Tag Archives: Photography

Call for Papers: Humanising Photography

Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies
Durham University, UK
25-27 September 2009

In the early twenty-first century, the still photographic image continues to be one of the central visual technologies of humanitarianism: from the all-too familiar images documenting successive waves of famine and disease, through those that bear witness to the action and destruction of war, to the photo ops staged in the arena of struggles for human rights. Disseminated across a range of media and spanning geographical distances and cultural divides, photographic images are presented for everyday consumption, produced by practitioners often working explicitly in the name of humanity and testifying to acts of injustice and states of destitution and abjection.

And yet: this humanitarian deployment of photography has been vigorously attacked from a variety of angles. The contemporary moment is plagued by anxieties concerning an oversaturated visual sphere and attendant compassion fatigue, a state of anaesthesia said to blunt the photographs political and ethical efficacy. Humanitarian photography is predicated on humanist principles even after more than half a century spent interrogating and deconstructing the discourses of humanism. Within photography theory, not only have there been sustained attempts to dismantle ontological notions of photographic reference, but documentary has been pilloried as a practice that is profoundly implicated in the perpetuation of liberal capitalism. Despite all this, however, the fact that photographic images of human suffering, deprivation and also resilience continue to circulate and be deployed suggests an ongoing belief in their power to affect and ultimately to effect change.

Humanising photography is a single-track conference that aims to establish a creative forum in which to reflect on the political, ethical, historical, and aesthetic questions thrown up by the persistent presence of such images in the context of humanitarian discourses. It will bring practitioners into dialogue with scholars working in the academic fields of visual culture studies broadly construed and representatives from humanitarian organizations. Whilst we welcome papers exploring salient contemporary issues and case studies, we especially encourage those that examine other contexts and histories that have been occluded in the contemporary geopolitical moment, in addition to theoretically-oriented reflections.

Possible areas for consideration might include, but are not restricted to:

What modes of humanist photography might still be valid in the twenty-first century?

What are the histories of humanist photography?

What are the tropes, figures and other rhetorical devices at play in such photography and what are their effects?

What is the political and emotional work that is done by this mode of photographic display and does it work?

What are the modes of appeal of such images, whom do they address and on what terms?

How do the modes of circulation and display impact on modalities of affect and effectivity?

Please send 500-word abstracts for 30-minute conference presentations and a brief biographical note (maximum 5 lines), together with affiliation and contact details to: photo.group@dur.ac.uk

Deadline for abstract submission: 19 December 2008.

Notification: by 5 January 2009.


Call for papers: Studies in Visual Culture

2009 Popular Culture Association & American Culture Association Annual Conference
April 8 – 11, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association will hold their joint annual conference at the New Orleans Marriott between April 8-11, 2009. The conference serves as an important site of creative, intellectual, and cultural exchange and encourages a wide variety of participants to stimulate dialogue across a variety of disciplines. The Visual Culture strand of the PCA/ACA Conference is an important element of the conference and encourages presentations in traditional, non-traditional, and emerging areas of study. We are currently seeking proposals for sessions and individual presentations that engage with issues, ideas, and practices related to all areas of visual culture, including but not limited to: Traditions and conventions associated with visual culture Studio art practices and/or theories Image theory Interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and intermedia projects
Architecture; Art history and theory; Photography; Journalism and photojournalism (television and print media); Film and cinematic culture; Public art (graffiti, murals, public commissions and installations);
New media and computer-based issues in visual culture; Advertising; Graphic design; Design history and theory; Visual culture and everydayness; Comparative studies and multiculturalism in visual culture(s); Subversion and visual culture; Modes of “reading” and experiencing the visual; Verbal, visual, and performative relationships; Ideologies and the visual; Iconographic studies; Post-9/11 issues in visual culture; Aesthetics; Alternative media.
Please submit via e-mail a 250-word abstract for your proposed presentation or session no later than November 30, 2008, to Royce W. Smith, Visual Culture Chair for the Popular Culture Association. Please do not hesitate to e-mail any questions you might have regarding this exciting opportunity.

Call for Papers: Feeling Photography

October 16-17th 2009
University of Toronto
Toronto Ontario Canada

In the 25 years since the publication of Victor Burgin’s critically important collection Thinking Photography, scholars in both the humanities and social sciences have turned their attention to questions of affect, emotion, and feelings. Whether emphasizing specific affects (melancholy, for example), the circulation of emotions between bodies, or the significance of feelings in public life, this rich scholarship offers new approaches to thinking through the relationship between bodies, images, and publics. “Feeling Photography” will bring together scholars working in a range of interpretive and theoretical approaches to interrogate the relationship between the affect, emotion, and/or feeling and the photograph.

