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Photography Historians: A New Generation?

Fig. 1

  Ralph Crane, [Professor Hildebrand looks at his class, University of California], October 1948, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre


The symposium is organized by the Ryerson Image Centre, with generous support from:

March 26 – 28, 2015
School of Image Arts, Ryerson University
122 Bond Street, Toronto, IMA-307

Admission to the event is free. Seating is limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Watch Online:

Thursday, March 26 

Friday, March 27, Part 1
Friday, March 27, Part 2

Saturday, March 28 

The fourth annual Ryerson Image Centre symposium on photography, this year entitled “Photography Historians: A New Generation?” highlights the most current research in the history of photography, bringing emerging scholars from universities worldwide to speak about their bodies of inquiry, their methods and their findings. This rising group of young photo-historians will engage in dialogue with renowned scholars, revealing how contemporary historical inquiry sits within—and departs from—established traditions. The hope is that participants, and the audience, may better understand how we came to surpass notions of the “history of photography,” moving beyond even diverse “histories of photography,” to arrive at our present sense that there are many histories of photographs.

The conference will take place over two and a half days and will be divided into fours sections to highlight thematic similarities and shared concerns: “The Role of Photographic Reproductions,” “The Business of Photography,” “The Construction of Photographic Meanings” and “Art Photography in the Making.” 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Welcome & Keynote Address

6:00 pm — Doors open

6:10 pm — Research Activities at the Ryerson Image Centre
Paul Roth, Director, Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, Canada)

6:20 pm — Introduction
Dr. Thierry Gervais, Assistant Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University and Head of Research, Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, Canada)

6:30 pm — Keynote Address, Photography as History: Questions Old and New
Dr. François Brunet, Professor, Art et Littérature des États-Unis, Université Paris-Diderot, and Member of the Institut Universitaire de France (Paris, France)

Friday, March 27, 2015

9:00 am — Doors open

9:15 am — Panel Introduction, The Photographic Reproduction Role
Dr. Thierry Gervais, Assistant Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University and Head of Research, Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, Canada)

9:20 amIn the Era of Experiment: Photographie Zoologique (1853) and the Dream of Photographic Reproduction
Kate Addleman-Frankel, University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada)

10:00 amA Library in a Handbag: The Rise and Imaginary of Microfilm (1920s to 1950s)
Dr. Estelle Blaschke, École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland)

10:40 am to 11:00 am — Coffee break

11:00 amHerding Cats: The Objects and Object of Photographic History
Pr. Larry J. Schaaf, Director, William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford (Oxford, UK)

11:40 am – Panel discussion
Kate Addleman-Frankel, Dr. Estelle Blaschke, Pr. Larry J. Schaaf and Dr. Thierry Gervais

12:30 pm — Lunch break

2:00 pm — Panel Introduction
Dr. Blake Fitzpatrick, Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)

2:05 pmTo Promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts
Dr. Mazie M. Harris, assistant curator, Department of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum  (Los Angeles, USA)

2:45 pmThe Eastman Kodak Company and the Incorporation of Photography: Changing Business Practices and Their Impact on the Existing Photographic Industry in Canada, 1885-1905.
Shannon Perry, De Montfort University (Leicester, UK)

3:25 pm — Coffee break

3:45 pmThe Business of Photo History: Beyond the Polemical Style
Dr. Douglas Nickel, Professor, History of Art and Architecture, Brown University (Providence, USA).

4:25 pm — Panel discussion
Dr. Mazie M. Harris, Shannon Perry, Dr. Douglas Nickel and Dr. Blake Fitzpatrick

Saturday, March 28, 2015

9:00 am — Doors open

9:15 am — Panel Introduction, The Construction of Photographic Meanings
Dr. Gäelle Morel, Exhibitions Curator, Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, Canada)

9:20 amThe Decisive Network: Producing Henri Cartier-Bresson at Mid-Century
Nadya Bair, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, USA)

10:00 amPicturing Citizenship: the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee’s photographic lantern slides, 1900-45
Dr. Gabrielle Moser, OCAD University (Toronto, Canada)

10:40 am — Coffee break

11:00 amThe Transition to Color in News Photography: More Poetry, Less Prose?
Dr. Vanessa Schwartz, Professor and Director, Visual Studies Research Institute, University of Southern California, (Los Angeles, USA)

11:40 am – Panel discussion
Nadya Bair, Dr. Gabrielle Moser, Dr. Vanessa Schwartz, Dr. Gaëlle Morel

12:30 pm — Lunch break

2:00 pm — Panel Introduction, Art Photography in the Making
Paul Roth, Director, Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, Canada)

2:05 pm‘Social Significance in a Rock’: Group f.64 at the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum
Ellen MacFarlane, Princeton University (Princeton, USA)

2:45 pmLartigue in the Eyes of Avedon
Dr. Marianne le Galliard, Lartigue Foundation (Paris, France), and Hartung-Bergman Foundation (Antibes, France)

3:25 pm — Coffee break

3:45 pmFuturism, Photography, Fantasms and Fascism
Pr. Marta Braun, Professor and Director of the Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management Master’s program, Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)

4:25 pm — Panel discussion
Ellen MacFarlane, Dr. Marianne le Galliard, Pr. Marta Braun, Paul Roth