There is a long tradition in science and technology (S&T) and in humanities to map and categorize such as sex, age, ethnicity and class. The categories are bases for research in medicine, social science, design, visual cultural studies and in historical studies. They are deeply rooted in our thinking and we can hardly think about individuals or groups without using the categories. They also influence our behaviour since we daily meet these categories in different kinds of visual representations. While pictures offer the ability to imitate we often do so in order to fit in to the expectations. The imitation often leads to an internalization and by that we are shaped in to a certain behaviour. Gender is socially constructed and has effect not only on expected behaviour, but also construct our daily life. There is an awareness in regard to the influence of gender stereotypical in advertisements and fine arts but less in relation to children´s books and in information graphics that contains pictograms or isotypes. The lecture will elucidate different ways to decode the embedded gender codes in a variety of visual materials.

Speaker’s Bio

Yvonne Eriksson is Professor in Information Design at the Mälardalen University Sweden, where she is in charge of the Design and Visualization group. She studied at Tema Kommunikation at Linköping University and she received a Ph.D. in Art History at Göteborg University 1998. She has been working at the Department of Art History and Visual Studies at Göteborg University, Växjö University and at the Swedish Library of Talking Books and Braille. She has been chair of the art magazine Paletten and is board member of The Swedish Braille Authority. Yvonne Eriksson is a member of Riksbankens Jubileumsfonds (RJ) working committee. The main interest for her research is visual communication, and especially the perceptual and cognitive processes that are involved in interpretation of visuals and build milieus. One focus area for her research is gender issue in relation to visual studies. She has written several books about gender, art and visual communication. She has been running projects concerning pictures role in different contexts such as textbooks for education, storybooks for children and education of children with visual impairment. During the last years Yvonne Eriksson has initiated and been involved in research project that takes place in an industrial context, with focus on visual communication for a global market. That involves communication strategies; assembly instructions and pictures based manuals.

For more information about HASS Colloquium Series, please contact Jane Zhang at jane_zhang@sutd.edu.sg