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Imaged Communities: Putting Canadian Photography History in its Place

Friday, 21 March 2014, at 18:30
Concordia University, EV-1.605 (map)

Canadian Photography Research Group

Department of Art History, Concordia University


While visual culture in general, and photographic history in particular, has made the ‘transnational turn,’ it is important to realize that a consolidated history of Canadian photography has never been written. A research team of one established and seven emergent scholars, based in the Department of Art History, Concordia University, has been working toward this goal, though with a new historiographical template in mind. Our intention is not simply to inject Canadian photographic history into world histories of photography, but to construct a model that accommodates the particulars of Canadian photographic production, circulation, and reception. To date, we have focused our efforts on the literature, understood to include both publications about photography and publications using photographs as illustrations, considering the latter as crucial to everyday photographic experience. Our intentions for this panel are to share our discoveries of Canada as a network of photographic places. Each panelist will present a short paper that delves into the particular photographic conditions of place.

This round table, moderated by Martha Langford, will consist of five short papers:

A Tale of Two Cities: Photography, Local Histories, and the Self‐identification of Two Emergent Ontario Cities
Elizabeth Cavaliere

Particularity of Place: The City and the Country as Walked and Photographed in Canada
Philippe Guillaume

Settling the West through Image and Word: A Cultural History of Western Photography
Karla McManus

Pictures at the Port: Pier 21 and the Photographic History of Canadian Immigration
Sharon Murray

The (Re)Discovery of Saint John's Isaac Erb: Post-Centennial Nostalgia, a Photographic Archive, and the Empire of Things
Aurèle Parisien

The Canadian Photography History Research Group is directed by Martha Langford, professor, Department of Art History, and director of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for the Study of Canadian Art, Concordia University. Elizabeth Cavaliere, Karla McManus, Sharon Murray, and Aurèle Parisien are doctoral candidates and lecturers in the Department of Art History, Concordia University. Philippe Guillaume is a graduate of the MA in Individualized Studies, a peripatetic photographic artist, and independent scholar.

Images: Cover, Graeme Mercer Adam, Toronto, Old and New (Toronto: Mail Print Co., 1891); Alexander Ross, Sir Donald Smith Driving the Last Spike, Craigellachie, BC, 1885 (Canadian Pacific Railway Archives); Fred Herzog, Main Barber from Sidewalk, 1968 (Equinox Gallery, Vancouver); Passengers Aboard the Saturnia in June of 1958 (Chilelli Family Collection of the Pier 21 Society, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21); cover, “The Isaac Erb Collection,” special issue of Camera Canada, 1977; Isaac Erb (Lewis Wilson working print from Erb plate), c. 1904-1920 (Isaac Erb Collection, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick).


Of Related Interest:

Martha Langford's faculty page