CFP: Ethics and Aesthetics of Epidemiological Photography

1918 flu epidemic. Photographer unknown.

1918 flu epidemic. Photographer unknown.

Saturday, 14 September 2013 Centre for Research in the Arts, Social
Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Dr Christos Lynteris (Mellon/Newton Research Fellow, CRASSH)

Despite recent developments in the historical and anthropological study
of medical photography, the photographic depiction of epidemics remains
a largely unexplored area in the humanities and the social sciences.

This one day conference seeks to bring photographers with experience in
covering infectious disease outbreaks together with medical historians,
anthropologists and public health experts in order to engage in a
dialogue regarding the past, present and future of epidemiological

The conference will examine the following topics:

” The birth of epidemiological photography at the turn of the 20th
century and the changes it brought about in the depiction and public
perception of epidemics.

” The historical development of the genre over the last century and its
interaction with other photographic genres (e.g. war photography).

” Photo-journalism, epidemic crisis and the formation of public opinion.

” Representing disease and death in postcolonial contexts.

” New photographic technologies (such as mobile phone cameras), new
social media, and grassroots photographic representation of outbreaks.

Papers are invited on the photographic coverage and representation of
infectious disease epidemics, as well as on comparative studies between
medical photography and the photography of epidemics, and between
photographic and non-photographic modes of representation.

Papers written from historical, anthropological, visual studies and
public health perspectives, dealing with current or past epidemics are

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and should be sent to the
conference convener, Dr Christos Lynteris, by 17:00 GMT
on July 26 2013.


Supported by a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant and the Centre for
Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH)

Administrative assistance: