RESEARCH SEMINARS IN CULTURES OF PHOTOGRAPHY, SPRING TERM 2017

Medical Histories in Photography and Film

Clephan Building, Tuesdays 4-6pm

Please check exact room numbers for each individual seminar below

Open to all – just turn up

phrc1January 10, 2017 (room CL 2.35)| Dr Katherine Rawling (Associate Fellow, CHM, University of Warwick)

Authority, Agency and Ambiguity: Doctor-Photographers and the 19th Century Medical Photo

The figure of the doctor-photographer is a crucial actor in the production of many medical or psychiatric patient photographs. Frequently with one foot in each of the camps of science and art, the doctor-photographer responded to the concerns of both spheres of discourse in her or his practices. In this paper I wish to investigate a selection of photographers who were also psychiatric doctors, in an attempt to unpick their dual roles and consider how they negotiated or approached this highly ambiguous and complicated task of photographing their patients. How did practitioners reconcile these roles, or did they feel they needed to? What happens to a photograph when it is taken by a doctor? Is the act of photographing approached in a different way? What is the effect on the subject/sitter/patient? Do doctors produce different photographs compared to non-medical photographers? Are their photographs then viewed differently?

As a representation of the doctor-patient encounter, psychiatric patient photographs offer an opportunity to consider issues of control, authority, consent, complicity, resistance, intimacy, agency, the production and communication of knowledge, and professionalization and identity formation. Each photograph produced by a doctor is a visualisation of the relationship between a patient and their practitioner but, also, that between a subject or sitter and their photographer. The images are therefore ambiguous and fluid, with multiple meanings and uses.

February 7, 2017 (room CL 2.30)| Dr Lukas Engelmann (Research Associate, CRASSH, University of Cambridge)

Picturing the Unusual. Medical Photography as ‘Experimental System’

March 7, 2017 (room CL 2.29)| Dr Anna Toropova (Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, University of Nottingham)

Cinema and Medicine in Revolutionary Russia

 

In case of queries contact Dr Beatriz Pichel beatriz.pichel@dmu.ac.uk

Digital ‘Deep Play’: The Soft Politics of Iranian Photoblogs

Photography and the Greater Middle East

Tuesday, December 6, 2016| Clephan Building, room 2.30, 4-6pm

Open to all – just turn up!

waltonDr Shireen Walton (Teaching Fellow in Material and Visual Culture, Anthropology Department, University College London) will deliver the third and final talk in this term’s Research Seminars in Cultures of Photography series.

The autumn 2016 seminar series is dedicated to the theme of Photography and the Greater Middle East. In her talk, Digital ‘Deep Play’: The Soft Politics of Iranian Photoblogs, Shireen will argue that a defining characteristic of Iranian photoblogs is their visual-digital playing with dominant images of Iran (domestic and international). Many Iranian photobloggers take, exhibit and frame their digital photographs of everyday life inside the country in ways that seek to visually negotiate the aesthetic and political boundaries of what people (Iranians and non-Iranians, inside and outside of Iran) think post-revolutionary / contemporary Iran ‘is’ and/or looks like. Shireen’s talk will explore the soft political components of Iranian photoblogs. It will examine how this particular phenomenon – Iranian photoblogging from the early 2000s to the present – ties into wider visual / political debates concerning Iran and ‘the West’, the political ontology of photography, and the ‘everyday aesthetics’ of online digital photographic practices and cultures in non-western contexts.

In case of queries contact Dr Gil Pasternak gpasternak@dmu.ac.uk

PHRC Annual Conference 2017 – Call for Papers

Diverse Migrations: Photography out of Bounds

Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

19-20 June 2017

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to phrc@dmu.ac.uk no later than Friday 27 January 2017.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @PHRC_DeMontfort

Conference hashtag #PHRC17

 

The consequences of the expansion of photographic practices around the globe are many and varied. Social interactions through and with analogue and digital photographs and the platforms across which photography is shared and disseminated keep challenging traditional socio-cultural boundaries. For its 2017 conference, Diverse Migrations: Photography out of Bounds, PHRC is particularly interested in how these processes affect peoples whose photographic histories are currently understudied. These may be (but are not limited to) African, Central American and Middle Eastern cultures.

