This issue of Image & Text highlights some the new shifts and focus areas that have come to encompass the study of visual culture. While the first few decades of Image & Text predominated in content that sought to understand and interpret popular culture (see Lange 2012), the more recent issues of the journal contain content that engages in postcolonial readings of archival material and art historical works, opening up novel dimensions in understanding and probing the representations of identity, as well as providing an ongoing platform for design discourses. In particular, this issue investigates a multitude of visual texts – paintings from the Spanish Netherlands, Charles Chaplin’s Modern times (1936), photographs from a memoir in the early 1920s, and instances of racism covered by South African social media – to engage in philosophical theory, histories of blackness, while also seeking to open up meeting points between animal, human and nonhuman objects to challenge either the dominant discourses of aesthetics or to ‘disrupt the production of race as species’ (see the article de Robillard & Lipschitz).

Published: 2019-12-03