Over the past decade, historical studies of photography have embraced a variety of cultural and disciplinary approaches to the medium, while shedding light on non-Western, vernacular, and “other” photographic practices outside the Euro-American canon. Photography, History, Difference brings together an international group of scholars to reflect on contemporary efforts to take a different approach to photography and its histories. What are the benefits and challenges of writing a consolidated, global history of photography? How do they compare with those of producing more circumscribed regional or thematic histories? In what ways does the recent emphasis on geographic and national specificity encourage or exclude attention to other forms of difference, such as race, class, gender, and sexuality? Do studies of “other” photographies ultimately necessitate the adoption of nontraditional methodologies, or are there contexts in which such differentiation can be intellectually unproductive and politically suspect? The contributors to the volume explore these and other questions through historical case studies; interpretive surveys of recent historiography, criticism, and museum practices; and creative proposals to rethink the connections between photography, history, and difference.
A thought-provoking collection of essays that represents new ways of thinking about photography and its histories. It will appeal to a broad readership among those interested in art history, visual culture, media studies, and social history.