CFP: Workers and Consumers: The Photographic Industry 1860-1950

The following CFP may be of interest to Edwardian scholars:

Workers and Consumers: The Photographic Industry 1860-1950
Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester
24-25 June 2013

The history of photography has largely been dominated by concerns about aesthetic production and its political framings. Such ‘art historical’ approaches have marginalised the study of the economic base of the medium manifested through a developing photographic industry, its related trades and its mass consumers. Work is now emerging in this field, scattered across a number of disciplines: history, anthropology and history of science in particular. While there has been extensive research on both the politics and the affective qualities of popular photography, family albums, for instance, the missing component in the analysis is often a detailed and empirically informed understanding of the social and economic conditions of product development, labour forces, marketing and consumer demand. This two-day conference aims to bring together a critical mass of research in this area, to explore the state of play in this overlooked but crucial aspect of history of photography, and to suggest new directions for research in the economic, business and industrial history of photography. The conference will explore the period 1860-1950: from the rise of a clearly defined photographic industry, which had a profound effect on the practices and thus social functions of photography, to the expansion of mass colour technologies.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words , for 30 minute papers , should be sent to Professor Elizabeth Edwards ( and Dr Kelley Wilder ( by November 30th 2012.

Thanks to the support of the Economic History Society we are able to offer 3 bursaries of £150 each towards travel and accommodation for PhD students presenting their work at this conference.

Details of the conference will be posted in December 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s