Photography

Photography and Work

RHR_18_3_coverThe most recent issue of Radical History Review, “Photography and Work,” edited by Kevin Coleman, Daniel James, and Jayeeta Sharma, is now available.

What makes photographs different from other kinds of historical source material? What can photograph images do that other documents cannot? Can photographs help us to see how capitalism works? This special issue considers these questions as it examines the capacity of photography to capture labor and capital. Through the study of fine art photography, as well as state, corporate, family, trade union, ethnographic, photojournalistic, and environmental visual archives, the issue seeks to understand the ways that photography has been central to both the appropriation and exploitation of labor and to the artistic critique of these practices.

Browse the table-of-contents and read the introduction, made freely available.

The Labor Beat

The most recent issue of Labor, “The Labor Beat,” edited by Max Fraser and Christopher Phelps, is now available.

ddlab_15_1_coverThis issue considers the transformation of labor journalists’ working conditions across time, from the days of the small printer-publisher to the mid-century newspaper conglomerate and today’s cable-news, Internet-propelled 24-hour environment.  Even journalists brimming with the best of intentions do not write news under conditions of their own choosing, given the power of publishers, editors, and advertisers. That makes it all the more impressive that so many have covered the labor beat with alacrity, including those profiled in this issue: John Swinton and Joseph Buchanan in the nineteenth century; Heywood Broun, Benjamin Stolberg, Trezzvant Anderson, and Barbara Ehrenreich in the twentieth; and Steven Greenhouse, Jane Slaughter, and Sarah Jaffe today.

Browse the table of contents and read the introduction to the issue, now freely available.

Flash Sale: Save 50% on all Art & Photography Books

FLASH50_SaleDec2017_200x300_72dpiWe’re excited to announce a special three-day Flash Sale on all of our in-stock art, art history, and photography books and journal issues. To claim the discount, enter the coupon code FLASH50 when checking out.

What are some of the great gift-worthy titles you can get during this sale? All of the the Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize winners are included. Check out the latest winner, Test of Faith by Lauren Pond,  a deeply nuanced, personal look at serpent handling in Appalachia.

Or perhaps you’d like to order a gorgeous special issue of NKA_38_prour journal Nka, such as “Black Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West.” Edited by Cheryl Finley and Deborah Willis, it’s full of fascinating essays and artwork. Or grab a catalog from a recent Nasher Museum of Art show, such as Miranda Lash’s and Trevor Schoonmaker’s Southern Accent, which investigates the many realities, fantasies, and myths of the South that have long captured the public’s imagination, while presenting a wide range of perspectives that create a composite portrait of southern identity through contemporary art.

If art history is more your style, check out Collective Situations, edited by Bill Kelley Jr. and Grant H. Kester, or try Jessica Horton’s Art for an Undivided Earth, about the American Indian Movement generation, or MacArthur “genius grant” awardee Kellie Jones’s most recent book, South of Pico.

Here’s the usual fine print: The discount does not apply to apparel, journals subscriptions or society memberships. You can’t order out-of-stock or not yet published titles at the discount. And you can’t combine multiple orders to maximize the discount. Regular shipping applies and all sales are final.

Hurry and shop now on dukeupress.edu because this sale ends at 11:59 pm on Friday, December 8.

Win a Copy of I Love My Selfie

978-0-8223-6349-1To make your Monday a little brighter, we’re excited to announce a giveaway of the new book I Love My Selfie, with writing by cultural critic Ilan Stavans and a portfolio of autoportraits by artist ADÁL.

What explains our current obsession with selfies? Stavans explores the selfie’s historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. He sees selfies as tools people use to disguise or present themselves as spontaneous and casual. ADÁL’s fifty autoportraits question the notion of the self and engage with artists, celebrities, technology, identity, and politics.

MA_love-my-selfie-selfie-CONTEST

Acquiring editor Miriam Angress’s selfie with an advance copy of the book

To enter to win one of three copies of I Love My Selfie, show us your own selfie with your favorite Duke University Press book or journal! Tag us on Instagram at @dukeuniversitypress or Twitter at @DukePress and use the hashtag #ilovemyselfie. Winners will be chosen randomly. There’s a limit of one entry per person per method, and the contest closes next Monday, May 29, at 11:59pm EST—so go ahead and get snapping!

