests that they privilege the eye to the exclusion of other ways of perceiving the social world, and he is keen to rescue historical research from the Enlightenment conceit with visuality which he claims is responsible for a misleading, partial and distorted ‘view’ of culture and society.