Call for Papers

The archival impulse, which remains a primary organising principle within contemporary art, is now, in an age of digital imaging and social media, also a mass-cultural phenomenon. These developments, together with a cultural field currently preoccupied with questions of history, remembrance and divergent conceptions of national identity, make an investigation of photography and the archive in Ireland particularly timely.

This one day symposium will bring together researchers and practitioners who are concerned to interrogate the role of the archive in the production of new knowledges about photography in Ireland, and those who offer alternative narratives of Irish culture through a focus on photography. It will provide a forum for the critical examination of a range of photographic and archival practices, within both official and unofficial, public and private contexts. The symposium aims to gather and acknowledge ongoing research in historic, artistic and vernacular photography as it intersects with practical and theoretical considerations of the archive.

We invite proposals for 20 minute presentations from researchers working in diverse fields and disciplines, such as: photography; media, visual, material and cultural studies; art history; museology; archival and librarian studies; digital humanities; visual anthropology and sociology; history and geography; architecture; and philosophy and literature.

Submitted proposals might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Art and the Archive

The archive and contemporary photographic practices in Ireland

Invented, found and (re) created archives

Ethics, aesthetics and the re-situating of photographs

Memory, Affect, Materiality

Photography, commemoration and remembrance

Materiality, affect and vernacular photography

Archives, albums and the production of family histories

Identity, Society and Culture

Geographies of representation: borders, space, place, migration and dislocation

Legacies of the colonial, postcolonial and neocolonial in Irish photography

Performing gender in the photographic archive

Archival Science: Collecting, Preserving and Cataloging

Museum, library and archive as linked sites of regulation

Institutional agendas and the photographic archive

Systems of classification, processes of collecting and conservation

Consuming Archives: Digital Repositories and Databases

Commerce, copyright and online photo banks in Ireland

Digitized photographic archives, networks, communities, users and researchers

Photography, social media and the production of digital identities

To propose a paper please send a 350 word abstract (excluding references) no later than June 16th 2017 to

Proposals should also include the full name and title of the author, current affiliation, full contact details (address, email and phone number), and a brief biographical note.


Ann Curran (Programme Chair, BA Photography, DIT)

Fiona Loughnane (Assistant lecturer, Dept. of Visual Culture, NCAD)

Dr. Orla Fitzpatrick (Librarian, NMI)