How are photographs understood as narratives? In this book twenty-two original critical essays tackle this overarching question in a series of case studies moving chronologically across the history of photography from the 1840s to the twenty-first century. The contributors explore the intersections of photography with history, memory, autobiography, time, death, mapping, the discourse of Orientalism, digital technology, and representations of race and gender. The essays range in focus from the role of photographic images in the memorialization of the Holocaust, the Argentine "Dirty Warm," and Japanese American internment camps through Man Ray's classic image "Noire et blanche" and Nan Goldin's "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency" to the function of family albums in nineteenth-century England and America.
Author: Frank Möller
Release Date: 2018-12-17
Genre: Political Science
This study thinks with photography about peace. It asks how photography can represent peace, and how such representation can contribute to peace. The book offers an original critique of the almost exclusive focus on violence in recent work on visual culture and presents a completely new research agenda within the overall framework of visual peace research. Critically engaging with both photojournalism and art photography in light of peace theories, it looks for visual representations or anticipations of peace – peace or peace as a potentiality – in the work of selected photographers including Robert Capa and Richard Mosse, thus reinterpreting photography from the Spanish Civil War to current anti-migration politics in Europe. The book argues that peace photography is episodic, culturally specific, process-oriented and considerate of both the past and the future.
Author: Gabriele Schwab
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2010-10-19
Genre: Literary Criticism
From mass murder to genocide, slavery to colonial suppression, acts of atrocity have lives that extend far beyond the horrific moment. They engender trauma that echoes for generations, in the experiences of those on both sides of the act. Gabriele Schwab reads these legacies in a number of narratives, primarily through the writing of postwar Germans and the descendents of Holocaust survivors. She connects their work to earlier histories of slavery and colonialism and to more recent events, such as South African Apartheid, the practice of torture after 9/11, and the "disappearances" that occurred during South American dictatorships. Schwab's texts include memoirs, such as Ruth Kluger's Still Alive and Marguerite Duras's La Douleur; second-generation accounts by the children of Holocaust survivors, such as Georges Perec's W, Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Philippe Grimbert's Secret; and second-generation recollections by Germans, such as W. G. Sebald's Austerlitz, Sabine Reichel's What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, and Ursula Duba's Tales from a Child of the Enemy. She also incorporates her own reminiscences of growing up in postwar Germany, mapping interlaced memories and histories as they interact in psychic life and cultural memory. Schwab concludes with a bracing look at issues of responsibility, reparation, and forgiveness across the victim/perpetrator divide.
Author: Marianne Hirsch
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2012-06-26
Genre: Literary Criticism
Can we remember other people's memories? The Generation of Postmemory argues we can: that memories of traumatic events live on to mark the lives of those who were not there to experience them. Children of survivors and their contemporaries inherit catastrophic histories not through direct recollection but through haunting postmemories multiply mediated images, objects, stories, behaviors, and affects passed down within the family and the culture at large. In these new and revised critical readings of the literary and visual legacies of the Holocaust and other, related sites of memory, Marianne Hirsch builds on her influential concept of postmemory. The book's chapters, two of which were written collaboratively with the historian Leo Spitzer, engage the work of postgeneration artists and writers such as Art Spiegelman, W.G. Sebald, Eva Hoffman, Tatana Kellner, Muriel Hasbun, Anne Karpff, Lily Brett, Lorie Novak, David Levinthal, Nancy Spero and Susan Meiselas. Grappling with the ethics of empathy and identification, these artists attempt to forge a creative postmemorial aesthetic that reanimates the past without appropriating it. In her analyses of their fractured texts, Hirsch locates the roots of the familial and affiliative practices of postmemory in feminism and other movements for social change. Using feminist critical strategies to connect past and present, words and images, and memory and gender, she brings the entangled strands of disparate traumatic histories into more intimate contact. With more than fifty illustrations, her text enables a multifaceted encounter with foundational and cutting edge theories in memory, trauma, gender, and visual culture, eliciting a new understanding of history and our place in it.
The comics within capture in intimate, often awkward, but always relatable detail the tribulations and triumphs of life. In particular, the lives of 18 Jewish women artists who bare all in their work, which appeared in the internationally acclaimed exhibition “Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women.” The comics are enhanced by original essays and interviews with the artists that provide further insight into the creation of autobiographical comics that resonate beyond self, beyond gender, and beyond ethnicity.
The essays in Tracing the Autobiographical work with the literatures of several nations to reveal the intersections of broad agendas (for example, national ones) with the personal, the private, and the individual. Attending to ethics, exile, tyranny, and hope, the contributors listen for echoes and murmurs as well as authoritative declarations. They also watch for the appearance of auto/biography in unexpected places, tracing patterns from materials that have been left behind. Many of the essays return to the question of text or traces of text, demonstrating that the language of autobiography, as well as the textualized identities of individual persons, can be traced in multiple media and sometimes unlikely documents, each of which requires close textual examination. These “unlikely documents” include a deportation list, an art exhibit, reality TV, Web sites and chat rooms, architectural spaces, and government memos, as well as the more familiar literary genres—a play, the long poem, or the short story. Interdisciplinary in scope and contemporary in outlook, Tracing the Autobiographical is a welcome addition to autobiography scholarship, focusing on non-traditional genres and on the importance of location and place in life writing. Read the chapter “Gender, Nation, and Self-Narration: Three Generations of Dayan Women in Palestine/Israel” by Bina Freiwald on the Concordia University Library Spectrum Research Repository website.
Author: Arlene Stein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2014-08-04
Genre: Social Science
Americans now learn about the Holocaust in high school, watch films about it on television, and visit museums dedicated to preserving its memory. But for the first two decades following the end of World War II, discussion of the destruction of European Jewry was largely absent from American culture and the tragedy of the Holocaust was generally seen as irrelevant to non-Jewish Americans. Today, the Holocaust is widely recognized as a universal moral touchstone. In Reluctant Witnesses, sociologist Arlene Stein--herself the daughter of a Holocaust survivor--mixes memoir, history, and sociological analysis to tell the story of the rise of Holocaust consciousness in the United States from the perspective of survivors and their descendants. If survivors tended to see Holocaust storytelling as mainly a private affair, their children--who reached adulthood during the heyday of identity politics--reclaimed their hidden family histories and transformed them into public stories. Reluctant Witnesses documents how a group of people who had previously been unrecognized and misunderstood managed to find its voice. It tells this story in relation to the changing status of trauma and victimhood in American culture. At a time when a sense of Holocaust fatigue seems to be setting in and when the remaining survivors are at the end of their lives, it affirms that confronting traumatic memories and catastrophic histories can help us make our world mean something beyond ourselves.
In Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare, Leigh Raiford argues that over the past one hundred years, activists in the black freedom struggle have used photographic imagery both to gain political recognition and to develop a different visual vocabulary about black lives. Offering readings of the use of photography in the anti-lynching movement, the civil rights movement, and the black power movement, Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare focuses on key transformations in technology, society, and politics to understand the evolution of photography's deployment in capturing white oppression, black resistance, and African American life.