The First Century of Photography: Photography as History/ Historicizing Photography in Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Territories (1839 – 1939)

Nurcin Ileri's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
January 8, 2018
Location: 
Turkey
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Archival Science

The First Century of Photography:

Photography as History/ Historicizing Photography in Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Territories (1839 – 1939)

22-23 June 2018

Bogazici University, Istanbul

We invite paper proposals for a workshop that will investigate the first one hundred years of photography in Ottoman and post-Ottoman territories, especially the Republic of Turkey but also the other successor states created out of the progressive dissolution of the empire (i.e. Greece and Balkan States, former Ottoman Middle Eastern and African provinces).  While there has recently been an emergence of new exciting research on photography in these realms, many working in the field do not yet know of one another as they work in very different disciplines.  This workshop aims to bring together an intellectual community of scholars engaged with photography and history so that we may better enrich future work. We have suggested certain limits: 1839-1939 in all Ottoman and post-Ottoman territories.  However, we are open to paper proposals that question or go beyond these limits as this workshop’s aim is to foster fruitful and provocative encounters between interdisciplinary scholars at all stages of their academic careers. Research on all genres of photography is welcome including but not limited to family photography, studio portraits, medical photography, landscape photography, identity cards, criminal mugshots, and photojournalism.  The workshop will be hosted at Bogazici University and we hope to also invite a few prominent collectors to share their expertise with us and address the significance of private collections for many studying photography in post-Ottoman territories.  Moreover, Bogazici University Archives and Documentation Center will also share firsthand experience of the challenges, frustrations and joys of turning photographs into publically accessible historical archives. 

Collectively we hope to engage questions such as what kinds of historical narratives are sparked, enriched, or obscured by photographs?  What other kinds of knowledge are bundled with photographs?  How do we determine which photographs to save and which stories to save alongside them?  How does a photograph enter an archive and for what ends?  If part of what makes a photograph distinct is its complex temporality, how might thinking with photographs spur more attentive engagement with the widespread use of photography today?  What do photographs of the past teach us about our contemporary moment?  Conversely, how can we escape presentist readings of historical photography?

Topics may include:

  • Circulation of photography
  • Photography and the state
  • Photography’s role in Ottoman and/or Republican historiography
  • Photography as a historical object
  • Popular representations of history
  • Representations of the Turkish Republic
  • Technologies of photography
  • Diverse production cultures
  • Genres of photograph
  • Temporalities of photography

Please submit an abstract (250 words) and short biography to arsivmerkezi@boun.edu.tr by January 8, 2018.  We will notify all applicants by February 15th.

Organizing Committee

Özge B. Calafato (NYU Abu Dhabi, Akkasah Center for Photography)

Zeynep Devrim Gürsel (Macalester College, International Studies, Anthropology, Media and Cultural Studies)

Ahmet Ersoy (Boğaziçi University, Department of History)

Nurçin İleri (Boğaziçi University, Archives and Documentation Center)

Cengiz Kırlı (Boğaziçi University, Archives and Documentation Center and Atatürk Institute)

A. Aylin de Tapia (Aix-Marseille University, LabEx Med, Institut d’ethnologie méditerranéenne, européenne et comparative)

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