Diverse Migrations: Photography out of Bounds seeks to interrogate what social and other meaningful photographic practices emerge when photographs cross boundaries, and move between individuals, places, and distinct cultural environments. Paper proposals may concentrate on the following themes and other related subject matters:

  • transnational and/or emerging photographic practices
  • cross-cultural knowledge exchange through photography
  • migrations across media
  • sharing and exchanging photographs
  • global forums for photography and its theorisation

Papers are welcome from all career stages.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to phrc@dmu.ac.uk no later than Friday 27 January 2017.

Re-imagined Communities: Understanding the Visual Habitus of Transcultural Photographs

Photography and the Greater Middle East

Tuesday, November 29, 2016| Clephan Building, room 2.30, 4-6pm

Open to all – just turn up!

carolineCaroline Molloy (PhD Candidate at the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London) will deliver the second talk in this term’s Research Seminars in Cultures of Photography series.

The autumn 2016 seminar series is dedicated to the theme of Photography and the Greater Middle East. Caroline Molloy’s talk, Re-imagined Communities: Understanding the Visual Habitus of Transcultural Photographs, will explore migrant transcultural identities. Caroline will discuss her ongoing MPhil/PhD research that explores how the photographic studio can contribute to migrant identity formation. Using the London-Turkish community as a case study, her research draws from multi-sited ethnographic research within the photo-digital studio. Looking at the photo-digital studio photograph as a discursive cultural object, Caroline considers the “anthropology of the image” in relation to cultural practices within the community and relevant scholarly literature. She builds on existing literature that explores the impact of the diaspora on migrant communities, raising questions about imagined communities, nation-ness and identity formation. In her talk, Caroline will argue that the photographic studio is a transformative site, where the construction of cultural and cross-cultural identity is performed. In doing this, she will reason that the identities performed are neither specifically English nor Turkish, but an alchemy of what one of her research participants called “London-Turkish identity”.

In case of queries contact Dr Gil Pasternak gpasternak@dmu.ac.uk

 

Faces of Insurgents: Encountering the Taliban through Judith Butler’s Ethics and Jacques Rancière’s Dissensus

Photography and the Greater Middle East

Tuesday, October 18, 2016| Clephan Building, room 2.30, 4-6pm

Open to all – just turn up!

taliban

Dr Jenifer Chao (Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University) will deliver the first talk in this term’s Research Seminars in Cultures of Photography series.

The autumn 2016 seminar series is dedicated to the theme of Photography and the Greater Middle East. Dr Chao’s talk, Faces of  Insurgents: Encountering the Taliban through Judith Butler’s Ethics and Jacques Rancière’s Dissensus, will juxtapose Judith Butler’s consideration of wartime visuality with Jacques Rancière’s thoughts on the politics of aesthetics to analyze a collection of studio photographs featuring Taliban soldiers. Known simply as Taliban, the compilation, published in 2003 as a book collection, consists of 49 photographs that capture these fighters through studio photography practices that contrast with the visual coordinates of insurgency and warfare commonly portraying them in popular Western media. This deviating visualization propels two ongoing debates in photography concerning its own function and efficacy: first, the ethical force of the medium at the scenes of war and violent conflicts, as discussed by Butler; and second, the status of photography vis-à-vis art which has emerged out of Rancière’s broader examination of critical art. This paper will argue that while these Taliban images might encourage a compassionate visuality informed by Butler’s notions of precarity and grievability, this potential instrumentalization is problematized by Rancière’s aesthetic dissensus, which facilitates a viewing that actually obfuscates legibility and disrupts meaning. As a result, these photographs contest a visual regime that seeks lucidity for the terrorist-enemy by provoking a more perplexing and enigmatic visual encounter with the Taliban.

