Sharon Sliwinski

Associate Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies and the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism, Western University

Professor Sliwinski’s research interests range across a number of topics, from the intersection of politics and aesthetics, to the genealogy of key concepts in human rights discourse, to more theoretical investigations in psychoanalysis and the terrain of the imaginary. One of the common threads across these fields has been a fascination with photography—with individual photographers, subjects, and images, but also with the medium itself as a means through which humanity can become a community of witnesses to world events. She is the author of Mandela’s Dark Years: A Political Theory of Dreaming (Minneapolis 2015) and Human Rights In Camera (Chicago 2011). 

Selected Publications

Co-edited with Shawn Michelle Smith, Photography and the Optical Unconscious (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, forthcoming). Including essays by TPS members Gabrielle Moser, Thy Phu, and Kelly Wood.

Mandela’s Dark Years: A Political Theory of Dreaming (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015). 

“Face of Our Wartime,” Photography and Culture 8, no. 2 (2015, in press).

“That Disturber of the Peace,” Entry Points, The Vera List Center Field Guide on Art and Social Justice 1, ed. Carin Kuoni (New York: Vera List Center for Art and Politics and Duke University Press, 2015).

“Inventing Human Dignity,” The Routledge Companion to Human Rights and Literature, eds. Alexandra Moore and Sophie McClennan (London: Routledge, 2015): 174-84.

“The Storyteller: Observations on Murtada Bulbul’s ‘Swineherders’ ”; “Interview with Murtada Bulbul,” Humanity 4.1 (2013): 15-21.

Human Rights In Camera (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

Air War and Dream: Photographing the London Blitz,” American Imago 68.3 (2011): 489-516.

The Gaze Called Animal: Notes for a Study on Thinking,” The New Centennial Review 11.2 (2011): 61-81.

“Icarus Returned: The Falling Man and the Survival of Antiquity,” Contemporary Art/Classical Myth, eds. Isabele Loring Wallace and Jennifer Hersh (Surrey: Ashgate, 2011): 197-214.

Visual Testimony: Lee Miller’s Dachau,” Journal of Visual Culture, 10.3 (December 2010): 389-408.

“On Photographic Violence,” Photography and Culture, 2.3 (November 2009): 303-316.

The Aesthetics of Human Rights,” Culture, Theory & Critique 50.1 (2009): 23-39.

New York Transfixed: Notes on the Expression of Fear,” Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 30.3 (2008): 232-252.

The Childhood of Human Rights: The Kodak on the Congo,” Journal of Visual Culture 5.3 (December 2006): 333-363.

Camera War, Again,” Journal of Visual Culture 5.1 (April 2006): 89-93.

Upcoming Conference

“Power Left Lying in the Streets: The Visual Turn in Political Theory,” À partir d’aujourd’hui…Reconsidering Postphotography, McGill University, October 1-4, 2015.


Sharon Sliwinski
Associate Professor
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
North Campus Building Room 221
Western University
London, ON N6A 5B7