Graduate Student Colloquium on the History and Theory of Photography Virtual Event October 9 (Developing Room, Rutgers University, USA)

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Friday, October 9, 2020

10:00am – 5:00pm Eastern Time


The Developing Room Working Group

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


Online Event via Zoom

Free and open to the public


Register in advance for this event: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining via Zoom.


Please join us for the Developing Room’s third annual Graduate Student Colloquium on the History and Theory of Photography. A full schedule of events is included below. 

This event will feature presentations by Ph.D. candidates who are working on dissertation topics in which photography—its histories and theories—play a central role. Presenters will share a chapter or a section from their dissertation, along with an account of how that chapter/section fits within their larger project. The presentation format involves a formal 25-minute presentation followed by 25 minutes of discussion. The Developing Room invites a large audience of faculty and students in order to ensure a rich conversation and to build a constituency from which papers can be drawn in subsequent years. In the last two years, our event has brought together an international group of researchers working across a wide range of topics related to photography.

This year’s respondent will be Ellen Handy, a historian, curator and critic of photography and modern art. She teaches courses in the history of photography, art of the United States, art criticism, and research methods in art history at The City College of New York. Previously, she was Executive Curator of Visual Collections at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a regular columnist for Arts Magazine. She received her PhD from the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, and her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University. Her research interests include landscape and urban imagery in photography and other mediums, intersections of art and science in 19th century photography, women and photography, connoisseurship in photography, printed ephemera, and early modernism in visual and literary culture in the United States.

More information about the presenters, including their bios, paper titles, and abstracts, can be found on the event website at


Schedule of Events:

10:00 Introduction


10:15 Kaitlin Booher, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Color Sells: The Creation and Reception of Color Fashion Photographs in Harper’s Bazaar and

Vogue, 1932–45


10:40 Discussion


11:10 Lauren Graves, Boston University

The Neighbor: Helen Levitt’s imagined landscapes of East Harlem


11:35 Discussion


12:05 Lunch Break (1 hr 25 min)


1:30 Colin Young, Yale University
Capturing Absence: Indigenous Disappearance and Desert Emptiness in the First

Photographic Albums of the Prairies and Pampas


1:55 Discussion


2:25 Molly Kalkstein, University of Arizona
The Discerning Eye: Materiality and the 1970s American Market for Photographs


2:55 Discussion


3:25 Break (10 min)


3:35 Kathryn Poindexter, University of Southern California

Aaron Siskind’s Photographs as Rosenberg’s Imaginary Museum


4:00 Discussion


4:30-5:00 General Discussion led by Dr. Ellen Handy, The City College of New York


The event is free and open to the public. More information about the Developing Room can be found at Please email Maria Garth with any questions at



Art History Department, Rutgers University

Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University