Asbjørn Grønstad




Research groups


Asbjørn Grønstad is professor of Visual Culture and has worked extensively on the relation between transgressive forms of visuality and ethics. He holds a PhD in American Studies (2003), and became a full professor of Visual Culture at the University of Stavanger in 2007. Between 2008 and 2013 he was Principal Investigator of Nomadikon: New Ecologies of the Image, a research project sponsored by the Trond Mohn Foundation (formerly the Bergen Research Foundation). In 2010 he launched the peer-reviewed journal Ekphrasis: Nordic Journal of Visual Culture with Øyvind Vågnes. Grønstad is the recipient of two Fulbright grants (1998-99 & 2017-18) and has been a visiting professor to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000, 2001 & 2003), the University of Amsterdam (2005, 2013), and the University of California-Berkeley (2006-07, 2011, 2013 & 2017-18). He has published 12 books and over 60 scholarly articles. His most recent monographs are Rethinking Art and Visual Culture: The Poetics of Opacity (Palgrave, 2020) and Ways of Seeing in the Neoliberal State. In 2022, he co-edited, with Lene Johannessen, Microdystopias: Aesthetics and Ideologies in a Broken Moment (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield).

Most recent publications:


Ways of Seeing in the Neoliberal State

Rethinking Art and Visual Culture: The Poetics of Opacity

Invisibility in Visual and Material Culture

Film and the Ethical Imagination

Seeing Whole: Toward and Ethics and Ecology of Sight

Gestures of Seeing in Film, Video and Drawing


Grønstad has contributed a range of media texts, interviews and guest lectures for the media and the public.



Less than zero: McGurls tidsriktige reduksjonisme 

Ways of Seeing og det hvite blikket

Ways of Seeing TV, episode 6 (31. oktober 2020).

Johnny Cash International - digitalt arangement (Fulbright Norway, 27. oktober 2020).

"Har vi forstått hva "Ways of Seeing" egentlig handler om?" (Aftenposten, 25. september 2020).

"Hva er problemet?" (Klassekampen, 1. september 2020).


Grønstad teaches courses and supervises projects in cinema and television studies, visual and popular culture, and American Studies. He is often involved in courses such as MEVI103: Media Aesthetics - Interpretation and Analysis, MEVI223: Media Aesthetics - History and Theory, and MEVI303: Media Aesthetics. 

Academic lecture
Feature article
Interview Journal
Popular scientific lecture
Popular scientific article
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
Reader opinion piece
Doctoral dissertation
Academic article
Book review
Academic anthology/Conference proceedings
Other presentation
Short communication
Programme management
Academic monograph
Academic literature review
Programme participation

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.


Ways of Seeing in the Neoliberal State

Rethinking Art and Visual Culture: The Poetics of Opacity (utkommer desember 2020).

Film and the Ethical Imagination (2016).

Screening the Unwatchable: Spaces of Negation in Post-Millennial Art Cinema (2012).

Transfigurations: Violence, Death and Masculinity in American Cinema (2008).




Invisibility in Visual and Material Culture (2019).

Seeing Whole: Toward and Ethics and Ecology of Sight (2016).

Gestures of Seeing in Film, Video and Drawing (2016).

Cinema and Agamben: Ethics, Biopolitics and the Moving Image (2014).

Ethics and Images of Pain (2012).

Coverscaping: Discovering Album Aesthetics (2010).

To Become the Self One is: A Critical Companion to Drude Krog Janson's A Saloonkeeper's Daughter (2005).




Ongoing book projects:

* Aesthetics, Neoliberalism, Isegoria.

* The Poetics of Mourning: Cinema, Literature, Music

* Sleater-Kinney

* The Soundscapes Project



Nomadikon: New Ecologies of the Image (Trond Mohn Stiftelse (tidl. Bergen Forskningsstiftelse) 2008-2013).