A Foreign Eye: Interwar European photographers abroad

Session Convenors

Jordan Troeller (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin; Freie Universität Berlin) jordantroeller@gmail.com

Hyewon Yoon (University of New Hampshire) hyewon.hyewon@gmail.com

Please email your paper proposal to the session convenors using the Paper Proposal Form

Session Abstract

This session solicits papers that examine the imagery produced by interwar European photographers as they travelled to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, producing travel reportages for European illustrated magazines, seeking work in foreign countries, and responding to decolonisation, exile and emigration, and the rise of the Third World movements. Above all, photography and photographic training afforded enterprising women such as Lotte Errell, Lucia Moholy, Marianne Breslauer, Ré Soupault, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, and Etel Mittag-Fodor, who worked in China, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, and South Africa, a kind of artistic freedom, even as their encounters with peoples beyond Europe’s borders raises critical issues.

The session’s aim is not only to extend geographically the parameters of interwar European photography, but also to illuminate its role in shaping discourses of gender, race, ethnicity, and cultural difference in the mid-20th century. Of particular interest are thus papers that utilise critical race studies, feminism, and visual culture studies to investigate how the interwar mobilisation of photographers unfolded in non-Western contexts. Submissions addressing well-known photographers are welcome, but we especially seek new research that draws attention to lesser known and female protagonists, inasmuch as their work may raise unusually challenging questions. Among them are: how did photographers, whose gender or political identity may have marginalised them in Europe, represent Otherness when abroad? Did modernist photography speak to the challenges of the new global era – of national identity, the ethnographic gaze, decolonisation, discourses of universalism, and gender mobility – in ways that more traditional portrait photography or reportage did not, or was the opposite the case? Were such photographers able to challenge or to transcend the exoticism that littered the pages of illustrated magazines in interwar Europe and elsewhere?

Submit a paper

Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors above, using the Paper Proposal Form

You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because the title is what appears online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019

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