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12201174296?profile=originalThe Royal Photographic Society’s Historical Group was formed on 22 March 1972 at a time when photography in Britain was undergoing a significant transition. The RPS, itself, was in a process of modernisation as it sought to remain relevant to British photography. The way photography was taught in higher education reflected a move away from the technical to a focus on approach and the content of the picture. New galleries showing photography were established, national museums and galleries began to take photography seriously and the Arts Council appointed its first photography officer. The period also saw major upheavals for the industry and the profession with recessions, a move to digital, and new ways for commissioners to source content. The way photography was experienced, shared and disseminated changed dramatically later in the period with the advent of new digital technologies.

The conference will examine how these changes have impacted British photography and photographers over the fifty years from 1972-2022. Papers may also look at how particular photographers’ work has evolved over the period. Some of the possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Museums, galleries and collections: broadly and within specific institutions; the independent gallery scene; how the art world embraced photography; curatorial practice and presentation; the RPS Collection
  • Education: how photographic higher education has changed; how photographic history has been used across disciplines and taught; the independent photography sector; photography in schools
  • The market for photography: auctions, commercial galleries, dealers, collecting by individuals; the loss of photographic heritage; fine art photography
  • The law: Intellectual property: photographers’ rights; privacy and surveillance
  • Community groups: collectives; camera clubs
  • Geographical perspectives: specific changes in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England; Britain’s position in international photography
  • The public and photography: the popularisation of photographic history on television, genealogy, and local history; experience through newspapers, publications, and online
  • Photography as a profession and industry: the markets and changes to industrial, commercial and social photography; photojournalism and advertising and editorial; manufacturing and retailing; the photographic periodical press; publishing and the photobook
  • Photographers and Photography: changes to individual practice; new approaches to genres of photography e.g. documentary, landscape, etc
  • Digital: its impact; new ways of sharing and engaging with photography

Proposals should be focused on the period from 1972 to the present and the British experience.


The conference welcomes proposals from academics, early career researchers, postgraduate students;  those working within photography, education and heritage, and photographers.

Proposals of up to 300 words with a short biography should be sent to has been extended to 28 March 2022.Papers should be 25 minutes in length. Papers will be grouped by theme at the conference.

The conference will open for registrations on 14 April 2022. It takes place at RPS House, Bristol, on 1 and 2 July 2022. 

British Photography since 1972: Commemorating fifty years of the RPS Historical Group
Conference: 1-2 July 2022, Bristol, UK



Image: a cover of The Photographic Journal from 1972. 

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12201165491?profile=originalThis short discussion, convened on Zoom, will examine the shifts affecting the programming, commissioning and collection of photography by art and photography museums, in the UK and internationally. On the occasion of the publication of Alexandra Moschovi’s monograph A Gust of Photo-Philia: Photography in the Art Museum and in the context of NEPN’s SHIFTS project, invited curators will explore how their institutions address current developments in photographic and curatorial practice and the ways museums can engage diverse publics and support photographers.

Confirmed contributors:

Matteo Balduzzi, Curator, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

Alexandra Moschovi, Associate Professor of Photography and Digital Media, University of Sunderland, UK.

Thomas Seelig, Head Curator and Director of Photography, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.

Marta Weiss, Senior Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

SHIFTS: Photography in the 21st Century Museum
Wednesday, 7 July 2021, 13:00 GMT
Supported by the University of Sunderland and Arts Council England.
This is a free event but please register via Eventbrite as places are limited.



A Gust of Photo-Philia
Photography in the Art Museum
by Alexandra Moschovi ;

Leuven University Press kindly offers attendees 25% discount on both the print and e-book publication until 31 July.


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12201162498?profile=originalWe are living an ‘archival moment’ (Daston 2017). Applied to photography, this moment is characterised by limitless production and circulation and, at the same time, by deep concerns about the loss of information in both analogue and digital resources and the fragility of aggregated image clusters and fleeting collections. Given that digitisation and digital photography have been established practices for some thirty years, numerous methods and approaches to the storage and retrieval, indexing, interoperability and sustainability of digital image collections have been tested, debated, applied, expanded, questioned and discarded. This has led to unprecedented online access to visual material and a vast and uneven field of institutional, commercial and vernacular collections. Over the past ten years, in particular, with the emergence of the smartphone as an image-making device, image-centred social media platforms and increased processing and storage capacities, photography has gone ‘off-scale’ (Pollen 2015; Dvořák and Parikka 2021), producing more images than can ever be processed. These technological developments mean that more and more people all over the world are involved in creating, manipulating and collecting images. Scattered on phones, computers, servers and platforms, these new forms of semi-private or semi-public archives comprise sedimentations of applications as well as images that have been stocked for potential future use. Images and image data are copied, scraped, aggregated and rearranged in feeds, clusters and databases depending on their user’s intention, including image and data mining for commercial or scientific purposes. Moreover, when organised and classified in database infrastructures, big visual data serve as the basis for computing on images and developing computer vision techniques. These, in turn, structure and help navigate the abundance of simultaneously unfettered and networked images (Henning 2018; Sluis and Rubinstein 2008). While these multifaceted collections and accumulations evade canonical notions of the archive, and the term archiving is used excessively to the point of unravelling, archival structures and practices have not merely become pervasive but are a nexus of the post-digital condition (Cramer 2014; Lison et al. 2019)

