The Photography Seminar -Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The Photography Seminar

Hilary Term 2016

Tuesdays (Weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7) – 12:30pm – 2pm*

Co-organizers: Mirjam Brusius & Geraldine Johnson

January 19th (Tuesday, Week 1) – 12:30pm — 2pm: Portraiture and Time: The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis Shamoon Zamir, NYU Abu Dhabi Location: Dept. of History of Art, Littlegate House, St Ebbes

February 2nd (Tuesday, Week 3) – 12:30pm – 2pm: The Engraved Photograph, the Victorian Periodical and the Nature of Photographic Trust Geoff Belknap, University of Leicester Location: Dept. of History of Art, Littlegate House, St Ebbes

February 16th (Tuesday, Week 5) – 12:30pm – 2pm: From Documentary to Abstract Photography: Aaron Siskin’s Aesthetic Transformation Richard Howells, King’s College London Location: Dept. of History of Art, Littlegate House, St Ebbes

March 1st (Tuesday, Week 7) – 12:30pm – 2pm: Site Visit—Photography at the Sackler Library: Eadweard Muybridge’s ‘Animal Locomotion’ Martin Kemp and Kelley Wilder in conversation Location: Sackler Library, St John Street Register to book a place** (limited places—only 8 can attend) Location: Dept. of History of Art, Littlegate House, St Ebbes *Please bring your own lunch for informal conversation from 12:30pm to 1pm. Formal presentations will begin at 1pm and finish by 2pm. **To register for the Sackler Library site visit, please go to: Co-sponsored by Dept. of History of Art (Centre for Visual Studies) and Bodleian Libraries

About (Some) Women Photographers 1839-1919

History and Theory of Photography Research Centre – Forthcoming Events

Free and open to all, at 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD


Friday 27 November 2015 – 6-7:30

Room 112

Thomas Galifot (Musèe d’Orsay)

About (Some) Women Photographers 1839-1919
​Detail from Julia Margaret Cameron Mrs Herbert Duckworth April 12, 1867 (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Relying on the histories of photography that have been re-evaluating, over the last forty years, women’s role in the development of the medium, the exhibition now on view at the musée de l’Orangerie is the first, in France, to approach the first eighty years of this phenomenon. Based on new research, it is also the first extensive study of French women photographers of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Centuries. Forgotten or unknown talents are brought to the light of the exhibition walls next to their counterparts from Britain, where amateur and professional women’s camera work attained unparalleled levels of achievement and variety. This talk will give some keys to understand the disparities in the development of women’s photography in the different countries. It will also highlight previously unpublished or little-known photographs that help appreciate how a practice that has long borne the hall-mark of femininity actually revealed itself to be a potential vehicle for subversion and emancipation.

Tuesday 26 January 2016 – 6-8

Marta Weiss (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Julia Margaret Cameron: New Discoveries

Responding: Colin Ford (Founding Head, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television [now National Media Museum] Bradford)


Wednesday 17 February 2016 – 6-7:30

Linda Mulcahy (London School of Economics)

Docile Suffragettes? Resistance to Police Photography


Wednesday 9 March 2016 – 6-7:30

Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan University & Birkbeck Institute for Humanities Visiting Fellow)

Picturing Modernization: Vision, Modernity and the Technological Image in Humphrey Jenning’s Pandaemonium


Saturday 2 July 2016 times and location TBC


Law and Photography

In collaboration with London School of Economics

European History of Photography Network


History of Photography European Network

1 History of Photography

History of Photography is a relatively new discipline with a strong connection to History or to Art History; it entered the museum before entering the university.  There is a clear corpus for history of photography, and this corpus is beginning to be widely known by the greater public, up to the point of being used in advertising. This is to be expected by a image centered society, however critical thinking on photography is not so widely known, and it is still possible to write a history of art or a general history, without any reference to photography, or at least taking its role in serious account.

Up to recent years History of Photography has been mostly centered in a few central countries, only recently researcher from other countries arrived to bring some light into their local histories, but peripheral countries history of photography is still rather confidential outside their respective countries. Fortunately there is a lot of work being done.

2 The need for a network

History of Photography researchers are a mostly dispersed and heterogeneous community with  just a few research centers dedicated to History of Photography, a number of researchers working on diverse research centers, ranging from architecture to literature, but including History, Art or Social Science. There are also a great number of researchers working in archives and museums, not to speak of independent researchers. As a whole History of Photography researchers are more disperse than those working in other areas.

EU and national official funding has been central to European research, however this funding has been progressively more centered on exact science. This funding does have also a strict set of rules not easy to fulfill by history of photography researchers. There is the need to have work on smaller sets of countries with similarities, as well as to have work done on greater geographic entities not comprehended by EU projects.

Dispersion means there lack of communication, even if we are now better than a few years ago, and the difficulty to create cooperative projects. It is even more difficult to include independent researchers into projects.

At this point there is also the need to overcome some cultural difficulties in order to create a wider community of researchers.

A History of Photography Research Network could contribute to connect those who are isolated and to overcome cultural differences. It should be an important tool for the development of History of Photography as a recognized area.

3 The network

Modern communications and web based services make easy and not expensive to create such a network, its success depends more on getting a wide researchers acceptance than from having great resources.

This network is supposed to act like a meeting point for researchers and a place to share contacts, experience, work, resources. It could also be a repository for texts and other work, a platform for divulgation of books, exhibitions, conferences, information, and, not the least, a platform for discussions and joint projects.

It should be important for the scholar and the researcher, but also to the general public with more than a passing interest in History of Photography.

4 The site

The site is one of the most important parts of this network. It is the way of presenting the network to a wider audience, but it is also the main means of communication. It would be possible to have free hosting and amateurish in house design, however it would be desirable to have a professionally designed site. Skipping free housing would also give control over advertising. The website creates the need for private funding, as it does not into current funding programs. Funding by the photographic industry is could be also an endorsement and a mutual benefit.

5 The congress

Among the goals of this network should be organizing a European History of Photography Congress. Recent conferences organized in several countries were remarkably successful, and there is a definite possibility of organizing a more comprehensive activity if there is a joint effort between several research centers and other organizations. Having an annual congress may be not feasible; however a bi-yearly congress seems to be a realistic proposition.

6 Further possible developments

Among suggestions are theme related and general European Photographic Histories, and an E-Magazine, or with the necessary resources a paper magazine.

We hope this network to organize research centers, archives, museums and other institutions, as well as independent researchers and collectors. At this point we are passing the stage of individual contacts to try to reach a broader audience. This is far from a finished project and all feedback is most welcome. We would also like to know of your view on the subject, even if not positive, and of your personal and/or institutional willingness to be a part of the network.