Hello, my name is Noa Yaari, I’m a PhD candidate in History at York University, Toronto. My blog is on Visual Literacy in History, a field that explores the connection between our capacities to see, think and create knowledge about the past. The blog is an extension, broadly conceived, of my doctoral thesis, in which I attempt to provide historians and scholars in the Humanities with new terminology for practices involving the use of visual evidence. My assumption is that accurate terms for what we can do with images will enhance the quality of implementing them in research and publications.

The discourse that I analyze in my thesis explores the rise of individualism in pre-modern Europe. I look at how several historians over the last two centuries have used images in their books to support their arguments about this fascinating cultural and social phenomenon. In addition, my thesis offers an original method for working with visual evidence, based on Aristotelian induction, aiming to bring verbal and visual signs epistemologically closer.

Noa Yaari - World Map

Noa Yaari, World Map, 2007. Ink and oil on paper, 80×120 cm

After I complete my doctoral project, I plan to go one step further into understanding the experience of reading illustrated scholarly texts. In order to comprehend the perceptual and cognitive processes involved in such intellectual engagement, we have to track readers’ eye movements in a vision lab. Analysis of readers’ visual attention and their comprehension and retention of illustrated texts will enhance our ability to create meaningful verbal-visual arguments, and ultimately better utilize the pedagogical and scholarly potential they hold.

Since I’m also an artist, the blog features my artwork as well.