Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
What is family photography? Scholars have often understood the genre as simply snapshots of domestic scenes—images that reflect and produce normative notions of family. Yet, family photographs are more complex than we think: they can also include images taken by a wide spectrum of producers, including the press and the state; they frequently circulate between private and public spheres, linking personal memories with national and even global histories; and, just as importantly, they don’t just illustrate families, but also shape the very idea of family, as racialized and gendered social structures.We are seeking papers that critically reframe family photography in light of these historical shifts. To what extent do domestic images confirm or contest official discourses of racial, sexual, and gender diversity? How do family photos produce ‘the family’ and function as one of the many technologies of the self? How do family photographs offer a counter-archive of normative modes of kinship? What problems do orphan images—photographs that lack context—pose for interpretation, and what methods might we develop to understand their significance? How might the reproduction and circulation of family photos, or their loss due to sudden or violent dislocation, help connect and constitute diasporic communities? How has the digital turn altered the look and meaning of family photographs? How might we situate family photography within the history of photography more generally? What are the implications for the recent interest in institutional collecting of family photos? How have contemporary artists contributed to new ways of understanding family photography?
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 1-page CV by September 1st, 2016.
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