Labor and Working Class History Association 1
Kevin Coleman, author of A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-Forging of a Banana Republic (2016) and one of the editors of the special issue, will begin the panel by introducing some core themes across the panelists’ works. Then, in five to seven minute talks, panelists will conduct close readings of a photograph (or a series), a photographer’s works, or a critical concept from their articles. These readings will arise from panelists’ articles, or towards future directions that will stem from their work. Daniel Zamora will present on photographs of workers in the 1970s, an era of declining working-class power. Through images of landscape and indigeneity in the Canadian Shield and Northern Luzon, Siobhan Angus and Adrian De Leon will explore how photography was deployed to aesthetically promote colonial resource extraction. Carol Quirke and Erica Toffoli will variously discuss how photography grapples with race and labor in the United States. From ethnological photos of the colonial Philippines to images of Black uprisings in 1980s Britain, Ian Bourland and Rick Halpern will explore various ways of reading photographs, including methodological approaches to archival research. Walter Benn Michaels, author of The Beauty of a Social Problem: Photography, Autonomy and Political Economy (2015), will conclude the session with remarks on photography in the historical study of labor, culture, and capitalism.