Kirsten Emiko McAllister
As a visual medium, the photograph has many culturally resonant properties that it shares with no other medium. The essays in this volume develop innovative cultural strategies for reading, re-reading and re-using photographs, as well as for (re)creating photographs and other artworks and evoke varied sites of memory in contemporary landscapes: from sites of war and other violence through the lost places of indigenous peoples to the once-familiar everyday places of home, family, neighborhood and community. Paying close attention to the settings in which such photographs are made and used–family collections, public archives, museums, newspapers, art galleries–the contributors consider how meanings in photographs may be shifted, challenged and renewed over time and for different purposes–from historical inquiry to quests for personal, familial, ethnic and national identity.
“…[The volume makes a] strong contribution… to rethinking the limitations and failures of photographic representation and to challenging our own interpretive assumptions driven by desires to see and read photographs in certain ways. Rather, as the volume makes clear in unique and varied sites of research, photographic meaning and memory, unstable and in constant flux, are marked as much by forgetfulness and absence as remembrance and presence.” · H-Net
“…the discursive style of each of the chapters highlights the value of attention to oral histories…There are many chapters worth investigating in this volume, delivering as it does a specific methodological clout for the study of memory and its mutations over time which result in national deliriums, amnesia and all types of cultural disorders.” · Cultural Studies Review