Photography & Its Origins

Daguerreotype by Daguerre
Alphonse Giroux, Still Life (with Portrait of Daguerre), ca. 1839. Courtesy of Biblioteca comunale di Imola (Italy).
 
In this day-long symposium, nine speakers reflected on why origin stories have preoccupied historians of photography. How do we tell the story of photography’s beginnings? Who or what invented the medium? When and where was the first photograph made? What shaped the earliest ideas about and conventions of photography? Why do we ask such questions? 
 
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VIDEO CAN BE VIEWED HERE:        Introduction 1  Introduction 2   
 

Sponsors

Talks

'Erroneously Supposed to Have Been Photography’: Policing the Boundaries of a Prehistory
Jordan Bear
, University of Toronto
‘A Hiding Place in Waking Dreams’: Walter Benjamin’s ‘Small History of Photography’
Shawn Michelle Smith
, Art Institute of Chicago
Coming to Terms with Daguerre
Stephen Pinson
, New York Public Library
The Quick and the Dead: Rethinking Genealogies for the Inventions of Photography
Anne McCauley
, Princeton University
The First Photograph of the Universe: 13.7 Billion Years in the Making
Terry Matilsky
, Rutgers University
Talbot’s Notes: Revisiting the Origins of Photography in Light of a Wider Victorian Archive
Mirjam Brusius
, Kunsthistorisches Institut
Fragile Contacts: The Bertoloni Album and Italy’s Invisibility in Histories of Photography’s Origins
Beth Saunders
, CUNY Graduate Center
Photography Excavated: Reflections on Photographic Origins and/through a Media-Archaeological Lens
Julia Munro
, Georgia Institute of Technology
Translated from the Original
Marcy Dinius
, DePaul University