IAS Fellow's Public Lecture
Fellow: Professor Elizabeth Edwards
Title: Placing the Past: Photographic Survey and Popular History 1885-1918
Date: 14 February 2012
Venue: Senate Suite, University College, Durham (directions)
The late 19th century saw a massive expansion of amateur photographic practice. This lecture will explore the ways in which these photographers were encouraged to undertake 'photographic surveys' by recording ancient buildings, antiquities and 'customs' for the benefit of future generations. This lecture will explore in particular the way in which these activities and their perceived public utility might illuminate popular engagements with history at the period, and how 'thinking with photographs' might enhance our own understanding of the period.
Professor Elizabeth Edwards is a historical and visual anthropologist who has worked extensively in the field of cross-cultural photography, and on the relationship between
photography history and anthropology. She trained as a historian at the Universities of Reading and Leicester before moving sideways into anthropology and to photography through her interest in alternative historical forms.
Professor Edwards' major interest is in the social practices of photography and material encounters with photographs, from patterns of collecting to history of science. She has forged innovative work especially in the field of the material and the multi-sensory photograph, for instance her edited volumes Photographs Objects Histories (2004), Sensible Objects (2006) and paper 'Photographs and the Sound of 'History' (2005). Related to this is her other major contribution in bringing anthropological methods to the history of photography more generally, notably her forthcoming monograph The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination 1885-1918. She is currently working on projects on photography and evolutionary theory, and continuing her work on materiality and haptics of photography and on the history of collections. She is also leading PhotocLEC, a European HERA-funded project with partners in The Netherlands and Norway, on the photographic legacy of the colonial past in a postcolonial, multicultural Europe.
- Public Lecture Recording (last modified: 29 February 2012) - MP3 file