Migration and Exchange: Symposium on early Australian Photography

J. W. Lindt J.W. Lindt's studio "Ethelred" Hawthorn Melbourne c.1899 Albumen silver photograph

This symposium explores itinerant and sporadic image making in Australia (including those parts of the Pacific that Australia administered and that Australian photographers travelled to) in order to understand the effects of photographic transformation and exchange. It begins with images recruited to lend authority to colonial and indigenous elites and royals, includes the images created in the most intense period of Australia’s settlement – a period which includes the gold rush, the Great Exhibitions and Federation – and ends with the First World War which transformed relationships between foreign colonial powers, engendered a spirit of independence, and saw locals journeying to a European war carrying cameras and bringing back a new set of travel images with deep personal meaning.

The symposium seeks to emphasise patterns of transformation and exchange. It includes the work of the first generations of permanent resident and locally born photographers, plus visitors and migrants. It encourages the comparison of patterns of response as these occurred across different parts of Australasian and Pacific region in addition to scholarship on the multiple forms in which photography was practised.

Plenary speaker | Robert Dixon

Robert Dixon is Professor of Australian Literature in the School of Letters, Art and Media at the University of Sydney, New South Wales. He is a Fellow at the Australian Academy of the Humanities and served as a judge of the Miles Franklin Award from 2004 to 2009, and as chair of the Nita B. Kibble Literary Award. He is a consultant to ACARA on the Australian Curriculum: English. His cross-disciplinary research interests incorporate Australian literature, cultural studies, art history, photography and early cinema, as well as the long nineteenth century. His current research includes Scenes of Reading: Is Australian Literature a National Treasure?. Having published extensively since 1977, his most recent works on early photography and cinema include, in 2011, Photography, Early Cinema and Cultural Modernity: Frank Hurley’s Synchronized Lecture Entertainments and his co-edited The Diaries of Frank Hurley 1912-1941. The Novels of Alex Miller was published earlier this year, while Travelling Mass-Media Circus: Frank Hurley and Colonial Modernity and the co-edited Republics of Letters: Literary Communities in Australia is due for release shortly.

Date: November 29-30, 2012

Venue: Ian Potter Gallery, The University of Melbourne

Organisers: Gael Newton (National Gallery of Australia), Max Quanchi (University of the South Pacific) and Anne Maxwell (The University of Melbourne)

 No registration required.

See the full program, abstracts and further information on the symposium website here.

For any enquiries please contact Anne Maxwell emaxwell@unimelb.edu.au