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Visual Culture Theorist W. J. T. Mitchell on Obama Memorabilia

W. J. T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor in English Language & Literatures and Art History, discusses the increasing abundance of Obama memorabilia being displayed in homes in the Jan. 17 Los Angeles Times.

W.J.T. Mitchell, a professor of English and art history at the University of Chicago, said Obama knows what his image has come to mean to his supporters. “He has said, ‘I understand that I am an image that a lot of hopes are projected onto.’ And he would turn that around and say, ‘I’m not the powerful one, I am just a vehicle for your power,’ ” said Mitchell, who lives in the same Chicago neighborhood as Barack and Michelle Obama and has had dinner with them. “At the level of icon, he personifies the collective hopes of a vast multitude of people.”

Read the full story here.

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