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Institute for Visual Studies

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About 

The Institute for Visual Studies (IVS) at James Madison University is a center for scholarly, scientific and creative inquiry into the nature and workings of images. An incubator of new ideas, the institute fosters discovery, and the generation of artworks, products, and applications by multidisciplinary teams of students and faculty. 

IVS is open Monday-Friday, 9AM-3PM and by appointment.

With developments in digital technology and the Internet, the role of images has transformed both communication and human interaction. This shift is as evident in the rapid growth of the video game industry as it is in the new pictorial format of newspapers such as USA Today. And it's a shift that is equally apparent at James Madison University.

Collaborating across the disciplines poster

Faculty from more and more disciplines are working with images, using them as teaching tools, and creating an extraordinary range of new applications. While a mathematician now values data visualization, a political scientist studies visual rhetoric, and an artist appropriates and critiques visual culture.

Helping our students read the world around them --helping them become visually literate - is one of our most important challenges. This training will help them to shape the future.


As a centerpiece for the university's College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Institute for Visual Studies is helping establish a multidisciplinary learning community, exploring the connections among art, science, and technology, and creating new solutions for real-world problems. Drawing on earlier models including the Bauhaus and the MIT Media Lab, it provides a more intensive, collaborative educational experience for highly motivated students.

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Goals

  • promote interdisciplinary research in the visual realm, enabling members of the university community from across all disciplines to collaborate on innovative projects
  • function as both a laboratory and a studio, creating a unique teaching and learning environment
  • develop and offer a series of multidisciplinary team-taught courses for highly motivated students
  • provide a center for the investigation into the ways images work and for the exhibition of visual culture