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La Photographie malgré l'image Cover

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La Photographie malgré l'image

Jean Lauzon

L’auteur propose ici un modèle sémiotique de compréhension du signe photographique appelé « contexture photographique ». Dans un premier temps, l’auteur offre une mise en situation de la problématique axée sur les notions de transparence et d’opacité du signe. Deuxièmement, il présente un parcours historique de l’état de la question photographique s’appuyant sur ces notions paradigmatiques résumées, à la suite de François Récanati, par la formule « transparence-cum-opacité ». Le tout est suivi d’une analyse d’une photographie d’Alexandre Rodchenko, Le Sauteur à la perche (1936), en se basant notamment sur quelques concepts théoriques issus des sciences cognitives qui proposent, par exemple, que la cognition opère sur la base de catégorisations à la fois perceptives et conceptuelles. Il est ensuite suggéré un modèle tétradique d’interprétation du signe photographique inspiré des travaux théoriques de Philippe Dubois, cependant modifié par les analyses et réflexions de l’auteur. Quelques exemples de mise en application du modèle de contexture photographique sont proposés en fin de parcours. L’auteur s’interroge également sur la pertinence de considérer le signe photographique comme une nouveauté dans le champ des représentations symboliques, dans la mesure où la photographie aurait partie liée avec d’anciens schémas conceptuels pré-modernes.

Lens on the Texas Frontier Cover

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Lens on the Texas Frontier

Lawrence T. Jones

Photographs of Texas’ frontier past are valuable as both art and artifact. Recording not only the lives and surroundings of days gone by, but also the artistry of those who captured the people and their times on camera, the rare images in Lens on the Texas Frontier offer a documentary record that is usually available to only a few dedicated collectors.
In this book, prominent collector Lawrence T. Jones III showcases some of the most interesting and historically important glimpses of Texas history included among the five thousand photographs in the collection that bears his name at the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University. One of the nation’s most comprehensive and valuable Texas-related photography collections, the Lawrence T. Jones III Collection documents all aspects of Texas photography from the years 1846–1945, including rare examples of the various techniques practiced from its earliest days in the state: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and paper print photographs in various formats.
The selections in the book feature cartes de visite, cabinet cards, oversized photographs, stereographs, and more. The subjects of the photos include Confederate and Union soldiers and officers in the Civil War; Mexicans, including ranking military officials from the Mexican Revolution; and a wide spectrum of Texan citizens, including African American, Native American, Hispanic, and Caucasian women, men, and children.

Little Traverse Bay, Past and Present Cover

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Little Traverse Bay, Past and Present

Michael R. Federspiel With contemporary photographs by Rebecca Zeiss

The railroad’s arrival in the 1870s tranformed the formerly sleepy Little Traverse Bay region into a tourist mecca. Victorian resort communities and the growing towns of Harbor Springs and Petoskey provided lodging, dining, entertainment, and supplies to an influx of settlers, speculators, and tourists who visited in the summer or stayed year-round. Over the decades, cars have replaced trains and steamships and many structures have been preserved, altered, or demolished, but Little Traverse Bay, Past and Present shows that the area’s history is still very much a part of the present day. Featuring contemporary images by Rebecca Zeiss, over three hundred historic (most never before published) photos, and historical narrative by Michael R. Federspiel, this volume documents both the development of the tourist economy and also serves as a snapshot of the region today. Little Traverse Bay, Past and Present is divided into chapters by place and topic. Federspiel and Zeiss look at the cities of Petoskey and Harbor Springs; the resort associations of Bay View, Wequetoning, and Harbor Point; and railroads, steamships, and excursions. Along the way, they visit historic hotels, public buildings, residences, commercial districts, and waterfront areas. At many sites, Zeiss’s beautiful and precise photos show that the historic views are still as they were; at others, they are hidden behind facades or structural alterations. Sometimes the historic sites are simply gone, replaced by something totally new or an empty lot. Federspiel also includes an introduction on the making of modern Little Traverse Bay and introduces the leaders and businessmen behind it. Popular tourist regions often boast beautiful souvenir photo books or history books addressing their past. Little Traverse Bay, Past and Present is both, making it of interest to visitors and local residents alike who want to learn more about the area’s nineteenth-century history as well as those interested in its appearance today.

Maya Yucatán Cover

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Maya Yucatán

An Artist's Journey

Phillip Hofstetter

Phillip Hofstetter first visited Yucatán in 1987 and was entranced, as much by the sheer physical beauty of the region as by the enduring character of the Maya people still inhabiting the region. For more than twenty years he has been documenting his travels in Yucatán and his professional collaboration with archaeological excavation projects there. His reflections on the Maya culture emphasize survival and adaptation, while images of ancient sites, the churches of the Franciscan mission period, and the ruined haciendas of the henequen period serve as physical reminders of the enduring ways in which the Maya have shaped the landscape of Yucatán over millennia.

Meaningful Places Cover

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Meaningful Places

Landscape Photographers in the Nineteenth-Century American West

Rachel McLean Sailor

The early history of photography in America coincided with the Euro-American settlement of the West. This thoughtful book argues that the rich history of western photography cannot be understood by focusing solely on the handful of well-known photographers whose work has come to define the era. Art historian Rachel Sailor points out that most photographers in the West were engaged in producing images for their local communities. These pictures didn’t just entertain the settlers but gave them a way to understand their new home. Photographs could help the settlers adjust to their new circumstances by recording the development of a place—revealing domestication, alteration, and improvement.

