PhD: Relating Encounters with Contemporary Photobooks

My doctoral research explores the affective materiality and social agency of contemporary photobooks. By focusing upon the ways in which photobooks affect us in emotional and multi-sensory capacities, the thesis portrays the genre as a uniquely interactive form of photographic expression. It argues for more nuanced criticism that engages with the composite experience that transcends visual analysis. The thesis considers the textural, physical, plural book as a technology that is structured by and structuring of dynamic economic, epistemic and social relations. Blending interdisciplinary theoretical approaches including actor-network theory and phenomenology, the research posits the encounter as a locus for different forms of knowing by narrativising examples of photobook engagements to explore questions of subjectivity and ontology.

The research is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership. The project will complete in early 2021.

Conference presentations
‘Books on places and books from places: an unbalanced equation’ (group presentation), The 2021 Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference, Center for Book Arts / Printed Matter Virtual Art Book Fair, New York, February 2021.
‘Theorising Encounters with the Contemporary Photobook’, The British, American and French Photobook: Commitment, Memory, Materiality and the Art Market (1900-2019), Maison Française Oxford, March 2019.
‘Towards a Relational Understanding of the Photobook’, World in Flux: Cultural and Media Studies in a Changing World, Kings College London, June 2018.