1st Edition

Photography and Its Publics

Edited By Melissa Miles, Edward Welch Copyright 2020
    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    266 Pages
    by Routledge

    Photography is a ubiquitous part of the public sphere. Yet we rarely stop to think about the important role that photography plays in helping to define what and who constitute the public.

    Photography and Its Publics brings together leading experts and emerging thinkers to consider the special role of photography in shaping how the public is addressed, seen and represented.This book responds to a growing body of recent scholarship and flourishing interest in photography's connections to the law, society, culture, politics, social change, the media and visual ethics.Photography and Its Publics presents the public sphere as a vibrant setting where these realms are produced, contested and entwined. Public spheres involve yet exceed the limits of families, interest groups, identities and communities. They are dynamic realms of visibility, discussion, reflection and possible conflict among strangers of different race, age, gender, social and economic status.

    Through studies of photography in South America, North America, Europe and Australasia, the contributors consider how photography has changed the way we understand and locate the public sphere. As they address key themes including the referential and imaginative qualities of photography, the transnational circulation of photographs, online publics, social change, violence, conflict and the ethics of spectatorship, the authors provide new insight into photography's vital role in defining public life.

    1. Melissa Miles, ‘Introduction: Photography and Its Publics’  Part I: Photography and the Provocation of the Public  2. Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites, ‘Photography and Public Culture’  Part II: Photography, Publics and Counterpublics  3. Andrés Mario Zervigón, ‘Photography, Truth and the Radicalized Public Sphere in Weimar Germany’  4. Edward Welch, ‘“Match nous a raconté une histoire”: Thinking with Roland Barthes about Photography, Publics and the Exercise of Power in Post-war France’  5. Tom Allbeson, ‘Prehistories of Visual Activism: Photography, Counterpublics and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Post-war Britain’  Part III: Within and Beyond the National Public Sphere  6. Melissa Miles, ‘Photography, Aboriginal Rights and the 1967 Australian Referendum’  7. Angeles Donoso Macaya, ‘A Little History of Photographic Displacements: from Chile from within (1990) to Chile desde adentro (2015)’  Part IV: Human Rights and the Ethics of Spectatorship  8. Thy Phu, ‘Afterimages of S-21: Distant and Proximate Spectatorship and the Legacies of Cold War Human Rights’  9. Rebecca A. Adelman, ‘Hospitable Looking: Towards a Different Way of Seeing the War in Syria’  Part V: Global Media Publics  10. Paul Frosh, ‘Is Commercial Photography a Public Evil? Beyond the Critique of Stock Photography’  11. Michele Zappavigna and Sumin Zhao, ‘Selfies and recontextualization: Still life self-imaging in social media’  Afterword  12. Edward Welch, ‘Photography’s Interdisciplinary Publics: A Tribute to Professor Andrea Noble’


    Professor Melissa Miles is an Australian Research Council Fellow based at Monash University in Australia. Her interdisciplinary research examines the relationships between photography and public and private realms, the role of photography in processes of truth and reconciliation, and photography's operation as a medium of cultural exchange. Her books include The Burning Mirror: Photography in an Ambivalent Light (2008, reprinted in 2010), The Language of Light and Dark: Light and Place in Australian Photography (2015), The Culture of Photography in Public Space (2015) co-edited with Anne Marsh and Daniel Palmer and Photography, Truth and Reconciliation forthcoming.

    Professor Edward Welch is the Carnegie Chair of French at the University of Aberdeen, and Director of the George Washington Wilson Centre for Visual Cultures. His current research focuses on French literary and visual culture of the post-war period, and its responses to processes of modernisation, decolonisation and urban change. His books include Contesting Views: The Visual Economy of France and Algeria (2013) co-authored with Joseph McGonagle, Francois Mauriac: The Making of an Intellectual (2006) and Photography: Theoretical Snapshots (Routledge, 2009) co-edited with Jonathan Long and Andrea Noble.