Camera Graeca: Photographs, Narratives, Materialities: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Camera Graeca: Photographs, Narratives, Materialities

1st Edition

Edited by Philip Carabott, Yannis Hamilakis, Eleni Papargyriou


396 pages

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While written sources on the history of Greece have been studied extensively, no systematic attempt has been made to examine photography as an important cultural and material process. This is surprising, given that Modern Greece and photography are almost peers: both are cultural products of the 1830s, and both actively converse with modernity. Camera Graeca: Photographs, Narratives, Materialities fills this lacuna. It is the first inter-disciplinary volume to examine critically and in a theorised manner the entanglement of Greece with photography. The book argues that photographs and the photographic process as a whole have been instrumental in the reproduction of national imagination, in the consolidation of the nation-building process, and in the generation and dissemination of state propaganda. At the same time, it is argued that the photographic field constitutes a site of memory and counter-memory, where various social actors intervene actively and stake their discursive, material, and practical claims. As such, the volume will be of relevance to scholars and photographers, worldwide. The book is divided into four, tightly integrated parts. The first, ’Imag(in)ing Greece’, shows that the consolidation of Greek national identity constituted a material-cum-representational process, the projection of an imagery, although some photographic production sits uneasily within the national canon, and may even undermine it. The second part, ’Photographic narratives, alternative histories’, demonstrates the narrative function of photographs in diary-keeping and in photobooks. It also examines the constitution of spectatorship through the combination of text and image, and the role of photography as a process of materializing counter-hegemonic discourses and practices. The third part, ’Photographic matter-realities’, foregrounds the role of photography in materializing state propaganda, national memory, and war. The final part, ’Photographic ethnographiesâ

About the Editors

Philip Carabott taught modern and contemporary Greek history at King’s College London (1990-2011). He has published on politics, society and minorities in Greece of the modern era, and edited and contributed to Greece and Europe in the Modern Period: Aspects of a Troubled Relationship (1995), Greek Society in the Making, 1863-1913: Realities, Symbols and Visions (Ashgate, 1997), The Greek Civil War: Essays on a Conflict of Exceptionalism and Silences (Ashgate, 2004). He is currently based in Athens as an independent scholar, while remaining a Research Associate at King's College, London, UK. Yannis Hamilakis is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. He has published extensively on the politics of the past, on archaeology and sensoriality, and on the links between archaeology and photography. Amongst his books are The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece (2007), and Archaeology and the Senses: Human Experience, Memory, and Affect (2013). Eleni Papargyriou is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, where she taught between 2009-13. She has held research and teaching positions at Oxford University, Princeton University and the University of Ioannina, Greece. Her monograph, Reading Games in the Greek Novel appeared in 2011, and her articles include studies on intertextuality and the novel, the cultural implications of (self)translation, and the rapport between literary text and photographic image.

About the Series

Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London

Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College London

Initiated in 1993 as an extension of the activities of the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London, this series covers all aspects of Greek culture and civilization. The volumes published to date present a broad range of topics from ancient to modern, including the papers of several international symposia held at KCL. Titles deal with the history and image of Alexandria, the image of Socrates across the centuries, the early years of El Greco, the making of Modern Greece, Greek-Turkish relations in modern times, and the history of Greek photography. Volumes recently published or in preparation cover the reign of the 12th-century Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos, the politics behind Lord Byron’s intervention in the Greek Revolution in the 1820s and Greek art music since the early 19th century.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century