And if you want to read more about selfies, check out “Instafame: Luxury Selfies in the Attention Economy,” an article by Alice E. Marwick in Public Culture number 75, made freely available for the rest of the year.

New Books in May

Here in Durham, we’re in the middle of warm spring weather perfect for reading outside in the sunshine. Add some of these upcoming May reads to your own reading list, and don’t forget that you can save up to 50% on in-stock titles through May 10! (Read the fine print of our sale here.)

978-0-8223-6349-1In I Love My Selfie noted cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the selfie’s historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. This collaboration includes a portfolio of fifty autoportraits by the artist ADÁL; he and Stavans use them as a way to question the notion of the self and to engage with artists, celebrities, technology, identity, and politics.

Through essays analyzing the photography of luminaries such as Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Susan Meiselas, pioneering feminist art critic Abigail Solomon-Godeau, in Photography after Photography, extends her politically engaged and theoretically sophisticated inquiry into the historical and cultural circuits of power as they shape and inform the practice, criticism, and historiography of photography.

Solomon-Godeau_pbk_cover.inddIn The Power of the Steel-Tipped Pen Noenoe K. Silva creates a model indigenous intellectual history of a culture where—using Western standards—none is presumed to exist by examining the work of two lesser-known Hawaiian language writers from the nineteenth-century whose prolific output across many genres created a record of Native Hawaiian cultural history and thought.

Gabriel Rockhill, in Counter-History of the Present, examines the widespread understanding that we are living in an era of globalization that is bound by economic and technological networks and an unquestionable faith in democracy, replacing it with a counter-history that accounts for the diversity of lived experience and offers new ways to imagine the future.

978-0-8223-6368-2In Archives of Labor Lori Merish establishes working-class women as significant actors within nineteenth-century U.S. literary culture by analyzing previously unexplored archives of working-class women’s literature, showing how white, African American, and Mexican American factory workers, seamstresses, domestic workers, and prostitutes understood themselves while forging class identity.

Beyond Civil Society challenges current understandings of the politics of protest, activism, and participation by examining the ways in which social movements in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century Latin America blur the boundaries between civil and uncivil activism and between activism carried out in state and the streets. The collection is edited by Sonia E. Alvarez, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Millie Thayer, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, and Agustín Laó-Montes.

978-0-8223-6901-1In Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom, Peter Wade draws on a multidisciplinary research study in Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, arguing that genomics produces biologized versions of racialized difference within the nation and the region and that a comparative approach nuances the simple idea that highly racialized societies give rise to highly racialized genomics.

The contributors to Photography and the Optical Unconscious, edited by Shawn Michelle Smith and Sharon Sliwinski, use Walter Benjamin’s concept of the optical unconscious to investigate how photography has shaped history, modernity, perception, lived experience, politics, race, and human agency, thereby opening up new avenues for thinking about photography and the human psyche.

978-0-8223-6903-5Judith Casselberry’s The Labor of Faith examines the material and spiritual labor of the women of a Black Pentecostal church in Harlem, showing how their work keeps the church running while providing them with a spiritual authority that allows them to exercise power in the male-led church.

In The Economization of Life Michelle Murphy examines the ways in which efforts at population control since World War II have tied reproduction to neoliberal capitalism, showing how data collection practices have been used to quantify the value of a human life in terms of its ability to improve the nation-state’s gross domestic product.

Erin Beck, in How Development Projects Persist, examines microfinance NGOs working with poor, rural women in Guatemala to show how these women creatively and strategically use the NGOs to their own benefit in ways that do not necessarily match the goals of the NGOs, demonstrating that development projects are often transformed and persist in unexpected ways.

We’re also distributing three new exhibition catalogues this month:

TitleTreatment_FINALNina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush, a publication of the Nasher Musuem of Art at Duke University, accompanies the exhibition of the same name, a ten-year survey of one of the most provocative and iconoclastic artists working today. Royal Flush is on display at the Nasher until July 16, 2017.

