“The Right to Look demonstrates how visual culture scholarship can enrich critical and historical understanding of very tangible realities. Mirzoeff’s text successfully argues the magnitude of this project. It is a breathless and staggeringly detailed book, which overwhelms so as to inspire in all of us the right to look. The plea is imminent; the duty appointed.” — Sara Blaylock, Invisible Culture
“The Right to Look offers the fledgling discipline, and the thriving interdiscipline [of visual studies], a historical narrative against which it must now measure its claims to grasp the present. It marks a coming of age that has brought cultural studies past the variability and the enchantments of its postmodern moment. It highlights the need for responsibility toward actual pasts, and toward the actual demands of contemporary realities. These are significant achievements.” — Terry Smith, Public Books
“[V]isual studies will no longer be the same before and after this book. . . . Mirzoeff's work does it all: offering new perspectives, blurring the boundaries between disciplines, disclosing what had been hidden, and shooting trouble.” — Jan Baetens, Leonardo Reviews
“This volume advances and enhances Mirzoeff's reputation as one of the intellectual leaders of visual culture studies. Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.” — C. J. Lamb, Choice,
“[T]his monograph functions as an important historiographical intervention, revealing how the field of the visual has been constituted as modernity’s central epistemic field. Providing detailed historical analysis, this book is a valuable and important addition to the emergent field of visual cultural studies as well as to visual anthropologists seeking to understand and teach how the visual methods they deploy or theorize are circumscribed within a larger historical context of the visual.” — Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan, Visual Anthropology Review
“The Right to Look is a brilliant book—original, ambitious, and constantly surprising. Nicholas Mirzoeff is at the center of the most advanced thinking in visual culture studies, and The Right to Look is a very important project within the field. It is a genuinely postcolonial text that places visual culture studies on broad historical and political footing for the first time.” — Terry Smith, co-editor of Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity
“Nicholas Mirzoeff’s The Right to Look is a passionate and magisterial intervention in the field of visual culture studies. Emphatically arguing that the human visual experience, with all its technical prostheses and metaphorical extensions, is a fundamentally ethical and political domain, Mirzoeff ranges over amazingly varied historical and geographical terrain. From the administration of the colonial plantation to missionary and military adventurism, to drone attacks and counterinsurgency flowcharts, to the latest tactics of spectacle and surveillance, everything is analyzed with a sure sense of the crucial detail and the revelatory anecdote. This is a brilliant contribution to visual culture studies, one that sets a very high standard for this emergent discipline.” — W. J. T. Mitchell, author of Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present and What Do Pictures Want?