Global Photography : A Critical History book cover
1st Edition

Global Photography
A Critical History

ISBN 9781474240673
Published July 30, 2020 by Routledge
362 Pages

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Book Description

This innovative text recounts the history of photography through a series of thematically structured chapters. Designed and written for students studying photography and its history, each chapter approaches its subject by introducing a range of international, contemporary photographers and then contextualizing their work in historical terms. 

The book offers students an accessible route to gain an understanding of the key genres, theories and debates that are fundamental to the study of this rich and complex medium. Individual chapters cover major topics, including: · Description and Abstraction · Truth and Fiction · The Body · Landscape · War · Politics of Representation · Form · Appropriation · Museums · The Archive · The Cinematic · Fashion Photography 

Boxed focus studies throughout the text offer short interviews, curatorial statements and reflections by photographers, critics and leading scholars that link photography's history with its practice. Short chapter summaries, research questions and further reading lists help to reinforce learning and promote discussion. Whether coming to the subject from an applied photography or art history background, students will benefit from this book's engaging, example-led approach to the subject, gaining a sophisticated understanding of international photography in historical terms.

Table of Contents


Heather Diack, Erina Duganne, and Terri Weissman 

I. Realisms 

Erina Duganne 

1. Description and Abstraction 


The Body Process 

Focus Box: The Helsinki School 

Timothy Persons 

2. Truth and Fiction 


Barry Stone 

Staging Painting Constructions 

II. Evidence 

Terri Weissman 

3. Measuring the Body 

(Radical) Ethnography 

Self and Body 

Focus Box: Photography of the Minamata Disaster 

Namiko Kunimoto 


4. Mapping the Land 



Focus Box: Ecocritical Voices 

Subhankar Banerjee 

T.J.Demos and Charlotte Cotton 


III. Ethics

Heather Diack 

5. Politics of Representation 

Visual Signs 


Identification and Dislocation 

Focus Box: Documents and Documentary 

Martha Rosler

6. Pictures of War  

The Politics of Proximity Afterimages Bearing Witness 

Focus Box: Images of War or War of Images? 

Khaled Barakeh 

IV. Art Heather Diack 

7. Form 

The Shape of Vision 

The Unexpected in the Ordinary 

Hybridity and Objecthood 

Focus Box: Abstract Labor 

Drew Sawyer 

8. Appropriation 

Iconic Images 

Altered Histories 

Ownership, Authorship and Originality 

Focus Box: Advertisement Extraction: An interview with Juan David Laserna Montoya 

Juan David Laserna Montoya, Gina McDaniel Tarver, and Erina Duganne 

V. Collections

Erina Duganne 

9. Museums 

The Judgment Seat 

African Agency 

Focus Box: Correspondence and Annotation: An interview with Raqs Media Collective 

Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, and Amy L. Powell 

Everyday Pictures 

10. Archives Collections 

Focus Box: The Surface of Things: A History of Photography from the Swahili Coast 

Prita Meier 

Memory Time 

VI. Expanded Field 

Terri Weissman 

11. Celebrity Style, the Publicity Shot, and the Maverick 

Language of Fashion 

Celebrity Design and the Editorial Layout 

Focus Box: Owning Beauty 

Stephanie Baptist 

The Politics and Power of Dress 

12. Photography and the Cinematic  

An Uncertain Perception: Stilled Movement and Staged Stillness 

Focus Box: Moving Stills 

Marta Zarzycka 

Extended Time in Still and Moving Images Projection

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Erina Duganne is Associate Professor of Art History in the School of Art and Design at Texas State University where she teaches courses on modern and contemporary art, photography, and visual culture. She is the author of The Self in Black and White: Race and Subjectivity in Postwar American Photography, was a co-curator, a co-editor, and an essayist for the exhibition and accompanying publication, Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain (2007).

Heather Diack is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of Miami. She is the author of Documents of Doubt: The Photographic Conditions of Conceptual Art (2020).

Terri Weissman is Associate Professor of Art History in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she teaches modern and contemporary art history, the history of photography and the history of design. She is also affiliated with the University of Illinois's Unit for Criticism and Interpretative Theory. She is the author of The Realisms of Berenice Abbott: Documentary Photography and Political Action and was co-curator and co-author for the exhibition and accompanying publication American Modern: Documentary Photographs by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White (2010).


"Global Photography boldly answers the calls to expand and reframe the grand narrative that scholars constructed for photography in the twentieth century. The book broadens the geographic and temporal scope of traditional surveys, integrates multiple voices, and places history into productive dialogue with the present—all while remaining critical of its own choices and cultural biases, and skeptical of any text that claims to represent the whole story of photography."

Tanya Sheehan, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art, Colby College