Memory and Photography
Over the past decade, historians and sociologists have increasingly used visual materials, in particular photographs, in their work. This volume brings together historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and media and visual scholars to articulate how photography, as a practice and as a visual medium, can provide insights into national memory, collective identities, and the historical imagination. This collection allows the reader to trace parallel conceptual developments occurring in the sociology and anthropology of memory and in the history and theory of photography, and to illustrate the unique "angles of vision" these disciplines offer.
Photographic images commonly accompany historical accounts, from documentaries to family scrapbooks, and since the early days of commercial photography, pictures have been viewed as tools to capture memories. Later critical writing has challenged this equation by inverting it: photos, along with other archival practices, were often viewed as falling short of their supposed function as vessels of memory and at times even denounced as devices that distorted memories.
How does photography participate in the formation and maintenance of collective identities and shared memory discourses, from the family to the nation? Furthermore, how can we begin to conceptualize photography’s effects on the historical imagination of individuals and groups? Double Exposure endeavors to answer these questions by calling attention to the variety of contexts in which images circulate and to the narratives from which they spring and which they, in turn, shape. This is the latest volume in Transaction’s Memory and Narrative series.
“Double Exposure breaks new ground in exploring the complex relationship between memory and photography. By bringing scholars of historical memory and of photography together, this timely and important book provides fresh insights into the social and material practices through which photographs are used and shared in communicating the past. Ranging across an impressive array of fields, from family archives and photographic surveys to the circulation of photographic images in digital media and iconic news photographs, the contributors to this volume raise intriguing questions about the entanglements of photography with memory practices within the private and public spheres. At a time of the resurgence of interest in memory and the visual [arts] across the disciplines, the analysis offered here is relevant not only to studies of photography and memory, but also those of nationalism, journalism, family, popular culture, visual and material studies, philosophy of history, and international politics.”
— Jennifer Tucker, Wesleyan University
“Double Exposure is a treat to read! Unpacking the seemingly natural link between memory and photography, it elucidates the conditions under which the two resemble, underscore, offset, and challenge each other. Analyzing how memory and photography work in contexts spanning from world politics and militarism to family exchanges and digital websites, this book, and its terrific set of contributors, show how memory can be better understood by focusing on one of its least developed platforms. More memory scholarship should follow in its stead.”
—Barbie Zelizer, University of Pennsylvania
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Table of Contents
1. Memory and Photography: An Introduction - Olga Shevchenko
I - Public Memories
2. Willy Brandt in Warsaw: Event or Image? History or Memory? - Jeffrey K. Olick
3. A Photo That Matters: The Memorial Clock in Bologna and Its Invented Tradition - Anna Lisa Tota
4. Framing Zarqawi: Afterimages, Headshots, and Body Politics in a Digital Age - Zeynep Devrim Gürsel
5. Photography and the Event - Martin Jay
II - Private Archives
6. The Significance of Memory in Japanese Family Photography - Richard Chalfen
7. Soviet Past in Domestic Photography: Events, Evidence, Erasure - Oksana Sarkisova and Olga Shevchenko
III - Photographic Sociabilities
8. Out and About: Photography, Topography, and Historical Imagination - Elizabeth Edwards
9. Flickr: Photo Sharing Sites between Collective and Connective Memory - José van Dijck
List of Contributors