Building on the Photo Archives conference series, this gathering seeks to bring together scholars from a wide range of fields (e.g. history of photography, media studies, art history, visual culture studies, information sciences, history of science and technology) to examine and reflect on the practices and ideologies of the digital photo archive. It seeks to address the tensions between different, or rather opposed, notions of the archive: as a locus of power according to postmodern discourses; as a simple, transparently manageable repository; as a technology that facilitates the sharing and socialisation of (image) data; as a structure that perpetuates discrimination and configures surveillance. The rhetoric of the archive, both analogue and digital, as a robust and authoritative body shall be discussed in relation to its ideological counterpart, the rhetoric of democratisation through digital practices, within the framework of the recent history of photography. Photography, here, is understood in its expanded sense as the ‘historical totality of photographic forms’ (Osborne 2010), which include digital photography and scanning technologies, mobilising the physical world and standardising objects and image resources. The conference thus seeks to challenge the idea of documentary values connected to photography and archives at a time when visual imagery is completely malleable; it aims at revisiting past narratives and speculating on future uses.

How can we describe the shifts and constellations in the redistribution of relevance and power in a productive way? How can we listen to the plurality of voices, including hidden or neglected actors? How can we grasp the noise of digital photo archives as a resource? In what forms does the utopian project of photography and the archival procedure of converting the infinite variety of the world into an order apply to contemporary practices? How can we learn from digital artistic and curatorial projects to imagine the archive without its institutional authority? Given that photography has become omnipresent and synonymous with the ‘image’, a critical discussion of the processes and imaginaries at play is important not simply to enhance the management of digital photo archives but also to help us gain a better understanding of the social, epistemological, cultural, political and aesthetic implications of contemporary practices.

Scholars at any stage of their career are welcome to submit their research. Please note that the conference will be in English. We encourage proposals from a broad range of subjects that reflect a diversity of geographies and may address one of the following themes and questions (though this list should not be taken as exhaustive):

  1. Scale of the photo archive: Photo archives are, by nature, places of (often unruly) abundance, yet, with digital technologies, questions of scale and processability have become crucial. How do we conceptualise quantity as an asset, and not just in the sense of depth of information? How do the masses of digital photo archives challenge existing notions of what images are and do? How can our access to visual material go beyond ‘searching’ and become research?
  2. Le goût de l’archive: What could the ‘taste’ or ‘allure’ (Farge 1997) of the digital photo archive be, when all the haptics and personal interaction with the material and its human intermediaries are absent, even though more ‘voices’ and ‘raw’ material from everyday life are stored than ever before? How do we establish a connection to the holdings contained in the digital archive?
  3. Narratives and counter-narratives: How do the shifts that come with digital image archives allow for new narratives and counter-narratives? How can scholars, archivists, artists and curators work with these new forms given the plurality of scattered voices? If digital photo archives create new visibilities, what might condition new in-visibilities?
  4. Politics of taxonomies and metadata: Taxonomisation is a cultural technique rooted in archival science in general and Western science in particular. Digital technologies seem to give classification systems greater flexibility, variety and combinability. To what extent are taxonomies, the digital grids that structure metadata, truly fluid and adaptable? To what extent are they an expression, instead, of the value and power systems that govern present-day societies? What can emerge from the messiness of taxonomies?
  5. Economies and ecologies of the digital photo archive: Structured digital image collections have become assets in the logic of cultural heritage and science, and more importantly, in data capitalism, where data is the source of monetisation and the basis for the development of machine learning. This raises pressing questions about digital materiality, multifarious forms of labour and the environmental impact of maintaining and expanding archival infrastructures.

Proposals of 300–500 words, accompanied by a short biographical notice, should be sent by 15 August 2021 to the following address:

See more here:

Decisions will be announced no later than 31 August 2021.

The conference is a collaboration between the Department of Media Studies at the University of Basel (Estelle Blaschke) and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut (Costanza Caraffa) and will take place on January 13–14, 2021 at the University of Basel.

