Seminar 2008–09

During 2008-09, our seminar focused its reading on concepts of affect and photography. We also worked on organizing the “Feeling Photography” conference at the University of Toronto in fall 2009; produced an edited special issue of Photography and Culture called “Affecting Photographies” (Thy Phu and Linda Steer, eds.); submitted a successful SSHRC conference grant to support the conference (Matt Brower, PI); and hosted one guest scholar, Roberto Tejada.


Roberto Tejada, Professor of Art History, University of Texas, Austin

Professor Tejada is the author of many books that include, most recently, National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), and Celia Alvarez Muñoz (UCLA/CSRC; University of Minnesota Press, 2009). He has served also as co-curator on the exhibitions “Manuel Álvarez Bravo: Optical Parables” at the J. Paul Getty Museum (2001), and “Luis Gispert: Loud Image,” at the Hood Museum of Dartmouth College (2004). His research has earned awards from the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation (2009) and from the National Endowment for the Arts (2007). Tejada’s research and teaching methods interrogate modern and contemporary image environments from an interdisciplinary viewpoint: a critical art history whose visual knowledge can locate objects and actors in the global-culture context. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Buffalo, and has taught at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); at Dartmouth College, where he was the César E. Chávez Fellow (2002 – 2003); and at the University of California, San Diego (2003 – 2008).


Public talk: Thursday, March 19, 2009, 4-6 pm: Roberto Tejada, University of California, San Diego, “Tina Modotti in Mexico: Experiments in Related Form,” Centre for the Study of the United States, University of Toronto

Toronto Photography Seminar Schedule

June 19, 2008

Buck-Morss, Susan. “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered.” October 68 (Autumn 1992): 3-41.

Costello, Diarmuid. “Aura, Face, Photography: Re-reading Benjamin Today.” Walter Benjamin and Art. Ed. Andrew Benjamin. London: Continuum, 2005: 164-184.

July 17, 2008

Cartwright, Lisa. Selections from Moral Spectatorship. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

Clough, Patricia Ticineto. “Introduction.” The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social. Eds. Patricia Ticineto Clough and Jean Halley. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007: 1-37.

Aug. 28, 2008

Schwartz, Joan M. “’Records of Simple Truth and Precision’: Photography, Archives, and the Illusion of Control.” Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory: Essays from the Sawyer Seminar. Eds. Francis X. Blouin Jr and William G. Rosenberg. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2006: 61-84.

Ahmed, Sara. “Affective Economies.” Social Text 22 no. 2 (2004): 117-139.

Sept. 26, 2008, 4-7 pm

Gilroy, Paul. Selections from Postcolonial Melancholia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Eng, David and David Kazanjian. “Introduction: Mourning Remains.” Loss: The Politics of Mourning. Eds. David L. Eng and David Kazanjian. University of California Press, 2002: 1-28

Moten, Fred. “Black Mo’nin.” Loss: The Politics of Mourning. Eds. David L. Eng and David Kazanjian. University of California Press, 2002: 59-76.

Oct. 17, 2008, 4-7 pm

Diamond, Cora. “The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy.” Philosophy and Animal Life. Ed. Cary Wolf. New York, Columbia University Press, 2008: 43-89. 

Burt, Jonathan. “Vision and Ethics.” Animals in Film. London: Reaktion, 2002: 85-163.

Nov. 28, 2008, 4-7 pm

Azoulay, Ariella. “Introduction” and “The Spectator is Called to Take Part.” The Civil Contract of Photography. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2008.

Dec. 12, 2008, 12-3 pm

Workshop paper: Gabrielle Moser (Sarah Parsons’s grad student), “Phantasmagoric places: local and global tensions in the circulation of Stan Douglas’ Every Building on 100 West Hastings

Jan. 16, 2009, 4-7 pm

Ash, Susan. “The Barnardo’s Babies: Performativity, Shame and the Photograph.” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 19, No. 4 (December 2005): 507–521.

Taylor, Diana. “Lost in the Field of Vision: Witnessing September 11.” The Archive and the Repertoire: Cultural Memory and Performance in the Americas. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2003: 237-265.

April 30 and May 1, 2009: Final retreat