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Kate Flint Seminar at the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck

Event Details

Kate Flint Seminar at the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck

Time: November 15, 2013 from 6pm to 7:30pm
Location: Birkbeck, School of Arts
Street: Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq, WC1 H 0PD
City/Town: London WCH 0PD
Website or Map: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/res…
Phone: 02076316125
Event Type: seminar
Organized By: Patrizia Di Bello
Latest Activity: Nov 12, 2013

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Event Description

Friday 15 November, 6:00-7:30pm.
Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Sq, WC1 H 0PD
Kate Flint (University of Southern California)
"Intrusive Light: Flash Photography and Documentary Work"

"Intrusive Light: Flash Photography and Documentary Work" explores the impact of flash on investigative photography. Flash photography breaks into darkness, makes visible the concealed and the obscure, records and gives significance to that which might otherwise go completely unseen. In this paper, I want to consider the new visibility of flash photography itself in the late C19th and first half of the C20th, the startling interruptions that it produced and the illumination of the everyday that it provided. At the same time, I want to show how flash photography itself shifted from being a sensation to a commonplace. The paper has at its center two contrasting case studies: Jessie Tarbox Beals’ documentary work in New York in the 1900s and 1910s, and then the images made by African American photographers in the 1940s and early 1950s. The implications of exposure and illumination were very different for each, but the contrasts serve to bring out the highly charged rhetoric and associations that accompanied these violent, sudden explosions of light.

Kate Flint is Provost Professor of English and Art History at the University of Southern California, where she is Chair of the Department of Art History. Most recently, Professor Flint has published The Transatlantic Indian 1776-1930 (2008): her previous works include The Victorians and The Visual Imagination (2000), and The Woman Reader, 1837-1914 (1993). She is General Editor of the Cambridge History of Victorian Literature (2012), and has published numerous articles on Victorian, modernist and contemporary art, fiction, and cultural history. She is completing a book entitled Flash! Photography, Writing, and Surprising Illumination, and is also working on aspects of ordinariness.

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