The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

05-02 Hands In/On the Archive: The Fugitive Touch of Archival Photography

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License


Friday, May 02, 2014

2:00 pm

CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5409


Please join the Mentoring Future Faculty of Color Lunch and Lecture Series for a talk by TINA CAMPT (BARNARD COLLEGE)

The human hand is one of the most complexly sensate corporeal receptors, as well as one of the most expressive loci of social communication. Hands are a source of both physical contact and affective connection. A gesture of the hand solicits attention, elicits responses, defines relationships, and initiates a cascade of interactions that register at multiple sensory levels. Yet hands have also served as equally powerful visual identifiers for criminal pathology. This paper explores a set of recently unearthed albums of convict photos compiled between 1893 and 1903 and housed at the Archives of the Western Cape in South Africa. It engages the haptic dimensions of this photographic archive both in terms of the sensate and material dimensions of the albums as archival objects, and probes the haptics staged in the images themselves as well as the fugitive practices this archive enacts.

*If you would like to attend lunch with Professor Campt at noon, please RSVP to Melissa Phruksachart,

Co-sponsored by the PhD Program in English.