Cinema and Medicine in Revolutionary Russia

Medical Histories in Photography and Film

Tuesday, March 7, 2017| Clephan Building, room CL 2.29, 4-6pm

Open to all – just turn up!

Dr Anna Toropova (Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, University of Nottingham)


This talk will explore the psycho-physiological investigations of film viewers conducted by health professionals and psychologists in Soviet Russia during the 1920s and early 1930s. It will trace how the new forms of knowledge acquired in research institutes such as ‘the laboratory for the study of mass behaviour and psychology’ headed by the psychiatrist P. I. Karpov in Moscow gave rise to new models of spectatorship and new filmmaking practices. Bringing to light the dialogue forged between medicine, science and aesthetics in interwar Russia, the talk will seek to expand our understanding of the origins of Soviet cinema’s transition from avant-garde experimentation to Socialist Realism.


In case of queries contact Dr Beatriz Pichel

Full Bursary PhD Scholarship in Photographic History

The Legacy of Alfred Hugh Fisher and the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee (COVIC) / Photographic History


Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) in collaboration with the Royal Commonwealth Society department at Cambridge University Library (University of Cambridge).

See details here too

A PhD research scholarship including stipend and tuition fee costs is offered within the Photographic History Research Centre in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University. It is available to UK or EU students who are suitably qualified and have outstanding potential as researchers.


PhD supervisor: Dr Gil Pasternak

PhD Commencing October 2017

In offering this scholarship the University aims to further develop its proven research strengths in the study of photographic histories, practices and cultures. It is an excellent opportunity for a candidate of exceptional promise to contribute to a stimulating, world-class research environment.

The Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee (COVIC) was a body charged in 1902 with creating a visual record of Britain’s overseas territories for use in British schools. Cambridge University Library (CUL) maintains its photographic archives, and this project will focus on the Fisher Photograph Collection. Mainly comprising of photographs taken by artist and amateur photographer Alfred Hugh Fisher in 1907-1910, the collection documents changes to physical and sociocultural environments across the globe during the first decade of the twentieth century. A collaboration between the Photographic History Research Centre and Cambridge University Library, this project will explore the significance of visual records in cultural exchange, and how subsequent re-use of images from the Fisher Photograph Collection led to innovative understandings of ‘other’ cultures and lands.

For a more detailed description of the scholarship, the subject area at DMU and an application pack please visit For additional details you may also want to check this advertisement:

Please direct academic queries to Dr Gil Pasternak on +44 (0)116 201 3951 or email gpasternak(at) For administrative queries contact the Graduate School office email:, tel: 0116 250-6309.
Completed applications should be returned together with two supporting references and an academic transcript.

Applications are invited from UK or EU students with a Master’s degree or good first degree in a relevant subject (First, 2:1 or equivalent). Doctoral scholarships are available for up to three years full-time study commencing in October 2017 consisting of a bursary of £14,296 per annum in addition to waiver of tuition fees.

Please quote ref: ADHFB2

CLOSING DATE: Monday 10th April, 2017.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held by Friday 28th April approximately.


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

Medical Histories in Photography and Film

Tuesday, February 21, 2017| Clephan Building, room CL 2.30, 4-6pm

Open to all – just turn up!

phrc1Dr Katherine Rawling (Associate Fellow, CHM, University of Warwick)

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.

In case of queries contact Dr Beatriz Pichel