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Geography Coffee Hour: "Using Photography to Explore Domestic Space, Everyday Life and Culture: An Arts-based Approach"

Date: 09/30/2011

Time: 3:15 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: 445 Blegen Hall

Cost: Free


Dona Schwartz
Associate Professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
"Using Photography to Explore Domestic Space, Everyday Life and Culture: An Arts-based Approach"

What role can visual representations, and photography in particular, play in research in the social sciences and humanities? Photography has been used as an adjunct to research since its invention, and the romantic nineteenth century view that the medium is a transparent window on the world persists, even in the age of Photoshop. My aim is not to suggest that the inherent manipulability of the medium makes it suspect. What I will argue is that like any other communicative medium, photography is governed by cultural codes and conventions, and that any image a photographer produces is a statement, not a neutral transcription of the world in front of the lens. What does that mean with respect to the use of photography as a mode of investigation and as a medium for communicating ideas? My talk will respond to this question using two photographic projects as examples: On the Nest and In the Kitchen. Each explores the relationships among domestic space, social behavior and the transmission of culture from one generation to the next. And each provides a starting point for discussion of how photographic representation can best function as a vehicle for discovery and communication.



  • Name: Glen Powell
  • E-mail: powel160@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-625-6080
  • Sponsored by: Geography, Urban Studies, Master of Geographic Information Science (MGIS)

More information: http://www.geog.umn.edu/

Disability Options:

[Glen Powell, Geography Department; powel160@umn.edu; (612)625-6080]

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