March 15, 2016 – Hugh Aston Building, 4.15 The Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC), De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
Dr Colette Wilson (University of Westminster)
Travelling Memories: the Boissonnas photo-albums Salonique et ses basiliques (1913) and Smyrne (1919)
Two photograph albums by the Swiss photographer Frédéric Boissonnas and his son Edmond-Edouard,Salonique et ses basiliques (1913) and Smyrne (1919), capture Salonica (Thessalonika) and Smyrna (Izmir) at crucial turning points in their histories before a chain of events ignited Greek and Turkish nationalism leading to their near destruction. While maintaining an awareness of the ‘locatedness of memory’ within a national context (Radstone), the albums, with their clear focus on Greek-Christian national identity and heritage, arguably function as carefully designed propaganda tools, the aim of which was to create a memory that would travel transculturally (Erll) around the world gaining support for Greece which hoped to unite all the Ottoman lands with Greek populations into a single Greek state, whose capital would be Constantinople. Greece’s ‘Great Idea’ may have died in the flames of Smyrna, but it lives on in the Boissonnas albums and their online presence.
January 19, 2016 – Hugh Aston Building, room 2.08
Professor Clare Harris (University of Oxford)
‘Type-cast?’: Rethinking Studio Photography in the Hill Stations of British India
It is well known that from the 1860s onwards, individuals from all over the Indian subcontinent were photographed and classified according to ethnic, religious, and caste criteria, and thereby reduced to ‘type’ within the colonial anthropological project. This paper examines a parallel but neglected phenomenon of the late nineteenth century: the production of ‘type’ photography in commercial studios in the Himalayas and its reception in the ‘visual economy’ of the British Empire. By paying close attention to the activities and outputs of photographic studios and considering them as sites of transcultural encounter rather than of strict segregation between coloniser and colonised, I seek to reverse the process of ‘type’-casting that was inflicted on the local actors who performed within them.
February 16, 2016 –…
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