Sarah Parsons

Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts, York University

Professor Parsons’s research and teaching span a wide range of studies in contemporary western art history, theory and museum practice, with an emphasis on photographic modes of representation. Her recent publications focus on gender, ethics, and notions of privacy in relation to photography. Current research examines the shift from a popular intellectual discourse of photography, in the work of people like Susan Sontag and John Berger, to an academic discourse of photography within the context of postmodernism.


Selected Publications

William Notman: Life & Work (Toronto: Art Canada Institute and the University of Toronto, 2014).

Privacy, Photography, and the Art Defense,” Revealing Privacy, ed. Margherita Carucci (New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 2012).

Exhibition review, “Taryn Simon at the Tate Modern,” C Magazine 112 (Winter 2011): 44. 

Exhibition essay, “Gauri Gill: The Americans,” SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre), May 1–July 31, 2011.

Book review, “Photography: Theoretical Snapshots edited by J.J. Long, Andrea Noble, Edward Welch and The Meaning of Photography edited by Robin Kelsey and Blake Stimson,” College Art Association Reviews, May 2010.

Editor, Emergence: Contemporary Canadian Photography (Toronto: Gallery 44 and Ryerson University Press, 2009). 

Book Review, “Seduced by Modernity: The Photography of Margaret Watkins by Mary O’Connor and Katherine Tweedie,” University of Toronto Quarterly 78, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 335-336.

“Sontag’s Lament: Emotion, Ethics, and Photography,” Photography & Culture 2, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 289-302.

“Public/Private Tensions in the Photography of Sally Mann,” History of Photography 32, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 123-136. 

“Rodney Graham: A Little Thought,” Canadian Art 1, no. 21 (Winter 2004): 44-50. 


Sarah Parsons
Associate Professor
Department of Visual Arts
245 Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts 
York University
4700 Keele Street 
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3