All methodological and theoretical approaches are welcomed. Possible paper topics include, but are certainly not limited to: intimacy, empire, and ‘domestic’ photography; visuality and the haptic; the expression of emotion and photographic representation; affective economies; postcolonial feeling; loss, trauma, and representation; history, photography, and emotion; performativity and the public space of photography; moral spectatorship; structures of feeling; visuality and queer counterpublics; diasporic longing; photography and the commodification of feeling; documentary, feeling, and everyday utopias; racial melancholia; affect and the image; sentiment and representation; technologies of affect; empathy/rapture/longing; meditations on specific states, such as shame/anger/hate/suspicion/fear/envy/anxiety. Successful proposals will tie affect, emotion, and/ore feeling to photography in some specific way.

Confirmed plenary speakers include: Geoffrey Batchen, Lisa Cartwright, Ann Cvetkovich, David Eng, Marianne Hirsch, Shawn Michelle Smith, and Diana Taylor.

Instructions for submission of paper abstracts: please send a 250-word proposal and one page c.v. to feelingphoto@torontophotoseminar.org no later than January 15, 2009. Notifications will take place by February 23, 2009.

Completed conference papers should be about 8-10 pages, or 20 minutes. We also envision collecting completed papers based on conference presentations into an anthology for publication with a university press. A subvention to cover part of the costs of registration will be available to graduate students.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Toronto Photography Seminar and the Centre for the Study of the United States, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.
Conference organizers are Prof. Matt Brower, University of Toronto; Prof. Elspeth Brown, University of Toronto; and Prof. Thy Phu, University of Western Ontario; with the assistance of David Sworn, graduate student in History at the University of Toronto.
For the Toronto Photography Seminar, see www.torontophotoseminar.org; for the Centre for the Study of the United States at the University of Toronto, see http://www.utoronto.ca/csus/

Call for essays: Oral History and Photography – EDITED Collection

We are seeking original research essays for a collection entitled Oral History and Photography. Oral history and its diverse practical and theoretical relationships to photography are at the centre of this essay collection, which will explore the interconnections and synergies between theory, method and politics in the two fields. In their essays, the authors will consider oral history and photography as distinct but related research methods; as evidence for interpretation; and as tools for activism and social movements. The themes and questions we aim to consider are detailed below.

We seek papers that are based on original research, reflect practical experience with oral history and photography, and have not previously been published. The essays will be in English, and we encourage contributions from around the world. They should be about 6,000 words long and may include photographic images. Authors will be responsible for obtaining all rights for the publication of photographs and interviews (forms will be provided).


31 Dec. 2008: Expression of interest (encouraged but not mandatory). 31 January 2009: Abstracts of up to 500 words should be sent to the editors, together with a short CV including contact details, and one example of previously published work in a relevant field. 30 June 2009: Acceptance letters sent to authors. 30 November 2009: Submission of papers.

Please submit all expressions of interest and abstracts/CVs to a.freund@uwinnipeg.ca
with the subject line: Oral History and Photography

The editors:

Alexander Freund is Associate Professor of History and holds the Chair in German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg in Canada; he was previously Program Associate at the Columbia University Oral History Research Office. He is co-chair of the Canadian Oral History Association and co-editor of its journal, Oral History Forum d’histoire orale, and Council member of the International Oral History Association. He published Aufbrüche nach dem Zusammenbruch: Die deutsche Nordamerikaauswanderung nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, Göttingen: V & R unipress, 2004 and received the Oral History Association’s Best Article Award 1996 for a co-authored article.

Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at Monash University in Australia and was previously Professor of Oral History at the University of Sussex in England. He is Past President of the International Oral History Association and edited the British journal Oral History from 1991 to 2007. His oral history books include: Ten Pound Poms: Australia’s Invisible Migrants (co-author with A. James Hammerton), Manchester University Press, 2005; Anzac Memories: Living With the Legend, Oxford University Press, 1994; The Oral History Reader (co-editor with Rob Perks), Routledge, 2006 and 1998.

Palgrave’s Studies in Oral History series has expressed interest in publishing the collection and preliminary conversations with the editors of the series have been encouraging.


We aim to explore the interconnections between theory, method and politics in oral history and photography. The editors propose the following themes and sets of practical and theoretical questions. They are open to suggestions about other, related topics of investigation.

