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Rethinking the Discursive Origins of Photography: Alexander von Humboldt and the Pursuit of Geographical Knowledge

Thursday 1 October at 18:30 in EV-1.615
Concordia University

Joan M. Schwartz
Queen's University

 The origins of photography have usually been traced to the aspirations of a professional diorama painter (Daguerre), on the one hand, and the frustrations of an amateur artist (Talbot), on the other. But, how might the history of photography be rewritten if the camera is considered a tool of the geographical imagination and the photograph as a way of seeing across space and time?

Joan M. Schwartz is Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar, Department of Art, at Queen's University, Kingston. Previously Senior Specialist in Photography Acquisition and Research at the National Archives of Canada, she is a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists and an Adjunct Research Professor in both Geography and History at Carleton University, Ottawa. She is co-editor of Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination (2003) and guest editor of special issues of BC Studies, History of Photography, Archival Science, and Archivaria.

Image: Antoine Fran├žois Claudet, The Geography Lesson, c. 1850, daguerreotype. Gernsheim Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.