Working Group Discussion with Shawn Michelle Smith

Chicago Photography Working Group Reading Group and Discussion with Shawn Michelle Smith

Tuesday April 22, 2014
5:30-7:00 pm
DePaul Art Museum
935 West Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

R.S.V.P. at

Join the Chicago Photography Working Group and the DePaul Art Museum for a conversation and discussion with Shawn Michelle Smith about her book, At the Edge of Sight (Duke University Press, 2013).

At the Edge of Sight points a literary lens at not only what is evident in photographic images but also that which is off to the periphery, noticeable but mostly ignored. Through a re-reading of Roalnd Barthes and historic images from the work of early American photographers, including F. Holland Day, Eadweard Muybridge, and Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, Smith formulates new interpretations, connecting the significance of those personal and visual histories to our own. Photography’s reflection of other technological advances and its illustrative capacity for sexual and power politics are contrasted against a perpetual cultural blindness to the full breadth of what the medium presents, and doesn’t.

Shawn Michelle Smith’s work focuses on the cultural histories of photography with an emphasis on issue of race and gender. Smith is the author of Visual Culture and American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture (Princeton University Press, 1999) and Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race (Duke University Press, 2004). She is coauthor of Lynching Photographs (University of California Press, 2008) and coeditor of Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity (Duke University Press, 2012). Smith is currently Associate Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.