Photography, Anthropology and History examines the complex historical relationship between photography and anthropology, and in particular the strong emergence of the contemporary relevance of historical images. Thematically organized, and focusing on the visual practices developed within anthropology as a discipline, this book brings together a range of contemporary and methodologically innovative approaches to the historical image within anthropology. Importantly, it also demonstrates the ongoing relevance of both the historical image and the notion of the archive to recent anthropological thought. As current research rethinks the relationship between photography and anthropology, this volume will serve as a stimulus to this new phase of research as an essential text and methodological reference point in any course that addresses the relationship between anthropology and visuality.
Photographs have been the most significant medium for recording and displaying information collected by anthropologists and ethnologists since the 19th century and, as such, have an important place in museum collections and archives.
Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination, 1885–1918
Author: Elizabeth Edwards
Publisher: Duke University Press
"In the camera as historian, the groundbreaking historical and visual anthropologist Elizabeth Edwards works with an archive of neraly 55,000 photographs taken by 1,000 photographers, mostly unknown until now." -- Inside cover.
In Photography and Anthropology, Christopher Pinney presents a provocative and readable account of the strikingly parallel histories of the two disciplines, as well as a polemical narrative and overview of the use of photography by anthropologists from the 1840s to the present. Walter Benjamin suggested that photography “make[s] the difference between technology and magic visible as a thoroughly historical variable,” and Pinney here explores photography as a divinatory practice that prompted anthropologists to capture the “primitive” lives of those they studied. Early anthropology celebrated photography as a physical record, whose authority and permanence promised an escape from the lack of certainty in speech. But later anthropologists faulted photography for failing to capture movement and process. Anthropology as a practice of “being there” has thus found itself entwined in an intimate engagement with photography as metaphor for the collection of evidence. Through numerous examples from the annals of anthropological photography, Photography and Anthropology examines the history of anthropology’s enchantment with photography alongside the anthropological theory of photography and documentation.
A clear and concise survey of some of the most significant writers on photography who have played a major part in defining and influencing our understanding of the medium. It provides a succinct overview of writing on photography from a diverse range of disciplines and perspectives and examines the shifting perception of the medium over the course of its 170 year history. Key writers discussed include: Roland Barthes Susan Sontag Jacques Derrida Henri Cartier-Bresson Geoffrey Batchen Fully cross-referenced and in an A-Z format, this is an accessible and engaging introductory guide.
With their power to create a sense of proximity and empathy, photographs have long been a crucial means of exchanging ideas between people across the globe; this book explores the role of photography in shaping ideas about race and difference from the 1840s to the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights. Focusing on Australian experience in a global context, a rich selection of case studies – drawing on a range of visual genres, from portraiture to ethnographic to scientific photographs – show how photographic encounters between Aboriginals, missionaries, scientists, photographers and writers fuelled international debates about morality, law, politics and human rights. Drawing on new archival research, Photography, Humanitarianism, Empire is essential reading for students and scholars of race, visuality and the histories of empire and human rights.
Almost all museums hold photographs in their collections, and museum professionals and their audiences engage with photographs in a myriad of ways. Yet despite some three decades of critical museology and photographic theory, and an extensive debate on the politics of representation, outside art museums, almost no critical attention has been given specifically to the roles, purposes and lives of these photographs within museums. This book brings into focus the ubiquitous yet entirely unconsidered work that photographs are put to in museums. The authors' argument is that there is an economy of photographs in museums which is integral to the processes of the museum, and integral to the understanding of museums. The international contributors, drawn from curators and academics, reflect a range of visual and museological expertise. After an introduction setting out the range of questions and problems, the first part addresses broad curatorial strategies and ways of thinking about photographs in museums. Shifting the emphasis from curatorial practices and anxieties to the space of the gallery, this is followed by a series of case studies of exhibitionary practices and the museum strategies that support them. The third section focuses on the role of photographs in the museum articulation of ’difficult histories’. A final section addresses photograph collections in a digital environment. New technologies and new media have transformed the management, address and purposing in photographs in museums, from cataloguing practices to streaming on social media. These growing practices challenge both traditional hierarchies of knowledge in museums and the location of authority about photographs. The volume emerges from PhotoCLEC, a HERA funded project on museums and the photographic legacy of the colonial past in a postcolonial and multicultural Europe.
John J. Honigmann was an anthropologist of rare energy and talent. In addition to writing numerous books and dozens of articles, he is the only anthropologist whose research and field experience extend across the three northern culture areas of Canada – the Western Subarctic, the Eastern Subarctic and the Arctic. Faces of the North presents a record of exceptionally high quality photographs depicting this extraordinary anthropological journey. Cultural anthropologist Bryan Cummins has compiled a written and photographic account of Honigmann’s ethnographic work from the 1940s to the 1960s. The result is a stunning ethnohistorical account of Canada’s First Nations in the mid-20th century. The author also provides an overview of northern First Nations (Algonkians, Dene and Inuit), a history of Canadian anthropology and the sub-discipline of ethnographic photography, and a biographical account of Dr. J.J. Honigmann, the acknowledged pre-eminent chronicler of the cultural diversity of Canada’s north. His superb photographs, many of which are found throughout Faces of the North, are a rich treasure of ethnographic images depicting Inuit and First Nations culture.
This innovative volume explores the idea that while photographs are images, they are also objects, and this materiality is integral to their meaning and use. The case studies presented focus on photographs active in different institutional, political, religious and domestic spheres, where physical properties, the nature of their use and the cultural formations in which they function make their 'objectness' central to how we should understand them. The book's contributions are drawn from disciplines including the history of photography, visual anthropology and art history, with case studies from a range of countries such as the Netherlands, North America, Australia, Japan, Romania and Tibet. Each shows the methodological strategies they have developed in order to fully exploit the idea of the materiality of photographic images.