A landmark exhibition on display at the Brooklyn Museum until September 17, 2017, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color during the emergence of second-wave feminism. The accompanying Sourcebook republishes an array of rare and little-known documents from the period by artists, writers, cultural critics, and art historians such as Gloria Anzaldúa, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Lucy R. Lippard, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Lowery Stokes Sims, Alice Walker, and Michelle Wallace. The exhibition will also be on display at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles from October 13, 2017, through January 14, 2018, and at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston from June 26, 2018, through September 30, 2018.

Julie Thomson’s Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College is the first in-depth exhibition and catalogue devoted to photography taken at the college and features over 100 photographs by more than forty artists as well as essays, photographer biographies, and a chronology of photography at Black Mountain College. The catalogue is published by the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, where the exhibition is on display until May 20, 2017.

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Lauren Pond Wins 2016 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize

“We find ourselves at a moment when photo books are as important as ever, because they are concrete statements of artistic vision, essential counterweights in the ‘Ocean of Images’ that we swim through every day.”
—Peter Barberie, judge, 2016 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography

Pastor Randy “Mack” Wolford prays for a man during a service at the Church of the Lord Jesus in Jolo, West Virginia, September 2011. Photography by Lauren Pond.

 

Congratulations to Lauren Pond, a photographer based in Columbus, Ohio, who was selected by curator Peter Barberie of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to win the eighth biennial First Book Prize in Photography for her color series Test of Faith that document, as Pond writes, “a family of Pentecostal Holiness serpent handlers that I have photographed since 2011.”

Pond says, “Serpent handlers, also known as ‘Signs Followers,’ hold a literal interpretation of a verse in the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark, which states that, among other abilities, true believers shall be able to ‘take up serpents.’ Despite scores of deaths from snakebites and the closure of numerous churches, there remains a small contingent of serpent handlers devoted to keeping the practice alive. Who are the serpent handlers? What motivates them to keep going? These are questions that I sought to answer when I first traveled to West Virginia and met Pastor Randy ‘Mack’ Wolford, one of the best-known Signs Following preachers in the region.”

Pond photographed the events that followed and has continued her relationship with Mack’s family. As she says, “I no longer see my images as being about serpent-handling practice and culture. Instead, they serve as a record of my rich friendship with the Wolfords, our shared experiences, and the valuable insights they have given me into the tenets of their faith—namely, forgiveness and redemption.”

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First Book Prize judge Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art selected Pond’s photographs to win from a group of nine finalists because her “long-term documentation of the Wolford family emerged as a unique, cogent, and powerful topic for publication. Lauren Pond plunges us into the hothouse atmosphere of their faith. Through her photographs I can almost feel the physical strain of Mack’s worship, and I long to hear the song that his mother, Snook, sings as he accompanies her on guitar. Who are these purposeful, vibrant people so different from myself? Test of Faith commands this question and prompts me to consider the basis and limitations of my own worldview.”

Pond receives a grant of $3,000, inclusion in a website devoted to presenting the work of the prizewinners, and publication of a book of photography. Barberie will write the introduction, and Pond an afterword, to the book, which is forthcoming in November 2017 from Duke University Press in association with CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Pond will also have a solo exhibition in Duke’s Rubenstein Library Photography Gallery, and the photographs will then be placed in the library’s Archive of Documentary Arts.

Lauren Pond, a documentary photographer who specializes in faith and religion, is currently the multimedia content producer for the American Religious Sounds Project within The Ohio State University’s Center for the Study of Religion. She also manages an art gallery and works on freelance projects across the country. She received her Master of Arts degree in photojournalism from Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication in 2014, and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and art from Northwestern University in 2009. Pond’s photographs have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, and have been recognized by the Magnum/Inge Morath Foundations, the Lucie Foundation, FotoVisura, Photo District News, College Photographer of the Year, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, among others. She has spoken about her work at universities and conferences across the United States.

The CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is awarded by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the Honickman Foundation.

