Catalogue

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Touching photographs [electronic resource] /
Margaret Olin.
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2012.
description
xii, 273 p. : ill. (some col.), map ; 26 cm.
ISBN
0226626466 (pbk.), 9780226626468 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Chicago ; London : University of Chicago Press, 2012.
isbn
0226626466 (pbk.)
9780226626468 (pbk.)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction -- "It is not going to be easy to look into their eyes": privilege of perception in Let us now praise famous men -- Roland Barthes's 'mistaken' identification -- "From one dark shore to the other" : the epiphany of the image in Hugo von Hofmannsthal and W. G. Sebald -- Putting down photographic roots in Harlem: James Van Der Zee -- Looking through their eyes: photographic empowerment -- Five stories of 9/11 -- Epilogue: Bad pictures.
catalogue key
11566406
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-262) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Margaret Olin is a senior research scholar in the Divinity School, with joint appointments in the Departments of History of Art and Religious Studies and in the Program in Judaic Studies at Yale University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-11-01:
This book's introduction states that "how photographs look may be less central to their habitus than how people look at them" and "All the studies [in this book] ... converge on the question of how, in the area of interpersonal relationships, photographs act rather than represent." These statements by Olin (Yale) are good clues to the book's focus on touching and seeing. Her six chapters are best read as related but independent essays. Reproductions--whether amateur or professional--are socially based. Early essays are dominated by theories (punctum, gaze, etc.) and their creators (Lacan, Barthes, et al.). The primary focus is the relationship between photograph and viewer; the photographer is next in line. Occasionally the text drifts. Readers may find long passages tedious. The book is perhaps most appropriate for socially based study, and much less so for image makers/artists. Nevertheless, Olin's thoughts are provocative and sure to engage readers in further thought and response. For some insight, readers should see what and who have the lengthiest entries in Olin's index. This book will interest those who were taken by S. Walden's edited Photography and Philosophy (CH, Nov'08, 46-1304) and P. Nair's A Different Light (CH, Jul'12, 49-6089). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers. C. Chiarenza emeritus, University of Rochester
Reviews
Review Quotes
"By focusing our attention on the metaphor of touch, Olin reminds us of photography's many layers of manifestation: as an indexical trace of the world it depicts, as a physical object that circulates in this world, and as a pictorial inducer of emotions and sentiments. Touched, touchable, and touching, the photograph is here submitted to Olin's 'tactile looking,' allowing her to range widely, from her own personal snapshots to the work of masters, and even to encompass the searing experience of 9/11, in which photography played such a central role. Whether one chooses to 'bask' in her chosen photographs, as Olin suggests, or simply to learn from her erudition, this book will bring you in closer touch with what makes photography such a complex and fascinating cultural phenomenon."-Geoffrey Batchen, Victoria University of Wellington
“By focusing our attention on the metaphor of touch, Olin reminds us of photography’s many layers of manifestation: as an indexical trace of the world it depicts, as a physical object that circulates in this world, and as a pictorial inducer of emotions and sentiments. Touched, touchable, and touching, the photograph is here submitted to Olin’s ‘tactile looking,’ allowing her to range widely, from her own personal snapshots to the work of masters, and even to encompass the searing experience of 9/11, in which photography played such a central role. Whether one chooses to ‘bask’ in her chosen photographs, as Olin suggests, or simply to learn from her erudition, this book will bring you in closer touch with what makes photography such a complex and fascinating cultural phenomenon.”-Geoffrey Batchen, Victoria University of Wellington
"Olin . . . delivers a stimulating call to action--and interaction--that invites readers to consider the lasting work that images do on us, and that we do with them."
"Olin . . . delivers a stimulating call to action-and interaction-that invites readers to consider the lasting work that images do on us, and that we do with them."
"Olin's thoughts are provocative and sure to engage readers in further thought and response."
"This book is a series of memorably profound excursions into the defining techniques of modernity. Olin is a simultaneously sympathetic and sharp reader of images and contexts, giving Touching Photographs considerable literary merit. This is a wonderful book."
