In 1837, when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre invented a process called daguerreotype, little could they know of the flood of photographic images that would follow. Early photographs were unable to capture movement, but they could offer documentary evidence of persons or objects, or rival an older artistic medium, painting.
In recent years, photography has stepped up its competition not only with the painted image, but also with the written word. Novelists like W.G. Sebald and Orhan Pamuk include photographs in their work, interspersing their words with images. What is the function of these photographs? How do they change the literary text? And how do we read them?
Presented by the Penn Humanities Forum, Departments of German, English, Romance Languages, and History of Art, and Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory.