Event / Public Lecture on Photography and Materiality of the Early 20th Century Kerala

The Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR) invites you to a Public Lecture by Dr. Sujith Kumar Parayil on ‘Histories in the Image: Photography and Materiality of the Early 20th Century Kerala’.

Date: 28 June 2019 (Friday)

Time: 3.00 pm – 5.30 pm

Venue: KCHR Annexe, Kesavadasapuram, Thiruvananthapuram

About the Speaker: Dr. Sujith Kumar Parayil is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Media Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Previously he had taught at the Department of Cultural Studies at the EFLU, Hyderabad, and the Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, TISS Mumbai. He was formerly a Fellow in Cultural Studies at CSSS Calcutta. His teaching and research interests include the cultural history of Kerala, media and cultural studies, visual culture, photography and history, media and sensorium.

About the Lecture: This paper is an attempt to analyse the relation between photography and materiality, in conjunction with how histories of Kerala have been reconfigured in the imaginative visual surfaces of photographs of the late 19th and early 20th century Kerala. Histories are referred here not as event-histories but as conjectures in everyday life that constitute the worldviews of the subject. Materiality can be defined as a social biography of the object (photographs).

Hence, the presentation would concentrate on selected photographs and some photographic practices to enunciate the relation between mentality and materiality of the photographic image. The history of photography in the region shows that it has been used for various purposes ranging from colonial governmentality to refashioning the agency of the colonial subjects.

However, the paper would move away from the evidential nature of photography to look at their textual and contextual meaning. Indeed, photographs quite often go beyond these textual and contextual inferences and become an assemblage of the object, in which visual vocabularies of the sensible and the non-sensible are registered. The paper, therefore, will argue that the meaning of these visual vocabularies is historically reproduced and their signifiers move beyond the mere historical context and time.

More infokchr.ac.in/images/img/Dr.%20Sujith%20Parayils%20Lecture.pdf
Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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