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September 2002, Week 3


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Lisa Kernan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 16 Sep 2002 10:04:30 -0700
TEXT/PLAIN (70 lines)
This is a longstanding interest of mine as well. Historically, at
least in the US, those most involved in histories and theories of
photography have tended to be aligned more with photographic production
than academia per se, since academia hasn't (as you rightly note)
nurtured an institutional home for this. So interesting dialogues would
take place in places like SPE (Society of Photographic Education), most
of whose members were photographers with MFAs who may teach studies as
well as production. Or critics who have an interesting take on these
issues, like A.D. Coleman. Interesting work has gone on in places more
loosely affiliated with academia (if at all) like the Visual Studies
Workshop in Rochester (home of AFTERIMAGE and a degree grantor thru
SUNY Brockport), Center for Creative Photography at the U of Ariz.,
IMP/GEH (Eastman House) and the Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego
(I'm lumping a lot of different institutional models together here). I
think, as you also imply, many of the photographic scholars out there
teach thru Art History or Art production departments (Sally Stein,
Rosalind Krauss, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Allen Sekula--an example of
the theorist/practitioner model). Of late, the collectors have become a
force in the institutional landscape of photography as well, for better
or worse. In a way it's refreshing that photographic studies still
hasn't become as "professionalized" as art history or film studies, but
it does get lost in the shuffle. There is also the trend towards
"Visual Studies" programs in academia (e.g. U. of Rochester) where film
and art history come together, perhaps enabling a larger voice for
photographic studies.
This is a partial answer--I'm very interested in others' responses as

On Sat, 14 Sep 2002 10:28:15 -0400 Diane Lewis
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> In the course of looking at various Film and Visual Studies graduate
> programs, as well as Art History programs, I find it interesting that in
> the divide between such departments no distinctly developed field for the
> study of the history and theory of photography has emerged, even as it is
> rarely and inadequately considered by both disciplines.  I would be
> interested in hearing comments about the forms of photographic theory (not
> limited to the still, but also considering "photographic" as a material
> description) that enter institutional discourse.  Where is the proper
> place for cultural study of the photographic image?  What institutions
> have established discourses on photography that collaborate with art and
> film theory?  Or, am I misguided in thinking that since there are few
> independent programs for the cultural study of photography, such studies
> must necessarily be nourished under the auspices of Film Studies or Art
> History?  Similarly, am I wrong to believe that appropriate consideration
> to the history and theory of photography has not been developed in either
> of these fields?
> Specific examples or comments on particular institutions would especially
> be appreciated.
> Thank you,
> Diane Lewis
> ----
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite

Lisa D. Kernan, Ph.D.
Arts Librarian for Film, Television and Theater
[log in to unmask]
(310) 206-4823

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