 

Black Portraiture[s]

nka38-39Contributors to the most recent issue of Nka, “Black Portraiture[s]: The Black Body in the West,” offer cutting-edge perspectives on the production and skill of black self-representation, desire, and the exchange of the gaze from the nineteenth century to the present day in fashion, film, art, and the archive. This collection of essays is critical and exciting because of its broad focus on the black portrait and the important aesthetic and ideological issues it continues to engage.

“By featuring some of the most extraordinary writers, historians, artists, and theorists working today we hope this special issue of Nka… enables readers to see that the image remains ever powerful in an age where black lives matter,” editors Cheryl Finley and Deborah Willis write in the introduction to the issue.

Topics in this issue include the impact of slavery on paintings at the Louvre, paintings of black artists and unfinished self-portraits, the uses of portraiture by artists Barkley L. Hendricks and Elizabeth Colomba, black women’s representations in pornography, James Barnor’s career, and photographing the ways in which black bodies exist in Paris and the world. Read the introduction, made freely available, and browse the table-of-contents for more.

ddcsa_36_2The most recent issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East features an interview with Nomusa Makhubu, a South African photographer.

From the introduction: “Collages of landscape, current occupants, and their ghosts, Nomusa Makhubu’s photographs capture the themes of this special section on apartheid with uncanny precision, and they articulate the possibility of a visual rhetoric to mark South Africa’s haunted present. In three separate photographic series, Makhubu deploys and destabilizes the supposed documentary capacity of photography and its ability to capture a static moment in order to insist on the interleaving of past and present and their inescapable conjunction.” Read the full interview.

978-0-8223-5074-3In Image Matters, Tina M. Campt traces the emergence of a black European subject by examining how specific black European communities used family photography to create forms of identification and community. At the heart of Campt’s study are two photographic archives, one composed primarily of snapshots of black German families taken between 1900 and 1945, and the other assembled from studio portraits of West Indian migrants to Birmingham, England, taken between 1948 and 1960. Campt’s next book, Listening to Images, will be published in May 2017.

978-0-8223-5085-9Pictures and Progress, edited by Maurice O. Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith, explores how, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, prominent African American intellectuals and activists understood photography’s power to shape perceptions about race and employed the new medium in their quest for social and political justice.

Smith is also the author of At the Edge of Sight, which engages the dynamics of seeing and not seeing, focusing attention as much on the invisible as the visible. Exploring the limits of photography and vision, she asks: What fails to register photographically, and what remains beyond the frame? What is hidden by design, and what is obscured by cultural blindness?

978-0-8223-5541-0_rSmith’s Photography on the Color Line provides a rich interpretation of the remarkable photographs W. E. B. Du Bois compiled for the American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition, revealing the visual dimension of the color line that Du Bois famously called “the problem of the twentieth century.” Photography and the Optical Unconscious, edited by Smith and Sharon Sliwinski, will be published in May 2017.

Feeling Photography, edited by Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu, demonstrates the profound effects of feeling on our experiences and understanding of photography. The relationship between race and photography takes center stage in chapter 4, “Skin, Flesh, and the Affective Wrinkles of Civil Rights Photography” by Elizabeth Abel, and chapter 5, “Looking Pleasant, Feeling White: The Social Politics of the Photographic Smile” by Tanya Sheehan.

Richard Mosse’s The Enclave featured in Cultural Politics and at the Nasher Museum of Art

Cultural Politics 11:2 (2015)

Cultural Politics 11:2 (2015)

Richard Mosse’s The Enclave (2013) is an immersive 40-minute, six-screen video, photography, and sound installation made over several years in and around Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Mosse’s work is featured in the most recent issue of Cultural Politics (volume 11, issue 2), and The Enclave is being exhibited at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University until January 10, 2016.

