Seminar 2011-12

In 2011–12, the seminar pursued two projects at the same time: our monthly meetings, where the theme was “public and private”; and the SSHRC-funded activities relating to The Photographic Situation Project. We also hosted one guest, and collaborated on one public program in our group capacity, at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.



Ariella Azoulay, Director of the Photo-Lexic International Research Group, Minerva Center, Tel Aviv University

Ariella Azoulay is a chief of the Photo-Lexic project, led by International Research Group affiliated to Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University. Her recent books: Civil Imagination: The Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, forthcoming), From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947-1950 (Pluto Press, forthcoming), The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008). She is a curator of Untaken Photographs (2010, Igor Zabel Award, The Moderna galerija, Lubliana, Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Architecture of Destruction (Zochrot, Tel Aviv), and Everything Could Be Seen, and a director of documentaries: I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara (2004), The Chain Food (2004).



Panel discussion: Tuesday, May 15, 2012: Photography in Public, Matthew Brower, Sarah Parsons, Sharon Sliwinski, Andres Zervigón. University of Toronto Art Centre, presented in conjunction with the 2012 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography festival exhibition, Public: Collective Identity | Occupied Spaces.

Photographic Situation Project: Our group met in a series of meetings in New York-based organizations from January 4-8, 2012 to plan our work through the Photographic Situation Project. The three groups represented in the grant (the TPS, DCAPS, and the Developing Room) met with the International Center for Photography (ICP), VII Photo Agency (Brooklyn) and Aperture Foundation. See the Photographic Situation Project page for further details on these meetings. 

Toronto Photography Seminar Schedule

Sept. 23, 2011 4-7pm

Habermas, Jurgen. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. “Introduction: Preliminary Demarcation of a Type of Bourgeois Public Sphere” (1-26) and “Social Sructures of the Public Sphere: The Basic Blueprint” (27-31).

Oct. 21, 2011, 4-7pm

Beltrán, Cristina. “Going Public: Hannah Arendt, Immigrant Action, and the Space of Appearance,” Political Theory 37 no. 5 (October 2009 ): 595-622.

Benhabib, Seyla. “Models of Public Space: Hannah Arendt, the Liberal Tradition, and Jürgen Habermas.” Habermas and the Public Sphere. Ed. Craig Calhoun. Cambridge (MA)/London: MIT Press, 1992: 73-98. 

Nov. 18, 2011, 4-7pm

Warner, Michael. Publics and Counterpublics. New York: Zone Books, 2002. (Selections)

The Phantom Public Sphere, edited by Robbins, Bruce. Minneapolis (MN): University of Minnesota Press. 1993. (Selections)

Jan. 5, 2012, 4-7pm

Meeting of The Photographic Situation Project at VII Photo Agency in Brooklyn, including guest speakers Stephen Mayes and Ed Kashi.

Jan. 6, 2012, 10am-4pm

Meeting of The Photographic Situation Project at the International Center of Photography (ICP), New York. Tour of the exhibition Remembering 9/11 with curator Carol Squiers.

Jan. 7, 2012, 10am-4pm

Meeting of The Photographic Situation Project at Aperture Foundation, New York.

Feb. 10, 2012, 4-7pm

Public Bodies/Private States: New Views on Photography, Representation, and Gender. Eds. Brettle, Jane and Sally Rice. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994.

McKeon, Michael. The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2005.

Berlant, Lauren. “The intimate Public Sphere,” in The Queen of America Goes To Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 1997.

March 9, 2012, 4-7pm

Barrett, Jennifer. Museums and the Public Sphere. Malde, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. (Selections)

Nieland, Justus. Feeling Modern: The Eccentricities of Public Life. University of Illinois Press, 2008. (Selections)

April 13, 2012, 4-7pm

Benhabib, Seyla and Robert Post. Another Cosmopolitanism. Oxford University Press, 2006.

Taylor, Charles. “The Public Sphere.” Modern Social Imaginaries. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004: 83-101.

May 2, 2012, 5-7pm

Guest: Ariella Azoulay, discussion of her upcoming book Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography. London: Verso Books, 2012.

June 4-5, 2012: Final retreat

Benjamin, Walter. “A Short History of Photography.” Screen 13(1) (1972): 5-26 (originally published 1931).

Benjamin, Walter. “Letter from Paris (2): Painting and Photography.” The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility and other Writings on Media, Eds., Michael W. Jennings et. al. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2008: 299-311 (originally published 1936).

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Media and Cultural Studies: Key Works (2nd ed). Eds. Meenakshi Gigi Durham and Douglas M. Kellner. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2006: 18-40 (originally published 1936).

Meiselas, Susan. “Body on a Hillside.” Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis. Eds. Geoffrey Batchen, Mick Gidley, Nancy K. Miller and Jay Prosser. University of Chicago, 2012: 116-122.