Museum Talk Series - October 18th



The Family Camera: The Making of an Exhibition

On Wednesday, October 18th, Deepali Dewan, Jennifer Orpana, Thy Phu, and Elspeth Brown will offer a behind-the-scenes talk about The Family Camera Network and The Family Camera exhibition for the Museum Talk Series at the University of Toronto. This talk is presented by the Master of Museum Studies program at the Faculty of Information (U of T), in collaboration with the Museums and Public History Group (Jackman Humanities Institute). 

Location: Jackman Humanities Institute, room 100a

Time: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

This event is free & open to the public. 

Click here for a flyer with more details about this event.

Don't miss your chance to see The Family Camera exhibition before it closes on October 29th.


EXHIBITION: The Family Camera - On Now!

This exhibition looks at family photographs as a cultural practice through the lens of migration, and considers the social, political, and technological factors that have impacted how individuals experience and represent family. The Family Camera demonstrates how these images reflect and shape conceptions of self, family, community, and nation. 

Curated by Deepali Dewan, Jennifer Orpana, Thy Phu, Julie Crooks, and Sarah Bassnett, with the assistance of Sarah Parsons and Silvia Forni

Two venues

The Family Camera is organized by the Royal Ontario Museum with the support of The Family Camera Network and presented concurrently at the ROM and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. 

Visit both Museums for the full exhibition experience:

  • At the ROM from May 6 to October 29, 2017
  • At the AGM from May 4 to August 27, 2017

CONFERENCE: Reframing Family Photography (Sept. 21-23)

crossing the farther shore. Courtesy of Dinh Q. Lê. (Currently on view at the Art Gallery of Mississauga until August 27, 2017).

crossing the farther shore. Courtesy of Dinh Q. Lê. (Currently on view at the Art Gallery of Mississauga until August 27, 2017).

What is family photography? Scholars have often understood the genre as simply snapshots of domestic scenes—images that reflect and produce normative notions of family. Yet, family photographs are more complex than we think: they can also include images taken by a wide spectrum of producers, including the press and the state; they frequently circulate between private and public spheres, linking personal memories with national and even global histories; and, just as importantly, they don’t just illustrate families, but also shape the very idea of family in the contexts of race, gender, and sexuality.

This conference will re-examine the genre and develop new ways of investigating the cultural politics of family photography. This critical task is all the more timely not just because of photography’s transformation with the digital turn, but also because of recent historical shifts that have altered the composition and very meaning of kinship--including Cold War dislocations, the visibility of queer and trans* family belonging, transnational adoptions, and immigration under the auspices of family reunification.



Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017

4:00-4:30          Registration // Lobby outside the ROM Theatre at the Royal Ontario Museum

4:30-6:00pm     Artists’ roundtable // ROM Theatre

  • Deanna Bowen
  • Jeff Thomas
  • Discussant: Thy Phu (Western University)
  • Moderator: Deepali Dewan (University of Toronto & Royal Ontario Museum)

6:00-7:30pm     Family Camera Exhibition and Opening Reception // Royal Ontario Museum

 Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

8:00-8:45am      Registration & Coffee // Lobby outside Campbell Conference Facility (CCF) at the Munk School (1 Devonshire Place)

8:45-9:00am      Welcome and introduction // CCF
                           Thy Phu (Western University)

9:00-11:00am     Plenary Session – Key Concepts Roundtable // CCF

  • Marianne Hirsch (Columbia University)
  • Martha Langford (Concordia University)
  • Deborah Willis (New York University)
  • Laura Wexler (Yale University)
  • Gayatri Gopinath (New York University)
  • Moderators: Elspeth Brown (University of Toronto) and Thy Phu (Western University)

11:00-11:15am      Coffee break // CCF Lounge

11:15-1:15am         Panel Sessions 1

                           Intimate Economies from Analogue to Digital Eras // Munk 023N

  • Chair: Anne Cibola (York University)
  • Ali Feser (University of Chicago), “Photochemical Kinship in the Image Capital of the World”
  • Sarah Brophy (McMaster University), “Angus McBean’s Queer Domestic Surrealism and a Prehistory of Selfie Culture”
  • Sophie Hackett (Art Gallery of Ontario), “Zun Lee’s Fade Resistance”
    Discussant: Marlis Schweitzer (York University)

                           Feminizing Emotional Communities // Munk 108N

  • Chair: Charlene Heath (Ryerson University)
  • Sharon Sliwinski (Western University), “Photography—Our Mother Complex”
    Erina Duganne (Texas State University), “Family Photography and the Global Struggle for Human Rights”
  • Dot Tuer (OCAD University), “Talismans and Traces: State Terror, Absent Bodies and Reframing the Family Photograph”
  • Discussant: Laura Levin (York University)

