British photographic history

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Publication: The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination, 1885-1918

Due for release on 2 February 2012 is Professor Elizabeth Edwards' new book: The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination, 1885-1918 published by Duke University Press. The book's synopsis reads: 

In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, hundreds of amateur photographers took part in the photographic survey movement in England. They sought to record the material remains of the English past so that it might be preserved for future generations. In The Camera as Historian, the groundbreaking historical and visual anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards works with an archive of nearly 55,000 photographs taken by 1000 photographers, mostly unknown until now. She approaches the survey movement and its social and material practices ethnographically. Considering how the amateur photographers understood the value of their project, Edwards links the surveys to the rise of popular photography, concepts of leisure, and understandings of the local and the national. Her examination of how the photographers negotiated between scientific objectivity and aesthetic responses to the past leads her to argue that the survey movement was as concerned with the conditions of its own modernity and the creation of an archive for an anticipated future as it was nostalgic about the imagined past. Including more than 120 duotone images, The Camera as Historianoffers new perspectives on the forces that shaped Victorian and Edwardian Britain, as well as contemporary debates about cultural identity, nationality, empire, material practices, and art.

About The Author

Elizabeth Edwards is Professor of Photographic History and Director of the Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University in Leicester. From 1988 until 2005, she was Head of Photograph and Manuscript Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford, where she was also a Lecturer in Visual Anthropology. Edwards is the author of Raw Histories: Photographs, Anthropology, and Museums; editor of Anthropology and Photography, 1860–1920; and a co-editor of Photography, Anthropology and HistoryVisual Sense: The Cultural Reader; and Sensible Objects: Colonialism, Material Culture and the Senses.

 

For more information: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?productid=17745

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