It is part of the Photo Archives open conference series, which was launched in 2009 and has seen previous meetings in Florence, London, New York, Los Angeles and Oxford (​/photo-archives.php). Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the conference organisers. We are considering the possibility of publishing the contributions presented at the conference.


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12201175458?profile=originalIn 2020 the Don’t Press Print conference organized by the RPS and CFPR brought together nineteen speakers from across the world to discuss historical perspectives on the collodion photographic process and how contemporary artists use the collodion process in their practice. The process was the dominant through the nineteenth century and has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years. The published proceedings are now available. 

Two keynotes papers were given by Mark Osterman looking at collodion as a medium, and from France Scully Osterman looking at Sally Mann’s use of collodion.  Other papers looked at collodion in Japan, Australia and India, the work of George Washington Wilson, the American Civil War, Miklos Barabas, collodion for halftone, and individual artists’  use of collodion            

This book brings together papers from all the speakers plus one additional paper. Papers are from: Frank Menger, Mark Osterman, Adrienna Lundgren, Rachel Wetzel, Ashleigh Black Zsuszanna Szegedy-Maszak, Tony Richards, Ian Chamblerlain, Chihoko Ando, Shreya Mukherjee, Bill Nieberding, Alan Hodgson, France Scully Osterman, Erin Solomons, Rob Ball, Paul Elter, Christian Klant, Steve de Grys, Niamh Fahy, Wilson Yeung, Jo Gane and Alex Boyd.

Don’t Press Print: De/Re-Constructing the collodion process
183 pages, illustrated, paper covers
RPS/ CFPR, 2021
Order here:


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12201162069?profile=originalSpiritualism, Photography, and the Search for Ectoplasm. In this talk, award-winning photographer Shannon Taggart discusses the history of spirit photography and its influence on her own documentary work with the Lily Dale Spiritualist Assembly, recently published in her Fulgur Press book Séance. An artist based in St. Paul, MN, Taggart’s photographs explore the intersection between photography, and the representation of belief. Her work has been exhibited and featured internationally, including within the publications TIME, New York Times Magazine, Discover, and Newsweek. It has been recognized by Nikon, Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Taggart’s monograph, SÉANCE, was listed as one of TIME magazine’s ‘Best Photobooks of 2019.

The Media of Mediumship: Encountering the Material Culture of Modern Occultism in Britain’s Science, Technology, and Magic Collections is a one-year AHRC funded project which examines the relationship between science, technology, and occultism in modern Britain, using the unique collections of the Science Museum Group and Senate House Library to explore the entangled histories of human belief, perception, trust, and scientific evidence as experienced through sight and sound. The project is led by Prof Christine Ferguson at the University of Stirling and Dr Efram Sera-Shriar at the Science Museum, London. They are supported by team member Emma Merkling at University of Stirling and The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Over a series of talks, interactive activities, and creative performances, it tells the story of how unorthodox spiritual believers and sceptics alike have used new technologies and scientific instruments— photography, wireless transmission, telegraphy, tape recorders— to attest or debunk the existence of an unseen world. In so doing, the project will deliver original curatorial perspectives on collection materials whose occult histories of use have long been unknown or misunderstood.

All ‘Media of Mediumship’ events are free and open to the public. 

Register for this event here

See more about this, the project and upcoming events here:

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12201168454?profile=originalThe Photographic Historical Society of Canada is presenting a talk which examines doctor of medicine and anthropologist Richard Neuhauss' (1855-1915) use of a stuffed superb parrot as the test object of the Lippmann process; the photographic technology relying on standing waves for the rendition of colour, first disclosed in 1891 by Luxembourgian-French physicist Gabriel Lippmann (1845-1921). My research maps the use of stuffed animals in various color processes for testing the color sensitivity of emulsions as well as the photographer's own commitment to the image's genesis, focusing on this parrot as a colonial animal-object par excellence. Having photographed the parrot 300 times, I highlight the implications of Neuhauss' iconic image for the shifting relationship between color and nature within the rivalry between him and Hermann Wilhelm Vogel's three-colour printing technique. In doing so, I connect the entanglements of color photography and taxidermy in the history of science, media, and Empire.

Guest Lecture by Dr. Hanin Hannouch, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin State Museums, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation / Max-Planck, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

Dr. Hanin Hannouch Guest Lecture on the Lippmann Process
Thursday, July 22, 2021
1:00 AM – 3:00 AM BST
Free but book here

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12201167494?profile=originalA lecturer in history of photography, full-time fixed term, is sought by Birkbeck’s History of Art Department during Professor Steve Edward’s Paul Mellon fellowship, where he be working on British Daguerreotypes-Antoine Claudet. 

