CFP: “Factuality and Utilization of Early Photography” (Rome, March 23-24, 2017)

Factuality and utilisation of early photography: A conference organised and hosted by the photographic libraries of the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute  of History of Art and German Archaeological Institute, Rome
23-24 March 2017 (link to CFP pdf).
Keynote speakers
Prof Dr Peter Geimer (Freie Universität Berlin)
Prof Dr Jens Ruchatz (Philips-Universität Marburg)
The variety of the material appearances of photography is one of its defining characteristics. As  flexible medium photography adapts to new historical, cultural and aesthetic realities. The function and effect of photography differs depending on their contexts. Photographs can be encountered on the one hand as real, material artefacts, e.g. as exposed metal plate or as enlargement on  photographic paper, or on the other hand as immaterial projection or in digital form. Especially in  the early days of photography, a wide variety of photographic techniques and reproduction methods was used and further developed according to specific purposes and intentions. The workshop  intends to critically examine the relationship between the factuality of photography – in the sense  of the actual material conditions – and its utilisation in different contexts in the second half of the  19th and the early 20th century. What photographic techniques, which formats, materials and  systematisations were used in which contexts? What part did the photographer, the customer and the recipient play? Which forms of utilisation can be distinguished? What is the role of the subject of the photographs? What were the differences in terms of production and function between genres like documentary photography, reproductions of works of art, travel photography or landscape  photography? What was the relationship of photography to other forms of visualisation? How did  different contexts determine techniques and vice versa? How were photographs used by recipients, under which circumstances were they purchased, when and how were they manipulated,  copied, signed, coloured and finally classified, archived, and re-used? How did communication by photographs work and how were they used to convey messages and knowledge?
Contributions are welcome based either on concrete case studies (e.g. a convolute, a photographer, a recipient, etc.) or on general aspects on the relationship between factuality, presentation  and utilisation of early photography in a diachronic or synchronic manner. The workshop aims at bringing together scholars from various disciplines who study early photography or in which photography played a significant role in its early days, like archaeology, history of art and media studies. Interdisciplinary approaches are welcome.
Please send your abstract and a short CV to and by  October 16, 2016.
Travel (economy class) and accommodation expenses will be covered for invited speakers.
Organisation: Tatjana Bartsch, Johannes Röll (BH), Ralf Bockmann, Paul Pasieka (DAI).