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CfP : Ecological histories of photography. Science, politics, philosophy, materiality

15.09.2022 Add to calendar
Call for papers

Using a long-term historical perspective, the 8th issue of Transbordeur will examine the relationship between photography and ecology as understood in multiple ways: 1) ecology as an interdisciplinary science that emerged in the nineteenth century, 2) the specific political agenda of different movements defending environmental causes as public concern for them increased significantly in the second half of the twentieth-century 3) ecology as the object of social and philosophical movements which have brought into question the binary opposition of nature and culture in Western society, and finally 4) the ecological impact of the photographic industry in its dependence on extraction, petrochemical derivatives, and more recently digital technologies.

Authors are encouraged to question photography’s assumed capacity to capture the relationship between societies and their ecosystems, and to perceive life systems in their totality throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. How have photographic images and practices contrived to render life on Earth intelligible or legible? How have major theories of life and life-systems, as well as cultural myths of life on Earth, shaped and been shaped by photographic images and their use since the 1860s? What have been the social, political and environmental impacts of these images in all their ambiguities, limits, and paradoxes?

We are seeking papers which emphasize a diachronic, comparative approach to examine the form, materiality and social agency of photographic images since the nineteenth century as related to the following themes: 1) photography and the science of ecology, 2) photography in the history of public awareness of ecological issues, as well as preservationist and conservationist movements, and ecological activism, 3) the relationship between photography and different currents of ecophilosophy in history, and 4) the ecological impact of photography as a material practice.

The full CFP can be downloaded here:

L'appel complet en français est téléchargeable ici:

Abstracts (600 words) must be sent to Estelle Sohier (, Teresa Castro ( and Brenda Lynn Edgar ( before September 15th 2022.

Texts can be submitted in French, English or German.

Teresa Castro, Brenda Edgar, Estelle Sohier


Université de Lausanne


Estelle Sohier
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