You will contribute classes in your specialism to a range of team-taught modules on our BA and MA programmes, design and teach a ten-weeks MA Module based on your research, and undertake administrative roles which will include module director under the guidance of the Head of Department. You will be part of a supportive Department with a reputation for teaching and research excellence.

You should have a good first degree and have completed or be near to completing a PhD or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject area. A proven track record of relevant teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate level is highly desirable, as are administrative experience and evidence of published research.

See more and apply here:

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12201166273?profile=originalThis opportunity is for a curatorial / academic researcher to project-manage the first dedicated publication to explore the legacy of Black women in photography active in Britain between the 1980s – 90s. This publication is based on an illustrated gallery lecture the artist Joy Gregory presented in 2018 at Autograph.

The role will involve working closely with Gregory to edit the book, including: re-working / transcribing her 2018 lecture into a written text and producing an extended in-conversation with Gregory; assisting and shaping the research direction; collating ephemera, textual and visual materials; writing interpretation and other short texts, where appropriate, about the selected artists’ practices/biographies; liaising with the various collaborators and institutions; managing the project schedule and deadlines with the teams at Autograph and MACK. The role can be adapted to the work and life commitments of the successful candidate, but we anticipate that it will either involve an estimated 2 days a week commitment over a 6-month period, or a block of approximately 40-50 days within an agreed time frame. The post is co-supported by Autograph and MACK.

The successful applicant will receive a fee of £7000 all inclusive.

Details here:

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12201173864?profile=originalChristie's is to offer The Herschel family collection of 69 offprints, extracts and separate publications by Sir John F. Herschel, 1813-1850. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

The collection of 69 original works by Sir John Herschel, assembled by his son, William James Herschel (1833-1917) collection includes offprints of Herschel’s three most important publications on photography: ‘On the chemical action of the rays of the solar spectrum on preparations of silver and other substances.’ [With:] – ‘On the action of the rays of the solar spectrum on vegetable colours, and on some new photographic processes’. [And:] – ‘On certain improvements on photographic processes.’ Offprints from the Philosophical Transactions for 1840, 1842 & 1843, the first two with authorial annotations. 

See more:


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I'm looking for information on my biological father Hugh Scott. I have two pieces of information, from the British Journal of Photography, on his photographic career - see below:

10 Sept 1937.  In a report on the Professional Photographers’ Association exhibition of portraits in London:  ‘Hugh Scott has some good large heads, mostly of sitters in theatrical character, though the make-ups, and particularly the wigs, are in some cases not so successful as the photography’

7 Oct 1949. Hugh Scott is noted as joining the staff of the London School of Photography, Perry’s Place, Oxford Street, London W1

Has anyone come across either his name and/or his work and might be able to add further detail? Are there any other sources that I might check to get further information?

Russell Southwood


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12201161870?profile=originalThe Photo Morgue, The New York Times’ legendary photo archive, is so well known that ‘morgue’ has become a synonym for ‘press archive’. However, press photos in archives are far from dead. In this symposium we focus on the importance and use of press photo archives in researching the history of photojournalism.

The symposium will focus on the new field of research that has emerged over the past ten years thanks to the online publication of press photo archives. This development has turned the original negatives, colour slides and prints, which form the basis of every publication in the 20th century, into accessible research objects. The material aspects of press photographs provide a rich source on the production and dissemination of visual news in the 20th century.

For a long time, the history of press photography revolved around famous photographers, iconic photos or photos of iconic events. In short, the highlights. The digitisation and preservation of extensive collections of analogue press photos, newspapers and magazines slowly make what in online marketing terms is called ‘the long tail’ visible. Aided by advances in online collaboration and machine learning, the great mass of everyday events, photographed by countless anonymous press photographers for a wide range of media, is quickly becoming available for research.

As the focus shifts from the highlights to the whole, we can address new and fundamental questions: how did photojournalism reach and influence the masses in the 20th century? How does this relate to photojournalism today. 

Open up the morgue! How Press Photo Archives are Enabling a New History of Photojournalism
Online, 2 July 2021

9.30 am – 5 pm CEST
€ 20 € 10 (students)
Presented in English
See the full programme and book here:

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12201165678?profile=originalFour Corners and Birkbeck invite applications for a part-time Archive Researcher, to document and undertake research at the Jo Spence Memorial Library Archive at Birkbeck and Four Corners’ Archive from September 2021. This post is funded as part of Hidden Histories, a three-year archive project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which is exploring Four Corners’ archive as a site of socially-engaged practice and collaboration in photography and film. 