"This bookis a series of memorably profound excursions into the defining techniques of modernity. Olin is a simultaneously sympathetic and sharp reader of images and contexts, giving Touching Photographs considerable literary merit. This is a wonderful book."-Christopher Pinney, University College, London
“This bookis a series of memorably profound excursions into the defining techniques of modernity. Olin is a simultaneously sympathetic and sharp reader of images and contexts, giving Touching Photographs considerable literary merit. This is a wonderful book.”-Christopher Pinney, University College, London
"This is essential reading for anyone interested in the newest thinking about photography. Beautifully argued, it reconceives our understanding of the photograph as an index of presence, seeing it instead as an event and a social practice that provokes relationship and community. Looking is tactile, embodied, interested, and often mistaken, but in Olin's engrossing close readings, mistakes become revealing symptoms of the enduring power of images."
"This is essential reading for anyone interested in the newest thinking about photography. Beautifully argued, it reconceives our understanding of the photograph as an index of presence, seeing it instead as an event and a social practice that provokes relationship and community. Looking is tactile, embodied, interested, and often mistaken, but in Olin's engrossing close readings, mistakes become revealing symptoms of the enduring power of images."-Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University
“This is essential reading for anyone interested in the newest thinking about photography. Beautifully argued, it reconceives our understanding of the photograph as an index of presence, seeing it instead as an event and a social practice that provokes relationship and community. Looking is tactile, embodied, interested, and often mistaken, but in Olin’s engrossing close readings, mistakes become revealing symptoms of the enduring power of images.”-Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Photography does more than simply represents the world. It acts in the world, connecting people to form relationships and shaping relationships to create communities. In this book, Olin explores photography's ability to 'touch' us through a series of essays that shed light on photography's role in the world.
Main Description
Photography does more than simply represent the world. It acts in the world, connecting people to form relationships and shaping relationships to create communities. In this beautiful book, Margaret Olin explores photography's ability to "touch" us through a series of essays that shed new light on photography's role in the world. Olin investigates the publication of photographs in mass media and literature, the hanging of exhibitions, the posting of photocopied photographs of lost loved ones in public spaces, and the intense photographic activity of tourists at their destinations. She moves from intimate relationships between viewers and photographs to interactions around larger communities, analyzing how photography affects the way people handle cataclysmic events like 9/11. Along the way, she shows us James VanDerZee's Harlem funeral portraits, dusts off Roland Barthes's family album, takes us into Walker Evans and James Agee's photo-text Let Us Now Praise Famous Men , and logs onto online photo albums. With over one hundred illustrations, Touching Photographs is an insightful contribution to the theory of photography, visual studies, and art history.
Main Description
Photography does more than simply represent the world. It acts in the world, connecting people to form relationships and shaping relationships to create communities. In this beautiful book, Margaret Olin explores photography’s ability to “touch” us through a series of essays that shed new light on photography’s role in the world. Olin investigates the publication of photographs in mass media and literature, the hanging of exhibitions, the posting of photocopied photographs of lost loved ones in public spaces, and the intense photographic activity of tourists at their destinations. She moves from intimate relationships between viewers and photographs to interactions around larger communities, analyzing how photography affects the way people handle cataclysmic events like 9/11. Along the way, she shows us James VanDerZee’s Harlem funeral portraits, dusts off Roland Barthes’s family album, takes us into Walker Evans and James Agee’s photo-text Let Us Now Praise Famous Men , and logs onto online photo albums. With over one hundred illustrations, Touching Photographs is an insightful contribution to the theory of photography, visual studies, and art history.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Tactile Lookingp. 1
"It Is Not Going to Be Easy to Look into Their Eyes": Privilege of Perception in Let Us Now Praise Famous Menp. 21
Roland Barthes's "Mistaken" Identificationp. 51
"From One Dark Shore to the Other": The Epiphany of the Image in Hugo von Hofmannsthal and W. G. Sebaldp. 71
Putting Down Photographic Roots in Harlem: James VanDerZeep. 101
Looking through Their Eyes: Photographic Empowermentp. 131
Five Stories of 9/11p. 161
Epilogue: Bad Picturesp. 225
Notesp. 235
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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