Photography and the Making of History in Modern China

International conference 17-18 December 2012:Oxford. Lead: Dr Margaret Hillenbrand, University Lecturer in Modern Chinese, University of Oxford.

Follow this link for the conference programme.

This conference explores interactions between the photographic image and the making of history in modern China. Focusing on the relationships between photography and technology, language, aesthetic media, public memory, the formation of historical subjects, and ideas of documentary, realism, and “truth”, the conference sets out to probe the operations of photography and photographic images of the past across a broad nexus of times and places in modern China. Ranging from the late-Qing period to the post-socialist era, and from colonial Taiwan and the foreign trade ports of the Pearl River Delta to the Indian army intelligence unit in early twentieth-century Tianjin, the papers examine some of the ways in which the photographic medium has both recorded the past and intervened directly in it.

Participants include: Robert Bickers (Bristol), Yi Gu (Toronto), James Hevia (Chicago), Ros Holmes (Oxford), Nicole Huang (Wisconsin-Madison), Ju-Ling Lee (Lyon), Oliver Moore (Leiden), Barbara Mittler (Heidelberg), Ding Ning (Peking U), Claire Roberts (ANU), Jerome Silbergeld (Princeton), and Régine Thiriez (independent scholar).

The conference is supported by following sponsors: the British Inter-University China Centre; “An Archive for China: Photographs from British Collections”, a British Academy “Academy Research Project”; and “The Persistence of Conflict: China’s War with Japan and its Impact, Memory and Legacy, 1931 to the Present”, a Leverhulme Trust Research Programme.