Abstract: Professor Edwards will use an ordinary family album, domestic images inserted in a mass-produced album, as a springboard for thinking about the nature of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century historical imagination. Following Mieke Bal’s call for a critical return to the close reading of the object, I ask from what moment does this thing come? How has it been and can it be imagined as a temporal object? Above all, what are the wider the historiographical significances of the material and temporal processes which both entangle and mark this object?
Biography: Elizabeth Edwards is Research Professor of Photographic History and Director of the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. She has previously held posts as Curator of Photographs at Pitt Rivers Museum and lecturer in visual anthropology at the University of Oxford, and at the University of the Arts London. In 2012 she was a Fellow, at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Durham University, and Visiting Scholar, Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, in 2008. She has worked extensively on the relationships between photography, anthropology and history, on the material and sensory apprehension of photographs and on the history of photographic practice. Her monographs and edited works include Anthropology and Photography (1992), Raw Histories (2001), Photographs Objects Histories (2004), Sensible Objects (2006), and Photographs Anthropology History: The Expanded Frame (2010). In 2012 she completed a major HERA/European-funded project on the role of the photographic legacy of the colonial past in contemporary Europe (http://photoclec.dmu.ac.uk) with colleagues in the Netherlands and Norway. Her most recent book is The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination 1885-1918 (Duke University Press, 2012).
Free and open to the public.
This lecture is part of the Thursday Speaker Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.