The workshops aim to promote and sustain a conversation amongst the growing community of trans-generational scholars engaged in new research in visual studies across different disciplines and media, and especially in history and photography.
Each year the SARChI Chair hosts an international workshop which includes a keynote lecture, panels of established scholars, and postgraduate participation. The workshops aim to promote and sustain a conversation amongst the growing community of trans-generational scholars engaged in new research in visual studies across different disciplines and media, and especially in history and photography.
In 2016 the Chair organised the Visual Gateways workshop at the District Six Museum in Cape Town. Professor Jennifer Tucker of Wesleyan University gave the keynote lecture entitled: ‘Picturing Modernization: The Technological Image in Humphrey Jennings’s “Pandaemonium” project (1938-1950)’. Professor Tucker is the author of Nature Exposed. Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science (2013).
The 2017 workshop took as its theme The (Visual) Subject. The keynote lecture was delivered by Professor Krista Thompson of Northwestern University, author of Shine: the visual economy of light in African diasporic aesthetic practice (2015). The lecture was entitled ‘“I was here, but I disappear”: Ivanhoe Martin and the effect of photographic disappearance in Jamaica’.
In March 2017 a dedicated workshop on The Portrait and the Subject was organised to facilitate ongoing doctoral research with historic and contemporary photographic archives and circuits in the African continent. The workshop included presentations by postdoctoral fellow Aubrey Graham on the persistence of ‘studio-like’ contemporary portraits in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; by doctoral fellows Rui Assubuji and Nokuthula Zinyengere on portraiture in Mozambique and Zimbabwe respectively; and by faculty member Marijke du Toit, co-author with Jenny Gordon of Breathing Spaces. Environmental Portraits of Durban’s Industrial South (Durban: UKZN Press, 2016). Breathing Spaces recently won the UWC Arts Faculty Research Incentive Award for best creative publication.