In case of queries contact Dr Gil Pasternak gpasternak@dmu.ac.uk

RESEARCH SEMINARS IN CULTURES OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AUTUMN TERM 2016

Photography and the Greater Middle East

Clephan Building 2.30, Tuesdays 4-6pm

Open to all – just turn up

talibanOctober 18, 2016| Dr Jenifer Chao (Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University)

Faces of  Insurgents: Encountering the Taliban through Judith Butler’s Ethics and Jacques Rancière’s Dissensus

This paper will juxtapose Judith Butler’s consideration of wartime visuality with Jacques Rancière’s thoughts on the politics of aesthetics to analyze a collection of studio photographs featuring Taliban soldiers. Known simply as Taliban, the compilation, published in 2003 as a book collection, consists of 49 photographs that capture these fighters through studio photography practices that contrast with the visual coordinates of insurgency and warfare commonly portraying them in popular Western media. This deviating visualization propels two ongoing debates in photography concerning its own function and efficacy: first, the ethical force of the medium at the scenes of war and violent conflicts, as discussed by Butler; and second, the status of photography vis-à-vis art which has emerged out of Rancière’s broader examination of critical art. This paper will argue that while these Taliban images might encourage a compassionate visuality informed by Butler’s notions of precarity and grievability, this potential instrumentalization is problematized by Rancière’s aesthetic dissensus, which facilitates a viewing that actually obfuscates legibility and disrupts meaning. As a result, these photographs contest a visual regime that seeks lucidity for the terrorist-enemy by provoking a more perplexing and enigmatic visual encounter with the Taliban.

carolineNovember 29, 2016| Caroline Molloy (PhD Candidate at the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck, University of London)

Re-imagined Communities: Understanding the Visual Habitus of Transcultural Photographs

With the aim of exploring migrant transcultural identities, this talk will discuss my ongoing MPhil/PhD research that explores how the photographic studio can contribute to migrant identity formation. Using the London-Turkish community as a case study, the research draws from multi-sited ethnographic research within the photo-digital studio. Looking at the photo-digital studio photograph as a discursive cultural object, I consider the “anthropology of the image” in relation to cultural practices within the community and relevant scholarly literature. I build on existing literature that explores the impact of the diaspora on migrant communities, raising questions about imagined communities, nation-ness and identity formation. I argue that the photographic studio is a transformative site, where the construction of cultural and cross-cultural identity is performed. In doing this, I reason that the identities performed are neither specifically English nor Turkish, but an alchemy of what one of my research participants called London-Turkish identity.

waltonDecember 6, 2016| Dr Shireen Walton (Teaching Fellow in Material and Visual Culture, Anthropology Department, University College London)

Digital ‘Deep Play’: The Soft Politics of Iranian Photoblogs

A defining characteristic of Iranian photoblogs is their visual-digital playing with dominant images of Iran (domestic and international). Many Iranian photobloggers take, exhibit and frame their digital photographs of everyday life inside the country in ways that seek to visually negotiate the aesthetic and political boundaries of what people (Iranians and non-Iranians, inside and outside of Iran) think post-revolutionary / contemporary Iran ‘is’ and/or looks like. This paper explores the soft political components of Iranian photoblogs. It examines how this particular phenomenon – Iranian photoblogging from the early 2000s to the present – ties into wider visual / political debates concerning Iran and ‘the West’, the political ontology of photography, and the ‘everyday aesthetics’ of online digital photographic practices and cultures in non-western contexts.

In case of queries contact Dr Gil Pasternak gpasternak@dmu.ac.uk

Elizabeth Edwards and other specialists discuss the history of photography on BBC Radio 4

In Our Time with Elizabeth Edwards

BBC Radio 4 dedicated an episode of the programme In Our Time to the invention of photography. Broadcasted on the 7th of July 2016, Melvyn Bragg and his guests, Elizabeth Edwards (PHRC), Alison Morrison-Low (National Museums Scotland) and Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge), discussed the development of photography in the 1830s, when techniques for ‘drawing with light’ evolved to the stage where, in 1839, both Daguerre and Fox Talbot made claims for its invention. These followed the development of the camera obscura, and experiments by such as Thomas Wedgwood and Nicéphore Niépce, and led to rapid changes in the 1840s as more people captured images with the Daguerreotype and calotype. The Daguerreotype and calotype changed the aesthetics of the age and, before long, inspired claims that painting was now dead.

This episode is now available via iPlayer