Title page for ETD etd-11112008-163919

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kitchens, Melanie A.
Author's Email Address mkitch1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11112008-163919
Title Performing Photographs: Memory, History, and Display
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ruth Laurion Bowman Committee Chair
Michael Bowman Committee Member
Patricia Suchy Committee Member
Tracy Stephenson Shaffer Committee Member
Jeremiah Ariaz Dean's Representative
  • photograph album
  • bauhaus
  • theatre of images
  • theatre of the oppressed
  • epic theatre
  • the system
  • biomechanics
  • Sophie Calle
  • found photographs
  • Countess Castiglione
  • portrait photography
  • Muybridge
Date of Defense 2008-10-24
Availability unrestricted
In my study, I place concepts and practices of photography and performance in dialogue to enable our understanding of how photographs perform and how performance contains or can contain elements we attribute to photographs. The connection between photography and performance that most intrigues me is how they make memories and when collected or restored in some socially shared way make histories too. My specific aim is to understand how photographs and performance might benefit from each other in how they make and transmit memories and histories. To activate the study, I select and focus on five specific events in which photographs are or have been displayed. I analyze each event in terms of its “internal,” “original,” and “external” or display context (Barrett 96), pertinent concepts and practices of photography, and also those of performance that are similar. By means of a comparative approach, I look at what memories and histories appear to be remembered and forgotten, and how, in each photographic event and the performance practices I draw on. My study is significant because while scholars have discussed the conceptual links between photography and performance, they have not considered the practical links. This study emphasizes the latter and thereby offers methods for “doing” photography and/in performance that feature rather than minimize how memories and histories are made in both mediums.
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