CFP: The Ethics of Photography (grad) (9/30/06; 2/11/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Morna O'Neill
contact email: 

The Ethics of Photography
A one-day graduate student symposium
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

This one-day graduate student symposium will address the ethics of making and
viewing photographs and the changing conceptions of the ethical concerns
inherent in those practices throughout the history of the medium.

In 1977, Susan Sontag suggested that, ?in teaching a new visual code,
photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what
we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and, even more importantly, an
ethics of seeing? (On Photography).
In the decades since Sontag?s text, scholars and critics of photography have
turned increasingly to questions of power, intention, and agency in examining
the relation between subject and photographer, between photograph and viewer.
This symposium investigates moral purpose in the history of the medium and its
contemporary practice to evaluate the status of photography as an ethics of

We invite interpretations of this theme as 30-minute papers from graduate
students working on all aspects of the arts and humanities. Cross-disciplinary
approaches and comparative studies are particularly welcome.

Topics may include but are not restricted to:
-The ethics of subjecthood (the person depicted in the photograph)
-Medical and scientific photography
-Debates over reality, truth, and the photograph
-The role of photography in social reform
-Issues and questions raised by technological developments
-Narrative and performativity in portraiture and other practices
-The negotiation of class relations and social positions
-The gap between intention and use
-The rise of ethical codes for professional photographers
-Gender dynamics
-Propaganda, nationalism, and politics
-colonialism, empire, and post-colonial responses
-The role of photography in humanitarian organizations and debates around
photography itself as a humanitarian practice

The program will include discussion sessions with curators, archivists, and
artists. The day will draw to its close with a keynote lecture by Richard
Billingham, whose portraits of his family were collected for the publication
Ray's A Laugh (1996). Recent work such as Black Country (2004) examines
landscape and memory.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to Morna O?Neill, Research
Department, Yale Center for British Art, PO Box 208280, New Haven, CT
06520-8280 or to by September 30, 2006.

Travel funds for speakers are available upon application.

Support for this symposium has been generously provided by the Andrew W. Mellon

--Morna O'NeillPostdoctoral Research AssociateResearch DepartmentYale Center for British ArtYale Center for British Art1080 Chapel StreetPO Box 208280New Haven, CT 06520tel 203.432.6774fax 203.432.5946e-mail morna.oneill_at_yale.eduweb site ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Wed Aug 16 2006 - 19:57:13 EDT