Reporting to: Four Corners’ and Birkbeck Project Managers

Job Description

  • 18 months fixed term contract, one day per week. Flexible hours by agreement.
  • £26,000 pro rata, paid monthly
  • Based at Birkbeck, University of London and Four Corners. Employed by Four Corners
  • To begin in September 2021


This post will support a joint research partnership between the Jo Spence Memorial

Library Archive at Birkbeck and Four Corners’ Archive. There are significant links between these two collections, and a shared history as Jo Spence was one of the founder members of the Half Moon Photography Workshop and Camerawork magazine.

The aim of the research is to build the archival scope and reach of both collections, through research that identifies key links and themes.

Key tasks will be to:

  • Catalogue and document material in the Jo Spence Archive
  • Identify specific thematic material across both archives, and curate as a new online exhibition on Four Corners online archive
  • Write an interpretative research article
  • Deliver a final showcase event, and a public study day engaging broad audiences in both academic and non-academic environments.

Person specification

We are looking for applicants with a background in archives, museums or galleries. You will be a qualified archivist, or have equivalent relevant experience. The role would suit MA or PhD students, working within fields of photography, curation, visual arts or related sectors. You should have a strong interest in and knowledge of feminist history of the 1970s-1990s.

Recruitment pack and apply here:

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12201174900?profile=originalHello! I am looking for any kind of information relating to a wacky turn of the century trend, which involved tourists in Egypt posing inside mummy sarcophagi (see photograph). Although the practice seems to have waxed and waned for a period of about 14 years, few of these images are readily available online. I am wondering if anyone knows of any collections (public or private) which hold this kind of image. If it helps, the trend seems to have been popular with German-speaking travellers.

Please feel free to contact me either by replying to this blog post or by sending me an email at steph.hornstein[at]

Thank you!


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12201173460?profile=originalPhoto albums as a subject of historical and theoretical discourse are usually considered an instrument of nostalgic reminiscing or, on the contrary, as a vehicle for the traumatic memories of the creators or their descendants, who were directly confronted with these memories and "postmemories" (Marianne Hirsch). But what about albums divested of the original memories, lacking the "oral scaffolding" (Martha Langford), which have acquired a new, often completely opposite meaning over time - for example, family albums confiscated by the state authorities and discovered by chance in public archives decades later, or aesthetically and visually appealing albums connected with chapters in local history that are generally traumatic? After several decades of postmemory, what was supposed to be a nostalgic or joyful memory has become a confusing and painful reminder. These albums affect us, even though we are only loosely connected to them - through geographical, cultural or linguistic affiliations rather than familiality. Unlike individual photographs, albums are also more substantial and as such make much more pressing claims on the attention of researchers, curators, archivists and lay people.

One of the main aims of the workshop is to discuss and highlight obscure, forgotten albums reflecting traumatic or forgotten chapters in history, repressed memories or displaced and marginalized groups or individuals. We therefore welcome contributions focusing on individual albums as well as sets of albums, their creators, history, roles or presentation methods. Special attention will be paid to theoretical issues and concepts that can be used to approach this kind of material. However, our attention will mainly - though not exclusively - be directed at selected topics and events from the 20th and 21 st centuries, which can be considered on three different levels: Czech or Czechoslovak (the initial focus of the research project); Central European; and global. In the context of the Czech Republic, these might include the post-war confiscations and expulsion of the Germans, the total deployment of the population during World
War II, the destruction of villages and settlements in connection with the construction of a defensive line in the border regions, emigration and immigration, minority communities in a linguistically and ethnically relatively homogeneous society, etc.

At the same time, we view photo albums as a complex tool for representing society or individuals, which overlaps with friendship books, scrapbooks, digital records and so on, combining a pictorial component (e.g. photographs, illustrations, postcards) and a textual component (captions, notes, a running commentary, inserted letters etc.), whose meanings change over time. Questions may include: How can this kind of "twisted" material be interpreted? How to interpret these albums without the "oral scaffolding"? How to interpret them from the position of a person with an affiliative, indirect or very loose connection to the past? How to approach albums with this kind of "twisted meaning" from the position of the current owner, curator, scholar or artist? How to approach this kind of material without identifying with it in any way? How to deal with it without merely being charmed by it or, on the contrary, completely paralysed by it?

We welcome proposals from researchers with various backgrounds, including photo history, art history, anthropology, history, philosophy, art etc. Abstracts of up to 300 words together with a brief CV (no more than 150 words) should be sent by 15 August 2021 to of accepted submissions will be notified by 31 August 2021.Presentations will be 20 minutes long.

