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Seminars: History and Theory of Photography Research Centre - Spring 2020

The History and Theory of Photography Research Centre is announced it spring seminar programme. All are free and open to all to attend. 

Thursday 20 February 2020, 6-7:30pm
Room 106, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD
Jason Bate (Falmouth University)
The Politics and Ethics of Emerging Medical Collections from the 'Great' War

This paper explores the archival afterlives of photographs of the facially injured and disfigured ex-servicemen of the 'Great' War, focusing on the prolific records of reconstructive surgery and aftercare in military hospitals. From the scientific quest to record and understand these wounds and their treatment, to soldiers’ post-war reintegration, the photographs have struggled to shed the conditions of their making as specimen and records of surgical technique. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, partly to safeguard them in the public’s interest, such collections were transferred from Army museums to better-resourced institutions. Their move away from closed holdings within a military-medical context, made them more widely accessible. This talk explores how these photographs have been repurposed in archival space, where they seldom serve as mere surgical documents. Over time, these remediated images have been reclaimed by descendants of patients into a kind of ‘redemptive power of domestic love’, in an effort to welcome loved ones back in a relationship with kin or friends and away from their dehumanised portrayal in clinical settings. Retooling surgical photographs of disfigured soldiers as ancestors, these remediations embrace an expanded range of collections whose family practices and archives will always confound the reduction of that person to only a medical subject, an institutional object.

Thursday 26 March 2020, 6-7:30pm, followed by drinks

Room 106, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Liz Wells, Derrick Price, and Nicola Brandt

SERIES AND BOOK LAUNCH: Photography, Place, Environment (Bloomsbury Academic Publishing) presents Coal Cultures by Derrick Price, and Landscapes Between Then and Now by Nicola Brandt.

 Photography, Place, Environment publishes original scholarship and critical thinking exploring ways in which photography contributes to, or challenges, narratives relating to geography, environment, landscape and place, historically and now. By critiquing relationships between land, aesthetics, culture and photography, and by placing imagery as both the object and the method of enquiry, the books in this series also foster debates on photographic methodologies, theory and practices.

Liz Wells, series editor for Photography, Place, Environment, Bloomsbury Academic, will discuss the genesis, context and visual cultural compass of the series. Derrick Price, author of Coal Cultures and Nicola Brandt, author of Landscapes Between Then and Now will introduce their respective publications, noting specific histories, geographies and contemporary critical issues relevant, respectively, to images of miners and mining communities, and to photography’s contribution within processes of reconciliation and memorialisation in Southern Africa.


Dr. Nicola Brandt is an artist from Namibia. Her work engages innovative documentary practices in relationship to the role of memory, landscape and positionality. During 2019, she was a visiting professor at the Institute of African Studies and Iwalewahaus (The University of Bayreuth, Germany).

Dr. Derrick Price is a freelance writer and independent scholar who has published widely on photography and film. He worked for many years in higher education and was for more than a decade the Associate Dean of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England.

Professor Liz Wells’ publications on land and environment include Land Matters, Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity (2011) along with many catalogue essays and exhibitions as curator. She is Professor in Photographic Culture, University of Plymouth, UK.

Monday 30 March 2020, registration 6pm, lecture 6:30, followed by drinks

Clore Lecture Theatre (CLO B01), Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London, WC1E 7JL

KRASZNA-KRAUSZ LECTURE 2020: ‘Photography and Cinema, from A to Z’ presented by David Campany

The inaugural Kraszna-Krausz Lecture will be given by internationally renowned writer, public speaker and curator David Campany. Titled Photography and Cinema, from A to Z, the lecture will take the form of twenty-six short reflections on still and moving images. The lecture series, newly established by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, will provide a platform and space for fresh voices and perspectives on photography and the moving image.

Presented in partnership with the The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, which was created by Andor Kraszna-Krausz, the founder of Focal Press, an influential specialist publishing house for books on photography. Since 1985 the annual Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards have been the UK’s leading prizes for books on photography and the moving image. More information on the work of the Foundation can be found online at

David Campany’s books include On Photographs (forthcoming this year); So Present, So Invisible – Conversations on Photography (2018); Walker Evans: The Magazine Work (2014), Gasoline (2013), Jeff Wall: Picture for Women (2010), Art and Photography (2003) and Photography and Cinema, which received the 2009 Kraszna-Krausz Award. He has written over two hundred essays for, among others, Tate, MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou, The Photographers’ Gallery London, and the Stedelijk Museum. Many of his touring exhibitions have combined still and moving images, including A Handful of Dust (2015-2020),The Open Road: photography and the American road trip (2016-2019); The Still Point of the Turning World: Between Film and Photography (2017); Victor Burgin: A Sense of Place (2013); Anonymes: Unnamed America in Photography and Film (2010); and Hannah Collins: Current History (2010). He is the curator of the three-city Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, (Mannheim/Ludwigshafen/Heidelberg, Germany) opening in February 2020.

The lecture is free to attend but spaces are limited. Tickets must be booked:

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