The book explores the cultural complexity of regional landscape photography, western places, and local sociopolitical concerns. Photographic imagery, like western paintings from the same era, enabled Euro-Americans to see the new landscape through their own cultural lenses, shaping the idea of the frontier for the people who lived there.

Mennonites in Texas Cover

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Mennonites in Texas

The Quiet in the Land

By Laura L. Camden and Susan Gaetz Duarte

With their distinctive head coverings, plain dress, and quiet, unassuming demeanor, the Mennonites are a distinctive presence within the often flamboyant and proud people of Texas. If you have seen them at a gas station, in a grocery store, or even at the Dallas–Fort Worth airport, you have probably taken note and wondered how they came to be there. In this photographic tour of two Texas Mennonite communities, separated by almost 450 miles, Laura L. Camden and Susan Gaetz Duarte introduce you to the Beachy Amish Mennonites of Lott, a small community of approximately 160 people in Central Texas, and the very different Mennonites of Seminole, a West Texas farming community of more than five thousand residents and five separate congregations, several of which still speak the Mennonite Low German. Spending more than a year getting to know the families, participating in day-to-day activities, and photographing the unique culture of the communities, Camden and Gaetz Duarte developed deep insight into not just the religious beliefs but the family relationships, role expectations, and daily routines of these people. Through their camera lenses, they offer others a touchingly intimate view of a unique lifestyle seldom experienced by outsiders. In a foreword, former governor Ann Richards identifies the book as part of both the long photographic tradition in Texas and the tradition of cultural and religious diversity in the state. Mark L. Louden’s introduction provides the historical backgrounds of Mennonites in Europe, their core beliefs, and their development into branches in North America. Dennis Carlyle Darling offers insightful comments on the photography that allows an intimate, respectful view of the people, their lifestyle, and their culture.

On Writing with Photography Cover

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On Writing with Photography

Karen Beckman


From James Agee to W. G. Sebald, there has been an explosion of modern documentary narratives and fiction combining text and photography in complex and fascinating ways. However, these contemporary experiments are part of a tradition that stretches back to the early years of photography. Writers have been integrating photographs into their work for as long as photographs have existed, producing rich, multilayered creations; and photographers have always made images that incorporate, respond to, or function as writing. On Writing with Photography explores what happens to texts—and images—when they are brought together.


From the mid-nineteenth century to the present, this collection addresses a wide range of genres and media, including graphic novels, children’s books, photo-essays, films, diaries, newspapers, and art installations. Examining the works of Herman Melville, Don DeLillo, Claude McKay, Man Ray, Dare Wright, Guy Debord, Zhang Ailing, and Roland Barthes, among others, the essays trace the relationship between photographs and “reality” and describe the imaginary worlds constructed by both, discussing how this production can turn into testimony of personal and collective history, memory and trauma, gender and sexuality, and ethnicity.


Together, these essays help explain how writers and photographers—past and present—have served as powerful creative resources for each other.


Contributors: Stuart Burrows, Brown U; Roderick Coover, Temple U; Adrian Daub, Stanford U; Marcy J. Dinius, DePaul U; Marianne Hirsch, Columbia U; Daniel H. Magilow, U of Tennessee, Knoxville; Janine Mileaf; Tyrus Miller, U of California, Santa Cruz; Leah Rosenberg, U of Florida; Xiaojue Wang, U of Pennsylvania.


Pastoral and Monumental Cover

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Pastoral and Monumental

Dams, Postcards, and the American Landscape

Donald C. Jackson

In Pastoral and Monumental, Donald C. Jackson chronicles America’s longtime love affair with dams as represented on picture postcards from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Through nearly four hundred images, Jackson documents the remarkable transformation of dams and their significance to the environment and culture of America. Initially, dams were portrayed in pastoral settings on postcards that might jokingly proclaim them as “a dam pretty place.” But scenes of flood damage, dam collapses, and other disasters also captured people’s attention. Later, images of New Deal projects, such as the Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, and Norris Dam, symbolized America’s rise from the Great Depression through monumental public works and technological innovation. Jackson relates the practical applications of dams, describing their use in irrigation, navigation, flood control, hydroelectric power, milling, mining, and manufacturing. He chronicles changing construction techniques, from small timber mill dams to those more massive and more critical to a society dependent on instant access to electricity and potable water. Concurrent to the evolution of dam technology, Jackson recounts the rise of a postcard culture that was fueled by advances in printing, photography, lowered postal rates, and America’s fascination with visual imagery. In 1910, almost one billion postcards were mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, and for a period of over fifty years, postcards featuring dams were “all the rage.” Whether displaying the charms of an old mill, the aftermath of a devastating flood, or the construction of a colossal gravity dam, these postcards were a testament to how people perceived dams as structures of both beauty and technological power.

The Photographed Cat Cover

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The Photographed Cat

Picturing Human-Feline Ties 1890-1940

by Arnold Arluke and Lauren Rolfe

The Photographed Cat presents readers with an examination of how human-cat relationships are depicted in early twentieth-century photography. Examining this relationship from the perspective of the photographer and the human subjects who made or appear in these photographs, Arluke and Rolfe show that the cat photographs are valuable windows into sets of cultural values that may have existed at the time.

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