Feeling Photography

Feeling Photography

Book Pages: 408 Illustrations: 62 photographs, incl. 20 in color Published: March 2014

Art and Visual Culture > Photography, Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality > LGBTQ Studies

This innovative collection demonstrates the profound effects of feeling on our experiences and understanding of photography. It includes essays on the tactile nature of photos, the relation of photography to sentiment and intimacy, and the ways that affect pervades the photographic archive. Concerns associated with the affective turn—intimacy, alterity, and ephemerality, as well as queerness, modernity, and loss—run through the essays. At the same time, the contributions are informed by developments in critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and feminist theory. As the contributors bring affect theory to bear on photography, some interpret the work of contemporary artists, such as Catherine Opie, Tammy Rae Carland, Christian Boltanski, Marcelo Brodsky, Zoe Leonard, and Rea Tajiri. Others look back, whether to the work of the American Pictorialist F. Holland Day or to the discontent masked by the smiles of black families posing for cartes de visite in a Kodak marketing campaign. With more than sixty photographs, including twenty in color, this collection changes how we see, think about, and feel photography, past and present.

Contributors. Elizabeth Abel, Elspeth H. Brown, Kimberly Juanita Brown, Lisa Cartwright, Lily Cho, Ann Cvetkovich, David L. Eng, Marianne Hirsch, Thy Phu, Christopher Pinney, Marlis Schweitzer, Dana Seitler, Tanya Sheehan, Shawn Michelle Smith, Leo Spitzer, Diana Taylor


"I found it a fascinating read. To my knowledge, the book is unique in its coverage of this perspective on photography, and I would recommend this book for anyone interested in photography and visual culture on a theoretical level. Very useful for undergraduate and graduate studies in fine arts, visual culture, gender studies, and, obviously, photography." — Sandra Cowan, ARLIS/NA Reviews

"The collection offers some very useful ways of thinking about the emerging field of affect theory and its applications to the broad domain of photography. … [Brown and Phu's] anthology … substantially broadens the terrain beyond photojournalism and documentary—currently, the core concerns of the literature on photography and the affective turn." — Susan Best, CAA Reviews

"Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu’s Feeling Photography is an exciting contribution to the field of photography theory.... This collection will be of interest to a very wide range of scholars in the humanities, and not just those that study photography – the book offers a range of ways to think about the function of photography as it often exists unanalyzed at the margins of a variety of social and cultural phenomena." — Rachel Alpha Johnston Hurst, Reviews in Cultural Theory

"This volume presents a significant contribution to photographic criticism and affect theory, adding to recent scholarship...the collection will be of interest to researchers of affect, visual culture and media, with relevance to documentary film." — Emily Bullock, Media International Australia

"Feeling Photography is a major book. I don't know of any other collection quite like it. In rigorous, passionate, provocative, and cogent essays, the contributors provide a new way of thinking about visual culture as an affective, and not just ocular, experience." — Elizabeth Freeman, author of Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories

"This fascinating, important collection of essays by eminent thinkers is a timely one, sure to appeal to the many scholars interested in theories of affect and the history and theory of photography. I truly admire this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it." — Carol Mavor, author of Black and Blue


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Price: $29.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Elspeth H. Brown is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto. She is the author of The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884–1929.

Thy Phu is Associate Professor of English at Western University in London, Ontario. She is the author of Picturing Model Citizens: Civility in Asian American Visual Culture.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction / Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu 1

Part I. Touchy-Feely

1. Photography between Desire and Grief: Roland Barthes and F. Holland Day / Shawn Michelle Smith 29

2. Making Sexuality Sensible: Tammy Rae Carland's and Catherine Opie's Queer Aesthetic Forms / Dana Seitler 47

3. Sepia Mutiny: Colonial Photography and Its Others in India / Christopher Pinney 71

4. Skin, Flesh, and the Affective Wrinkles of Civil Rights Photography / Elizabeth Abel 93

Part II. Intimacy and Sentiment

5. Looking Pleasant, Feeling White: The Social Politics of the Photographic Smile / Tanya Sheehan 127

6. Anticipating Citizenship: Chinese Head Tax Photographs / Lily Cho 159

7. Regarding the Pain of the Other: Photography, Famine, and the Transference of Affect / Kimberly Juanita Brown 181

8. Accessible Feelings, Modern Looks: Irene Castle, Ira L. Hill, and Broadway's Affective Economy / Marlis Schweitzer 204

Part III. Affective Archives

9. Trauma in the Archive / Diana Taylor 239

10. School Photos and Their Afterlives / Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer 252

11. Photographing Objects as Queer Archival Practice / Ann Cvetkovich 273

12. Topographies of Feeling: On Catherine Opie's American Football Landscapes / Lisa Cartwright 297

13. The Feeling of Photography, the Feeling of Kinship / David L. Eng 325

Epilogue / Thy Phu and Elspeth H. Brown 349

Bibliography 357

Contributors 385

Index 389
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5541-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5526-7
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