Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226129112 Published December 2016
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Documenting the World

Film, Photography, and the Scientific Record

Edited by Gregg Mitman and Kelley Wilder

Documenting the World
Read the introduction.

Edited by Gregg Mitman and Kelley Wilder

288 pages | 27 color plates, 40 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9780226129112 Published December 2016
E-book $35.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226129259 Published December 2016
Imagine the twentieth century without photography and film. Its history would be absent of images that define historical moments and generations: the death camps of Auschwitz, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Apollo lunar landing. It would be a history, in other words, of just artists’ renderings and the spoken and written word. To inhabitants of the twenty-first century, deeply immersed in visual culture, such a history seems insubstantial, imprecise, and even, perhaps, unscientific.

Documenting the World is about the material and social life of photographs and film made in the scientific quest to document the world. Drawing on scholars from the fields of art history, visual anthropology, and science and technology studies, the chapters in this book explore how this documentation—from the initial recording of images, to their acquisition and storage, to their circulation—has altered our lives, our ways of knowing, our social and economic relationships, and even our surroundings. Far beyond mere illustration, photography and film have become an integral, transformative part of the world they seek to show us.
Contents

1 Introduction
Gregg Mitman and Kelley Wilder

2 Moving Pictures: Photographs on Trial in the Sir Roger Tichborne Affair
Jennifer Tucker

3 The Colors of Evidence: Picturing the Past in Photography and Film
Peter Geimer

4 Mars in the Making: Digital Documentary Practices in Contemporary Planetary Science
Janet Vertesi

5 Uncertain Knowledge: Photography and the Turn-of-the-Century Anthropological Document
Elizabeth Edwards

6 A Journey without Maps: Film, Expeditionary Science, and the Growth of Development
Gregg Mitman

7 Archival Exposure: Disability, Documentary, and the Making of Counternarratives
Faye Ginsburg

8 Reverse—Cardboard—Print: The Materiality of the Photographic Archive and Its Function
Stefanie Klamm

9 Photographic Cataloguing
Kelley Wilder

10 The Excess of the Archive
Estelle Blaschke

Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Contributors
Index

Review Quotes
Peter Galison, Harvard University
“Too little attention is paid to what we gain when we pay attention to the history of photography and documentary film. Happily, editors Mitman and Wilder show us how still and moving images can significantly deepen our grasp of the evolution of scientific work; they have gathered together here an impressive group of distinguished scholars across the fields of science and visualization. We have needed a book like Documenting the World for many years—I have no doubt that it will prove to be an important addition to existing scholarship.”
Tanya Sheehan, Colby College
Documenting the World posits the fascinating impulse for documentation that emerged in the late nineteenth century as a desire to visualize, order, and preserve the world. Photographic and filmic documentation, as Mitman and Wilder conceive of it, is an active process that transforms subjects, relationships, environments, and disciplines. The first book to explore the documentary impulse in photographic media from a cross-disciplinary perspective and with theoretical sophistication, Documenting the World brings together scholars from social history, anthropology, art history, and science studies.”
Finis Dunaway, author of Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of American Environmental Images
“This is an innovative and exciting collection of essays. The contributors’ perceptive treatment of three key themes—the documentary image as evidence, the circulation and recirculation of images, and the histories and meanings of image archives—provides original insights into the documentary impulse and its cultural and material significance. Documenting the World presents cutting-edge research that will advance history of photography and film scholarship in novel and significant ways for years to come.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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