From the Nasher Museum exhibition guide:

Central to Mosse’s work is the idea that the ubiquity of wartime images has desensitized us to the atrocities of war. Disturbing footage from conflict regions around the world appears on our screens with such regularity that it is often disregarded as simply more visual clutter. Mosse spent the last several years photographing the war-ravaged land and people of Central Africa using a discontinued infrared film developed by the military to detect camouflaged targets. By registering an invisible spectrum of light, this film transforms the color green into a brilliant pink, rendering the landscape in a surreal palette. Armed with his camera, Mosse and his collaborators, cinematographer Trevor Tweeten and composer Ben Frost, embedded themselves into armed Congolese rebel groups. The resulting work, The Enclave, is a magenta-suffused, seductive, morbid, and deeply moving installation depicting stories from this troubled region.

In “Richard Mosse’s Enclave: Dream of the Celt,” from Cultural Politics, author Deborah Frizzell argues that the visual and aural strategies Mosse employs, by running counter to those programmed within the image supply chain dominated by mass-produced culture, set in motion jarring ambiguities that an uneasy audience must struggle with or at least decode. Mosse’s Enclave became a locus for debates about contemporary aesthetic strategies, especially within photography, and the ethics of deploying the shock of the sublime to elicit both empathy and questioning, exposing the viewer/participant to the tensions of attraction and aversion that oscillate within the sublime. His installations pose questions about how we read meaning in the texts and images that structure our experience and our understanding of cultural representation. Thus Mosse’s work highlights the limitations of photojournalism and photography by mixing the contingent and abstract, the symbolic and political, evoking the precariousness of life as experienced in the continuing cycles of war, armed conflicts, and systematic tactics of violence that mark our era.

Read the article, made freely available, and visit the Nasher Museum of Art website for more information on Richard Mosse’s The Enclave.

Gerard Gaskin Exhibition Opens in Philadelphia

LegendaryAn exhibition of photographer Gerard H. Gaskin’s work opens today at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. The nearly fifty images on display are from the same body of work that comprised his 2013 book Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene. Gaskin won the 2012 Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize.

His radiant color and black-and-white photographs take us inside the culture of house balls, underground events where gay and transgender men and women, mostly African American and Latino, come together to see and be seen. “Tens across the board!” wrote Lambda Literary Review in their write-up of the book.  Writing in Edge, Kay Bourne said, “Legendary welcomes you into a fabulous world. This hall of mirrors is akin to the dazzling Emerald City of ‘some where over the rainbow’ fame.” And Leo Hsu of Fraction Magazine wrote, “Legendary honors the possibility of a truer self, performed.”

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The show runs through August 16. If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can still order the book at a 30% discount. Just visit our website and use coupon code E13GASK at checkout.

New Books in June

Spring flew by and June is already here! As usual, we’ve got some great new books to ring in the new month.

Brumfield cover image, 5906-7In Architecture at the End of the Earth: Photographing the Russian North, featuring nearly two hundred full color photographs by William Craft Brumfield, the author and photographer documents the architecture of centuries-old wooden and brick churches, cathedrals and homes in the region surrounding the White Sea, which is known as the Russian North.

Kwon cover image, 5925-8Nayoung Aimee Kwon examines the Japanese language literature written by Koreans during late Japanese colonialism in Intimate Empire: Collaboration and Colonial Modernity in Korea and Japan. She demonstrates that simply characterizing that literature as collaborationist obscures the complicated relationship these authors had with colonialism, modernity, and identity, as well as the relationship between colonizers and the colonized.

Field cover image, 5881-7In Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity, Allyson Nadia Field recovers the forgotten body of African American filmmaking from the 1910s, which she calls uplift cinema. These films were part of the racial uplift project, which emphasized education, respectability, and self-sufficiency, and weren’t only responses to racist representations of African Americans in other films.

Madera cover image, 5811-4Black Atlas: Geography and Flow in Nineteenth-Century African American Literature presents definitive new approaches to black geography, showing how the rethinking of place and scale can galvanize the study of black literature.

Satsuka cover image, 5880-0Shiho Satsuka studies Japanese tour guides who lead Japanese tourists on trips through the Canadian Rockies in Nature in Translation: Japanese Tourism Encounters the Canadian Rockies. By presenting nature in ways attuned to Japanese culture, these guides translate nature, a process that makes visible the cultural construction of nature and subjectivities.