It is anticipated that the workshop will take place in Prague on 25-26 November 2021. In the event of an adverse epidemiological situation due to COVID-19, the workshop will be held online, or alternatively we will consider rescheduling it.

The workshop is organized by CVF - Photography Research Centre at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with DOX - Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague as part of the research programme Resilient Society for the 21st Century. The event is supported by the CAS through the Strategy AV21 programme.

Organisers: Petra Trnkovii and Barbora Kundracfkovii

Details here and in the file here

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12201172864?profile=originalSince the advent of film in the late nineteenth century, moving images have been integral to making and communicating science. A rich interdisciplinary literature has examined such representations of science in the cinema and on television and investigated how scientists have used moving images to conduct research and communicate knowledge. Responding to growing interest in science and the moving image, this online workshop uses the concept of ‘intermediality’ as a starting point to discuss new approaches and methodologies. Intermediality, coined by media scholars to describe the interplay between different media, magnifies their multiple meanings and heterogenous interrelations. Moving images especially invite intermedial analysis because they are often composed of interrelated visuals, speech, music, and text; film can also be cut into stills for reproduction in newspapers, advertisements, and journals. Intermedial approaches thus allow scholars to assess not only the relationship between scientific practices and media forms, but also the afterlives, circulation, and reception of these media in a richer historical context. With its attention to relations and movement between media, intermediality also expands our understanding of the visual cultures of science, including in parts of the world and among groups that are underrepresented in current scholarship. We particularly invite submissions that use intermediality to engage critically with the scope and limits of science and the moving image.

Possible themes might include:

  • Processes of translation between different media, including film, television, radio, and print
  • Intermedial practices and histories of specific scientific disciplines
  • Moving images in science education
  • Transnational and comparative approaches to scientific image-making
  • Time-lapse, frame-by-frame analysis, and other analytical methods as intermedial practices
  • Representations of science in multimedia entertainment industries
  • The relationship between moving images of science and the history of empire and colonization
  • Amateur uses of moving image media, including citizen science
  • The cultural reproduction through scientific images of gender, race, and class. 

Keynote speaker: Dr. Tim Boon (Head of Research and Public History, Science Museum Group)

We welcome talks from postgraduate students, early-career researchers and established scholars. We are looking for abstracts (max. 250 words) for 15-20 minute talks, which will be arranged in thematic panels. Submissions should be sent to The deadline for proposals is June 28th, 2021 and we aim to respond to proposals within four weeks.

This workshop will take place online via Zoom and is hosted by the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. The workshop is kindly supported by the Researcher Development Fund and the G.M. Trevelyan Fund.

Organised by: Miles Kempton, Max Long, Anin Luo

CfP: “Science and the Moving Image: Histories of Intermediality”
Location: Online (Zoom)
Date: November 2nd and 3rd, 2021. PM (UK time).

Image: Kineoptoscope projector, c.1897 A hand-coloured photographic magic lantern-slide showing a projectionist operating a Riley Kineoptoscope projector
Science Museum Group Collection

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12201171271?profile=originalTaking James Clerk Maxwell’s experiments as a launching point, this event seeks to expand the field of knowledge surrounding the experimentation, invention, reception and exhibition of colour photography from 1855 to the present day. The event will take an interdisciplinary approach to the topic of colour photography, considering its historical development, present-day practitioners and place and preservation within contemporary collections.

Organised by Catlin Langford, Curatorial Fellow in Photography, supported by The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation, at the V&A, this event aims to increase understandings around colour photography in relation to the museum’s significant holdings of colour works. This aligns with an ongoing project to research and digitise the V&A’s autochrome holdings, which will inform an upcoming publication with Thames & Hudson.

We are planning to run this event as a fortnight-long online celebration of colour photography. It will involve a series of talks and a conference. Given the present-world situation and to encourage accessibility and international participation, the event will be presented entirely online.

12201171863?profile=originalWe welcome proposals for papers which can include, but is not limited to, the following themes:

  • The search for colour: development and experimentation in the early years of colour photography
  • Early and contemporary approaches to colourisation
  • Perceptions and opinions surrounding the introduction and practice of colour photography
  • Collaboration and circulation through societies and networks of colour photographers
  • Advertising colour photography: companies, competition and commercialisation
  • Colour photography: art vs amateurism
  • Dilemmas and solutions in publishing colour photography
  • Notable historical and contemporary practitioners of colour photography
  • Preservation and conservation of colour photographs in contemporary collections

The paper should be pitched for a presentation of 10 to 20 minutes.

We welcome proposals from academics, museum professionals, students, researchers, conservators and practitioners. We particularly welcome proposals from those at an early stage of their career.