A. creating Oral Histories and Photographs: Methodological issues – Are oral historians’ and photographers’ roles in the creation of their documents similar?
– How may photographs be used in oral history interviewing – and oral histories in photography?
– How can the discourse about photography as a method refine the discourse about oral history as a method?
– How can studies of the relationship between photographer and subject shed light on the interviewer-interviewee relationship and the construction of the dialogic narrative?
– Both methods expose the previously hidden and unknown. How has photography dealt with this part of its practice, and what are the implications for oral history?
– What are ethical issues in photography that have relevance for the practice of oral history (e.g. intrusiveness, the documentation and representation of ‘the other’, relationships of power)?
– How might the analysis of the ways in which photographs can be manipulated stir a discussion about the ways in which oral sources are susceptible to manipulation?
– What can oral historians learn from the ways photography has dealt with the digital revolution?

B. interpreting Oral Histories and Photographs: Source, Evidence and analysis
– How may oral sources and photographs be used together as evidence (not simply side-by-side, but in a mutually influential relationship)?
– Photographs can be used as a tool for telling stories – be it stories of events, life narratives, history and myths passed on from one generation to the next. How can photography be used together with oral history in telling such stories?
– How may photography theory illuminate the use of oral histories as evidence?
– What are the epistemological similarities and differences between oral histories and photographs as sources and evidence?
– Are photographs and oral histories “true” in the same ways?
– How might it be useful to describe oral sources in as detailed a fashion as photographs are often described in a first step of analysis and interpretation?
– How may approaches to interpreting photographs be meaningfully replicated for the interpretation of oral sources?
– Does the analysis of ‘framing’ help oral historians expand their analysis of oral sources?
– Like oral history, photography captures and creates memory and gives access – albeit not direct and transparent – to individual and collective memory. What can oral historians lean about memory through the study of photography and memory?
– What can oral historians learn from the ways in which photographers have documented trauma?
– How might the epistemology, aesthetics and ethics of photography shed light on oral histories?

C. Oral History and Photography As Social Movements
– What have been the intersections of oral history and photography in their developments as social movements?
– What can oral historians learn from photographers about social activism and empowering their subjects?
– How can oral historians use photographs and photography in their quest for democratizing history?
– Photography has also been used as a tool of surveillance by the state apparatus (and increasingly by the private economy). Oral historians have not yet asked whether oral history has been used in a similar fashion. How has interviewing and archiving interviews (a critical aspect of oral history) been used by the state and the private economy to observe and control people? How have oral historians, through interviewing and archiving their interviews (often in state archives) contributed – uncritically – to the surveillance of people?

Conference: Les élites économiques européennes et la création photographique

Organisé par l’Université Paris 1-HiCSA (CIRHAC) et l’Institut européen
de la mémoire économique et financière

Vendredi 13 novembre 2008

Galerie Colbert
Salle Giorgio Vasari
2 rue Vivienne
75002 Paris

Accès : 6 rue des Petits-Champs

9h15: Accueil des participants

9h30: Introduction Raymond Dartevelle (IMEF et Paris 10) / Michel Poivert (Paris 1)

10h00: Paul-Louis Roubert (Université Paris-8 ) Une photographie contre-révolutionnaire : le calotype français des années 1840-1850

10h30: Marianne Le Galliard (Université Paris 1 / Fondation de France) Le cas Lartigue : un amateur de la haute bourgeoisie

11h00: Anaïs Feyeux (Paris 1 – Marne-la-Vallée) Le rôle d’Agfa dans la constitution de structures photographiques en Allemagne de l’Ouest après 1945

11h30: Julie Jones (Université Paris 1) L’alliance entre art et commerce aux Etats-Unis dans les années 1930-1950 : l’exemple du mécènat de Walter Paepcke (Container Corporation of America)

12h00: Discussion

12h30: Pause déjeuner

14h30: Giuliano Sergio (Chambre du Commerce, Rome) La chambre de Commerce pour une nouvelle image du territoire : la Nouvelle Foire de Rome

15h00: Raphaële Bertho (Université de Dresde/ École Pratique des Hautes Études) « EAST », des archives à la collection

15h30: Pause

16h00: Alexander Streiberger (Université catholique de Louvain) L’oeuvre de Hans Haacke et la question du mécène

16h30: Michel Poivert (Université Paris 1/Fondation NeuflizeVie) Le mécénat et la photographie contemporaine en France : le cas de la banque Neuflize

17h30: Discussion – Clôture de la journée d’étude


Programme détaillé
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Disponible sur le site ISSUU, la thèse de Thierry Gervais sur “L’Illustration photographique. Naissance du spectacle de l’information (1843-1914)”, soutenue il y aura bientôt un an à l’EHESS.

New book: L’Europe des revues (1880-1920)

L’Europe des revues (1880-1920). Estampes, photographies, illustrations.
(dir.) Evanghélia Stead et Hélène Védrine

This brand new book on the European press has just been published by the Presses universitaires de Paris-Sorbonne. Here is a complete description. I haven’t received my copy yet, but I can’t wait to read and review it.