Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history
Photography was taken to Asia by Europeans and Americans soon after its invention in 1839. Records exist of photographs being made in India as early as 1840 and in China by 1842. Yet, until recently, there was little recognition of the photographers who have run businesses, pursued artistic goals, and recorded the unfolding of history in Asia since the mid-19th century.
When Professor Sandra Matthews was a photography student, she noticed a glaring absence of information about photography from Asia or from any part of the world other than the U.S. or Europe. Through the years she remained deeply interested in non-western photography, learning through her own travels and research.
With the advent of online journals, Professor Matthews seized the opportunity to build a community of scholars around the world who share her interest in Asian photography, and to write in some of that missing history as well as exploring the exciting contemporary work coming from the region. In a process that took two years, she built a network, assembled an international editorial board, and created an arrangement so that Hampshire College publishes the journal in collaboration with the University of Michigan Library Scholarly Publishing Office, a pioneer in the field of open-access online journals.
She launched the Trans-Asia Photography Review, which brings together the perspectives of curators, historians, photographers, anthropologists, art historians, and others in an effort to investigate historical and contemporary photography from Asia as fully as possible. The site also includes book reviews, curatorial projects, and a compilation of resources in the field.
In spring semester 2012, Matthews will teach a course entitled Photography from Asia, which will enable Hampshire students to engage with the history of photography in global terms and with the Trans-Asia Photography Review.
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