The deadline for submissions is 15 July 2021. We aim to make a decision by 10 August 2021.

Please send a 300 word abstract and 100 word biography to the following address:

Colour Fever
cfp: deadline 15 July
Conference and events: 25 October -5 November 2021

Images: The Royal Photographic Society Collection / V&A Museum, London 

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12201170675?profile=originalLight Years is a special four-part exhibition series in celebration of The Photographers' Gallery's 50th anniversary.  Arranged around four thematic displays each ‘chapter’ draws on rarely seen materials from the Gallery’s archive to explore key moments or movements in both the Gallery’s history and the photography landscape more widely. 

The Photographers’ Gallery was founded in London’s Covent Garden in 1971 by Sue Davies, OBE, as the first publicly funded gallery in the UK dedicated to the exhibition, exploration, education and development of the photographic medium.  From the outset it has been instrumental in promoting photography’s value to the wider world and ensuring its position as one of our most significant artforms. 

Curated by writer, researcher, academic and broadcaster, David Brittain, Light Years draws on the Gallery’s rich exhibition programme and reflects on its legacy as an influential educational resource.

Theme 1: ‘Photojournalism: a worthy art for a new gallery’
(June – August 2021)

Theme 2: ‘Fashion and Advertising: Anti-elitist art photography’
(August – October 2021)

Theme 3: ‘Beyond documentary: from photography to photographies’
(October – December 2021)

Theme 4: The Archive: Collectors, critics and subversives
(December 2021 – February 2022)

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12201173661?profile=originalWhen early photographic pioneers Robert Adamson (1821 – 1848) and David Octavius Hill (1802 – 1870) were busy producing their pathbreaking calotypes in 1840s Edinburgh, a rallying call was heard on the streets of the Scottish capital: ‘Send back the money!’ Leading the call was American abolitionist Frederick Douglass who, in 1846, had embarked on a tour of Britain and Ireland. He directed his aim at the Free Church of Scotland, which had accepted funds from the profits of enslavement in the American South. Douglass demanded the ministers send it back

Read more in this blog from Caroline Douglas at the V&A Museum:

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12201163889?profile=originalThe future of a highly important collection of images by William Henry Fox Talbot, some of the earliest photographs ever made, has been secured. Through the generosity of a private individual, they are being placed on long-term loan at the Bodleian Libraries, allowing them to be studied, exhibited and made available digitally. This generous act has prevented the collection from being broken up, removed from public access or located abroad.

BPH reported on the sale here and result (including the purchaser) here

The collection was sold at auction in New York in April 2021 by Sotheby's, who described it as 'the most important lot of 19th century photographs ever to come to auction'. Comprising about 190 photographs in all, it includes many unique images, never before seen, and has a highly significant provenance, as the materials were given by Talbot, the inventor of photography, to his half-sister Horatia Gaisford. After Gaisford died in 1851, the collection remained in family ownership until the auction, and was known as the Gaisford-St Lawrence Collection.

The images offer a major opportunity for scholars and lovers of photography to better understand the emerging artform. Collected in three albums and a cache of loose prints, many of them in marvellous condition, the collection shows some of Talbot's early experiments towards the establishment of photography on paper as well as a selection of his best work from the mid-1840s. The collection includes;

  • Early experiments with both the chemistry and optics of photography, including contact prints and images made with a camera;
  • Some of the earliest portrait photographs ever made, including of his half-sister Horatia playing a harp;
  • Many of the earliest photographs ever taken of Edinburgh, London, and other locations in the UK and France; 
  • Portrait of Talbot's mother, Lady Elisabeth Feilding, seated in an armchair;
  • Some of the earliest photographs of Oxford, including the Radcliffe Camera (part of the Bodleian Libraries), the Botanic Garden (celebrating its 400th anniversary this year) and many colleges;
  • Lady Elisabeth Feilding's room at Lacock Abbey;
  • The Scott Monument, Edinburgh, as it appeared during construction; and
  • Deck of HMS Superb, Plymouth and the SS Great Britain in Bristol.

Horatia, Talbot's half-sister, married Thomas Gaisford, the son of the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, perhaps explaining why so many of the images in this collection are of Oxford scenes, including many colleges and the Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian Library. Horatia's father-in-law was an important figure in the Bodleian's history in the 19th century. Along with the photographs by Talbot, the collection includes an album of Horatia's sketches and watercolour paintings, and a folio of songs based on poems that she composed.

