British photographic history

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Course: Photography and its Histories / London: 21 February-21 March 2019

‘Odd,’ wrote Roland Barthes in his renowned 1980 study of photography, ‘that no one has thought of the disturbance (to civilisation) which this new action causes.'

Recent years have duly witnessed an explosion of scholarship considering the social and psychological impact of taking photographs. This course draws on recent approaches to explore the wide-ranging changes in perception brought about by the technology since its invention in 1839. How has photography shaped the aesthetic sensibilities and ethical sensitivities of the modern world?

Through a series of discrete but related talks by experts in the field, this programme considers how the camera has informed our understanding of art, politics, nature and the self.

The programme is: 

21 February - ‘Introduction to Series:  What Is Photography?’

Dr Sean Willcock, Birkbeck, University of London. 

28 February - ‘Portraiture, the Album and the Self’

Dr Patrizia Di Bello, Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck University of London.

7 March - ‘Making an Art of Photography’

Dr Juliet Hacking, Program Director, Sotheby’s Institute of Art. 

14 March - ‘Reframing Fields of Vision: From “Pencil of Nature” to Environmental Futures’

Prof Liz Wells, Plymouth University. 

21 March - ‘War Photography: The Pleasure of Ruins’

Simon Norfolk, award-winning freelance photographer whose work has featured in many leading publications and galleries around the world.

Enrolment for the course is now open. To see the syllabus for the course or to book click here.

Photography and its histories
21 February to 21 March 2019
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Every Thursday for five weeks. 
Open to all and free to attend, but enrolment is required. 
London: Paul Mellon Centre

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Comment by RJA on January 28, 2019 at 9:55

Have just checked - apparently PMC are planning on recording most of the lectures and making them available to the public - unfortunately, the last lecture of the series will not be recorded.

Comment by Sarah French on January 28, 2019 at 8:20

Hello Gordon, agreed - a worthy podcast! However, it is quite likely that the lectures will be available on the PMC's youtube channel: 

Comment by Gordon Christie on January 28, 2019 at 7:58

This appears to be a very worthwhile and interesting course which I suspect many would attend but for the fact that it takes place at a distance from many potential attendees and spread over 5 weeks.

Photography was once at the cutting edge of technology and it has been the subject of some recent technical innovations. Given that the course is (admirably) free, would it not be possible for it to be made more widely available by podcast?

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