New Lenses on China, 23-24 June 2017

New Lenses on China: Photography in Modern Chinese History and Historiography
Wiles Colloquium 2017
Queen’s University Belfast, 23-24 June 2017


Chinese history is experiencing a ‘photographic turn’. Research about and making use of historical Chinese photography are fast-moving and rapidly expanding areas of interest for academics. At the same time, historical photography is increasingly being made available to a wide general audience in China and beyond, opening up new possibilities.

New Lenses on China will consider the impact of photographic sources on our understanding of Chinese history. This colloquium brings together leading scholars of Chinese history and of photography to reflect on the impact of photography on Chinese history and historiography, to assess the state of the field, and to consider its future trajectories.

Registration: Free (charge for refreshments)


Keynote lectures and panels (provisional)
Robert Bickers (Bristol): ‘Plenty and want’
Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort): ‘Photographs and the Business of ‘Doing History’: some thoughts on method and historiography’
Christian Henriot (Aix-Marseille): ‘Seeing through death in modern Shanghai: A visual encounter’
Nick Pearce (Glasgow): ‘New viewpoints, new knowledge: John Dudgeon, John Thomson
and photographic practice in nineteenth-century China’
– The imperial eye
– Memory, society and forgotten visualities
– Photography, the state and the nation: beyond the textual archive
– Photography, knowledge and dissemination

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