The collection will be open for scholars to study, and will be digitised to enable access for all through Digital Bodleian. These images will also be incorporated into the Bodleian Libraries' William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné, a ground-breaking online corpus of the photographic works of the Victorian photographer. The photographs, which remained within the family for over 170 years, build on the growing photographic collections at the Bodleian Libraries, which  include copies of the earliest photobooks: The Pencil of Nature, (1844-46), and Sun Pictures in Scotland (1845).

The images will also form part of a major future exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries, curated by Professor Geoffrey Batchen, Oxford University's Professor of the History of Art, a leading authority on early photography. Batchen writes: "Collectively they represent a wonderful cross-section of Talbot's work, including many personal images of family and friends. The portraits, in particular, are a revelation. This particular collection complements the Talbot prints already owned by the Bodleian, adding a copy of Sun Pictures in Scotland, perhaps Talbot's finest aesthetic achievement, to the first fascicle of The Pencil of Nature now in the Library. It seems particularly fitting that the Library will now be able to tell the story of how photographs came to be presented in book and album form, always a key aspiration of Talbot's."

Richard Ovenden, Bodley's Librarian at the Bodleian Libraries, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to preserve and make available the Gaisford-St Lawrence Collection of photography by William Henry Fox Talbot. Talbot was one of the world's greatest innovators, and this collection shines new light on his life and work. We are especially excited to be able to digitise and add the images to our online Catalogue Raisonne. We would like to express our great thanks to the new owner for entrusting this collection to our care"

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12201171696?profile=originalOn 14 January 1971, The Photographers’ Gallery opened its doors with The Concerned Photographer, an exhibition which had previously been shown in the United States, Switzerland and Japan, and which presented photography as the optimum medium to document social conditions. This online conference will situate the gallery’s fifty-year legacy of innovative programming within broader infrastructures of exhibition, display and photographic practice. Through a series of papers and discussions, this event proposes to reexamine the spaces and networks that shaped the encounter with photography in Britain, from the 1970s to the present day. 

Organised in collaboration with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and designed to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of The Photographers’ Gallery in 1971, this online conference aims to create and support new research on the histories of photography in Britain over the last fifty years, and to offer a space for thinking about the future of the medium and its display. 

The conference will be held online 25 November, 1 & 2 December 2021. 

The organisers invite proposals for 15-minute presentations, on topics that might include the following: 

Institutions, Infrastructures and Exhibitions

  • Impact of institutions, galleries, commercial and non-commercial spaces in Britain for shaping the ways in which photography has been encountered and understood
  • Significance of exhibitions of both contemporary and historic photography in creating new narratives for the medium
  • Emergence of galleries and spaces dedicated solely to photography in the second half of the twentieth century
  • The printed page as a space of display, communication and circulation
  • Role of archives, national and special collections as sites for critical debate, examining ownership, access and imbalances in representation 
  • Photographic collections and organisations who do not hold permanent collections, and the shifting meaning of photography in these spaces
  • Formation of organisations like Camerawork, Half Moon Workshop, Cambridge Darkroom, The Photographers’ Gallery, Open Eye and Impressions Gallery York in the 1970s (leading to one of the most successful national networks of photo spaces in Europe)  and the role played through the establishment of the Photography Department of Arts Council England in 1970
  • Role of organisations, such as INIVA, Black Cultural Archives and Autograph, in challenging existing narratives of photography in Britain, and in questioning  the borders, boundaries and definitions of the medium and its histories

Shifting Genres and Definitions

  • Rethinking the historical emergence and development of documentary photography and photojournalism 
  • Evolution of fashion photography, migrating from the magazine page to the gallery wall
  • Challenge of vernacular photography (unauthored prints, for example) to the modernist canon
  • Role of the photographic essay and photobook in redefining genres of photography
  • Shifting ideas about ‘British photography’ and its relation to international contexts 

Materials, Processes and Theories

  • Material aspects of photography and processes, including the advent of new media and other forms of digital practices; experimentation across other disciplines such as performance, sculpture, installation and painting
  • Theorisation of photography, informed by perspectives from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, politics, art history and contemporary art, decolonialism/decoloniality, race and queer theory, and feminism 
  • Examination of the shifting conditions and place of photography in formal education in Britain (the creation of dedicated photography courses in the 1970s and  their impact on both the photography sector both UK and internationally

Submission Details

12201172500?profile=originalSubmission deadline: Friday 16 July

  • All abstracts must be submitted and presented in English.
  • Abstracts should be based on any of the topic areas listed above, or in related areas.
  • Abstracts may not be longer than 400 words. 
  • Biographies should be approximately 100 words (please do not send CVs). 
  • Notification of acceptance of the abstracts submitted will be sent to you via email by Friday 30 July. 

Inquiries and final submissions should be directed to Danielle Convey,


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