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Conference: Reading Photographs in Crisis: A Symposium

Reading Photographs in Crisis: A Symposium

This symposium will be held at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI), University of Leeds, on Friday 14 December 2007.

The symposium marks the continuation of Photography and Atrocity, a collaborative research venture between the University of Leeds and colleagues at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, together with other agencies, to analyze the politics, ethics and poetics of images of atrocity and crisis. For further information on the project to date, go to

We are shown photographs of atrocity from around the world in our newspapers every day. But what is – or what should be – our response to these images? Are we consuming suffering? Or can we read photographs in a way to transform it? And how have such images been treated – and such questions been asked –in the past?The LHRI symposium will offer presentations by leading academics, curators and photographers from the United States, continental Europe and the UK. Confirmed participants include Elizabeth Abel (U of California Berkeley); David Campbell (Durham U); Mark Durden (U of Wales Newport); Marianne Hirsch (Columbia U); Rob Kroes (U of Amsterdam); Paul Lowe (London College of Communication & photographer); John Lucaites (Indiana U); Susan Meiselas (Magnum photographer); Nancy K. Miller (City U of New York); Simon Norfolk (photographer); Griselda Pollock (U of Leeds); Hilary Roberts (Imperial War Museum); Russell Roberts (Ffotogallery, Cardiff); Valerie Smith (Princeton U), Leo Spitzer (Dartmouth College). Each speaker will concentrate on one particular photograph made between World War 2 and the present, reading it in depth, contextualizing it and considering its ethical, political and aesthetic implications.

A full programme may be seen here. Registration fee (set at cost, to coffee and tea): students and unwaged = £3; waged = £5. There is limited seating; places will be allocated in order of registration. You should register in advance. A registration form may be downloaded here. Alternatively, if you are unable to download the word document, a pdf version is available here. (If you have problems downloading these documents, please first refresh your page, and if that does not work – please email Naomi French for an email copy of the form.)

If you need further information about the event, please write to Mick Gidley, Emeritus Professor of American Literature & Culture, at the School of English, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9 JT England, UK or via e-mail at


Conference: Reading Photographs in Crisis: A Symposium


7 Responses

  1. brendadada says

    Hi John: the links to the Word file and pdf don’t work: they arrive at a Leeds Uni restricted info page.

    You seem to be the best source on the web for fascinating days out near me, which is rather clever of you. I’m going to try to come to this. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Lucaites says

    Hi Brenda. Yes, I know about the links. That is apparently a problem at their end. Nothing I can seem to be able to do about it. YOu might contact Mick Gidley, whose e-mail is listed above. I look forward to seeing you again. Best, JLL

  3. brendadada says

    Oh, also: if you put “mailto:” without the quotation marks, and no spaces, before the email address, it’ll open a link in people’s mail client instead of their broswer. Try this?

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