Current & Forthcoming

Photography and its Histories

Public Lecture Course – Sean Robert Willcock

  • 21 February to 21 March 2019
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Every Thursday for five weeks.
    Open to all and free to attend, but enrolment is required.
  • Paul Mellon Centre

‘Odd,’ wrote Roland Barthes in his renowned 1980 study of photography, ‘that no one has thought of the disturbance (to civilisation) which this new action causes.’

Recent years have duly witnessed an explosion of scholarship considering the social and psychological impact of taking photographs. This course draws on recent approaches to explore the wide-ranging changes in perception brought about by the technology since its invention in 1839.  How has photography shaped the aesthetic sensibilities and ethical sensitivities of the modern world? Through a series of discrete but related talks by experts in the field, this programme considers how the camera has informed our understanding of art, politics, nature and the self. 

Registration for the course will open at 10AM on 21 January 2019. **Please note: you will need to register for each week individually. This is to ensure attendance does not drop. In addition, the Centre now has an overbooking policy due to repeated no-shows. We suggest registered participants arrive promptly to ensure entry. Apologies for the inconvenience.**

In the meantime please read the Frequently Asked Questions for information on changes to our enrollment and booking procedures. 

The syllabus for the course is will be available to download soon. 

About the speaker

  • Sean Willcock Picture

    My research examines the interrelationships between aesthetic practices and geopolitical violence during the Victorian period, with a particular focus on colonial photography in nineteenth-century South Asia.  This year I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and am working on my first book, which examines the visual cultures that developed in tandem with the political and military crises that characterised British engagements with India and its borderlands during the nineteenth century. Since completing my PhD in 2013 I have held teaching positions at the University of York and Queen Mary, University of London.