CfP: International Conference Photography and History | 15, 16 and 17 Dec. (Funchal)

© Carlos Fotógrafo | 29-05-1974 | MFM-AV, Inv. CFF/201 Jornalists going through the files of the previous General Direc- tion of Security (former PIDE), Funchal.

The International Conference Photography and History is promoted by the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture and the Regional Directorate for Culture / Museum of Photography of Madeira – Atelier Vicente’s, and is co-organized by NOVA Institute of Communication / EVAM Observatory and the University of Madeira / Culture Council.

International Conference Photography and History
15, 16 and 17 December 2021 – FUNCHAL
Colégio dos Jesuítas – University of Madeira (UMa)
Museum of Photography  Madeira – Atelier Vicente’s

The relationship between the photographic medium and the discipline of history has been a topic for theoretical speculation and a source for analogies and rapprochements since the second half of the 19th century. However, the debate around the role of images in historiography implies also countless frictions and silences.

If due to its acknowledged transparency and realism photography is apparently a privileged index, being frequently considered a paradigm for the craft of the historian, however, due to its stillness and fragmentary characteristics technical images have generate throughout the 20th century a considerable heuristic suspicion.

Even though photography has been mostly considered as a documental and utilitarian tool, the renovation that technical images convey to the conception of history itself has lagged behind the expectations foreseen by Walter Benjamin in the 1930s. To foster the debate on photography today, on its social uses, its circulation in a world of images with multiple meanings to history, aims at questioning concepts such as those of fact and event, visuality and truth, real and imaginary.

Hence the purpose of this conference is to envision the role of photography in different contexts – such as the institutional and personal archive, in social networks or in artistic practice -, as a means to stimulate history, here understood as a narrative that questions contemporaneity based on evidences and regimes of thought and visuality from the past.

The deadline for the present call for proposals is 1st July 2021. We invite proposals for a 20-minute presentation, from papers on the topic based on academic researches, to artistic objects and cultural practices examples, from various disciplines.

The conference will include public sessions and online panels.

Submitted proposals for presentations may address the following topics:

– Photography as an index and evidence.
  Archives and iconographical sources: contributions and problematizations to history.
  Circulation and mobilization of images: contributions for local history, in particular,   within the Macaronesia region.
Photographies: their double objectual and imagery dimension – challenges for history.

– Photography as a model for history in modernity.
  Photography and history in the works of Walter Benjamin and his contemporaries.
  Technical image and the discipline of history in historiographical currents of the 20th century.
  Photography, memory and history: intercrosses in the digital era.

– Photography in the post-photography era: disputes around history.
  The concepts of fact, event, real and (post) truth considering images.
  The contributions of memory and visual studies to the concept of history.
  The mobilization of photography by the arts: meanings and strategies to overcome disclaimers.

Submission guidelines

– We invite proposals for a 20-minute presentation in English, Portuguese or Spanish to be sent in a Word document (.docx) containing:

a) Title and abstract of 400 words maximum (no references) indicating whether your contribution is online or not;

b) The name of the author with current affiliation, contact details (email and mobile) and a short biographical note (around 200 words).

Proposals should be sent to no later than July 1st, 2021.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by August, 15th 2021.

 Registration fees

– Standard: 40€
– Students (upon presentation of student card): 30€
– Online participants: free costs. 

Organizing committee

Ana Gandum
NOVA Institute of Communication / EVAM Observatory

Isabel Stein
ICNOVA Institute of Communication / EVAM Observatory

Vítor Magalhães
University of Madeira / Council of Culture

Rita Rodrigues
Head of the Heritage Studies Section – Regional Directorate for Culture

Vítor Luís
Museum of Photography of Madeira – Atelier Vicente’s

Ana Lúcia Mandelli de Marsillac
Professor at Federal University of Santa Catarina /ICNOVA/ EVAM

Alzira Tude de Sá
Professor at Federal University of Bahia / ICNOVA / EVAM

Scientific advisor

Margarida Medeiros
Professor at Nova Univeristy of Lisboa – FCSH / ICNOVA

For more information and conference updates please visit the site:

For any submission or general questions feel free to contact us by email.

Important dates 
– Deadline for submission: July 1, 2021.
– Notification of authors: August 15, 2021 

An initiative of:

Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture / Regional Directorate for Culture from the Autonomous Region of Madeira
Museum of Photography of Madeira – Atelier Vicente’s

Supported by:

ICNOVA – Nova Institute of Communication / NOVA University of Lisbon FCSH
EVAM – Observatory of Visual Studies and Media Archeology
University of Madeira / Culture Council