International Conference on Visual Culture

The International Community of Visual Culture aims to raise questions about the information, meanings and degrees of affectivity between sender and viewer of visual images. The community interacts through an in-person conference held annually in different parts of the world, as well as through a collection of indexed and arbitrated journals, and a collection of books of academic reflection.

The members of this knowledge community include researchers, theorists, professionals and professors from different fields such as architecture, art, cognitive science, education, telecommunications, computer science, cultural studies, design, education, film studies, history, linguistics, management, marketing, media, museology, philosophy, semiotics, psychology and religious studies, amongst others.

The International Conference on Visual Culture has become a forum for dialogue about the relevance of the image – especially in contemporary societies – and its relationship with the viewer. The conference includes prominent speakers and some of the most prestigious thinkers in the world, as well as presentations, workshops and seminars given by professors, researchers and professionals from both the public and private sectors. The official languages are English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

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Scientific committee

Permanent Scientific Director

Prof. Rafael Cabrera Collazo, PhD
Inter-American University of Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico)

Rafael L. Cabrera Collazo has a PhD in History from the University of Puerto Rico. He serves as Associate Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico and holds the rank of Professor of History in this same institution.

He has been a visiting professor at universities in Cuba, Mexico, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Colombia, where he has given seminars on semiotics and visual culture – these being his areas of expertise and research. He currently participates in several academic research networks related to studies into representations of mass media.

He is a member of scientific editorial committees at universities in Spain, Colombia, Argentina a­­nd the Dominican Republic. These integrate national and international professional associations of historians and scholars of social sciences and visual culture – one being the Puerto Rican Association of Historians (of which he was a founding partner and President between 2001 and 2004) and the other, the International Society of Visual Culture, based in Madrid (where he is currently the Scientific Director on its executive committee).

He has written one book himself, entitled The drawings of progress: the caricature of Filardi and the criticism of Munocist developmentalism, 1950-1960,  and has co-authored three others. He has collaborated with others published in specialised journals and articles in arbitrated books in Mexico and Spain concerning the cultural history of cinema, and the sociability and manipulation of mass media.

Members of the scientific committee

  • Olga Kolotouchkina, Universidad CEU San Pablo, Spain.
  • Suki Kwon, University of Dayton, USA.
  • Paola Dalla Torre Libera, Università Maria Ss. Assunta, Italy.
  • Ismael López Medel, Azusa Pacific University, USA.
  • José Carlos del Ama, Central State Connecticut University, USA.
  • Manuel Pinto Teixeira, Universidade Lusófona de Lisboa, Portugal.
  • Wilma Arellano Toledo, INFOTEC-CONACYT, Mexico.
  • Sergio Ferreira do Amaral, Universidad de Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil.
  • Antonio Scontrino, Bowling Green State University, USA.
  • David Caldevilla Domínguez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
  • Alan McLane-Alejos, Independent Scholar / Film Industry Professional, USA.
  • Marcos A. Vélez Rivera, Universidad del Este, Puerto Rico, USA.
  • Ana Beriain Bañares, Universitat Abat Oliba CEU, Spain.
  • Hipólito Vivar Zurita, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
  • Ignacio Blanco Alfonso, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Spain.
  • Juan Luis Manfredi Sánchez, Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Spain.


Image and society

  • Mass media. Cultural industry
  • The society of the show.
  • The phenomenon of the ‘second screen’. Multitasking viewers.
  • Media influence and political sphere.
  • Visual sociology. Visual dimensions of social life.
  • Cultural dimensions of the image: race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality, bodies.
  • Advertising. The rhetoric of the image.
  • Propaganda: forms, psychological mechanisms and political agendas.
  • Global and local images.
  • Galleries. Museums Archaeological sites.
  • Cultural heritage.
  • Fashion. Design. Cosmetics
  • Body image. Plastic surgery. Eating disorders.
  • • The impact of social networks on male / female body image

Visual culture

  • The meaning of images.
  • Visual forms vs. visual functions.
  • Static images: photography, painting, drawing, comics, sculptures.
  • Dynamic images: cinema, TV, videos, documentaries, animations.
  • Visual rhetoric: graphics, paintings, diagrams, web pages, advertising, documentaries, newspapers, journals, photographs, news.
  • Explicit images. Hidden messages. Ways of seeing.
  • Visual learning. Visual literacy Interpret, negotiate and extract meanings from images.
  • Fine arts: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video, cinema, ceramics.
  • Applied arts: industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design, decorative art, architecture.
  • Visual communication. Semiotics.
  • Visual narrative (storytelling): channels, archetypes, emotions, commitment.
  • Transmedia narratives (transmedia storytelling).
  • Visualisation technologies.
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Conceptual maps.
  • Digitisation and visualisation of cultural objects. 2D and 3D.
  • Medical images. Images in / from science.

History and philosophy of the visual

  • History of art.
  • Philosophy of art. Esthetic.
  • The visible and the invisible.
  • Images and material culture.
  • Image technologies.
  • Analysing images.
  • Iconographic documents. Image files
  • Images and social networks. Images in the cloud. Internet.
  • Webcams. Privacy and surveillance.
  • Intellectual Property Rights. Creative Commons Reusability.
  • Authorship. Co-authorship The concept of function-author. Death of the author?
  • Elements of the image: perspectives, colors, lines, vision.
  • Visual ethics I: religious images, philosophical images and metaphors, photographic and cinematographic journalism, documentaries.
  • Visual ethics II: ethics of the visual producer, ethics of the visual receiver. Ethical codes and self-regulation.
  • New visual ecologies. New philosophies

The image industry

  • Cultural policies.
  • The film industry. Film festivals.
  • Pictorial and sculptural exhibits.
  • Auction houses. Agents and agencies.
  • Local and international trade.
  • Digital distribution platforms. Streaming
  • Self-publishing and self-promotion. Youtubers
  • Digital devices: smartphones, tablets, augmented reality.
  • Media and education. eduMedia
  • New business models and new processes.
  • Copyright and intellectual property.
  • Graphic design tools.
  • Interactive multimedia content.
  • Video games.