Henry Fox Talbot famously described photography as the “pencil of nature.” Although this metaphor refers to photography’s special relationship to the real, to the indexicality that makes it suited for naturalist representation, Talbot’s evocative phrase also raises important questions about photography’s relationship to nature. Indeed, nature remains an abiding passion among contemporary practitioners as it was among early photographers. Beyond naturalism and nature appreciation, however, how has photography approached nature?
The editors of Photography and Culture invite submissions that explore the theoretical, historical and interdisciplinary dimensions of ecocriticism and photography. In what ways has photography participated in conservation movements? How have photographers contributed to ecological consciousness? Has an attention to aesthetics helped or hindered this project? To what extent might photography be complicit in wasteful practices? We are interested in papers that consider the ecocritical implications of photography from the perspectives of the media, artists, and activists. Possible topics could include, among others: the documentation of nuclear catastrophe and global warming; the visual vocabulary of ecological consciousness; the photographic practices of the green movement.
Abstracts of no more than 500 words, along with a short cv (maximum 1 page), should be sent by 1 September, 2011, to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Notification regarding the abstracts will be sent by 1 October 2011. Articles of 7000- 9000 words will be required by 1 December 2011 and will be submitted to an external peer-review process. The special issue will appear in Spring 2012.
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