My Thoughts on “Text”

When searching for a phrase that represents the meaning of text, I came across this statement by James Elkin that seemed to sum up my view of what text is. He stated that, ” ‘Text’ refers to anything which is capable of being read or interpreted “. In our school curriculum we are teaching students to not only read words critically, but to interpret visual texts the same way. Text is not simply the words in a book, on a phone, computer screen or television. A photograph, poster, map, diagram and a work of art are also texts. They can be viewed and interpreted and the reader can respond personally and critically to what they are seeing.

James Elkins, ‘Our Beautiful, Dry, and Distant Texts: Art History as Writing’, London: Routledge, 2000. p 296-297, Retrieved from,

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