                        (Post)Colonial Albums // // Munk 208N

  • Chair: Thierry Gervais (Ryerson University)
  • Candice Jansen (University of the Witwatersrand) “Vulnerabilities of the Image: Cedric Nunn and the Black Family in Struggle”
  • Sandrine Colard-De Bock (Columbia University), “Becoming the Bourgeois African in the Colonial Congo: Two Families in the Picture”
  • John Peffer (Ramapo College of New Jersey), “When a Photograph is Family: Thoughts on Audience and Image in Africa”
  • Discussant: Kevin Coleman (University of Toronto)

1:15-2:15              Lunch // CCF Lounge

 2:15-4:15            Panel Sessions 2

                           Extra-familial frames // Munk 023N

  • Chair: Jordan Bear (University of Toronto)
  • Deborah Weinstein (Brown University), “Animals in Family Photographs”
  • Reilley Bishop-Stall(McGill University), “Friction and Familiarity in Family Albums: A Residential School Teacher’s Photographic Legacy”
  • Heather Diack (University of Miami), “We Are Family: Leslie Hewitt’s Riff’s On Real Time
  • Discussant: Matthew Brower

                           Visual Diasporas//  Munk 108N

  • Chair: Nicole Fleetwood (Rutgers University)
  • Leigh Raiford (University of California, Berkeley), “‘The Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver Family Archive: African Diaspora Family Album in Exile, 1970-75:”
  • Lily Cho (York University), “Diaspora in the Darkroom: theorizing chromogenic process and ontologies of diasporic connection”
  • Sabeena Gadihoke (Jamia Millia Islamia), “The Partition in a Digital Age: An Archeology of Family Photographs through Absence and Presence”
  • Discussant: Bakirathi Mani (Swarthmore College)

                           Politicizing Family // Munk 208N

  • Chair: Tanya Sheehan (Colby College)
  • Drew Thompson (Bard College), “Não há nada (“There is nothing”)”: The Absence of Retratos in Independent Mozambique”
  • Sharon Huebner (Monash University), “’It’s a resting place, where our spirits go’: Bringing back lost ancestor memories to Western Australia’s Southern – Noongar boodia”
  • Kimberly Juanita Brown (Mount Holyoke College), “Next of Kin: Photographic Mortevivum and the Violence of Proximity”
  • Discussant: Catherine Zuromskis (University of New Mexico)

4:15-4:30            Coffee break // CCF lounge

4:30-6:30          Plenary Session: Indigenous Kinships // CCF

  • Richard Hill (Emily Carr University), “Bring the Whole Family: Picturing                                         Indigenous Kinship Networks under Capitalism”
  • Carol Payne (Carleton University), “Photography, Family, and Inuit Culture”
  • Moderator: Sarah Parsons

6:30                   Dinner on your own.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

8:30-9:00          Coffee & Registration // CCF         

9:00-11:00         Plenary Session: Collecting and Archiving Family Photographs // CCF

  • Fiona Kinsey (Museum Victoria, Australia)
  • Luce Lebart Canada (Canadian Photography Institute)
  • Mark Sealy (Autograph ABP, UK)
  • Rahaab Allana (Alkazi Collection, India)
  • Moderators: Elspeth Brown (University of Toronto) and Deepali Dewan (Royal Ontario Museum)

11:00-11:15           Coffee break // CCF lounge

11:15-1:15              Panel Sessions 3

                           Secrecy // Munk 023N

  • Chair: Sara Rozenberg (York University)
  • Sara Davidmann (University of the Arts, London), “Ken. To be destroyed”
  • Erin Gray (University of California, Irvine), “America’s ‘Concrete Universal’: Excising Lynching from The Family of Man”
  • Andrea Doucet (Brock University), “The ethics and aesthetics of remembrance in the aftermath of catastrophe”
  • Discussant: Richard Fung (OCAD University)

                           Masculinities // Munk 108N

  • Chair: Siobhan Angus (York University)
  • Adria Imada (University of California, Irvine), “Dreaming in Pictures: “Family” Albums and Kinship during Medical Incarceration”
  • Georgiana Banita (Bamberg University), “The Refuge of Photography: Framing Migrant Men”
  • Shawn Michelle Smith (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), “Too Many Men”
  • Discussant: Sarah Bassnett (Western University)

                           Cold War Generations // Munk 208N

  • Chair: Vinh Nguyen (Renison College, University of Waterloo)
  • Iyko Day (Mount Holyoke College), “Nuclear Family Photography and Generational Memory”
  • Jung Joon Lee (Rhode Island School of Design), “Orphan Nation: Remembering the Korean War as Family-Nation”
  • Olivia Tait (University College London), “Kustlerehepaar: I.G.G.R.”
  • Discussant: Tong Lam (University of Toronto)

1:15-2:15              Lunch // CCF Lounge

 2:15-4:15            Panel Sessions 2

                           Hauntings // Munk 023N

  • Chair: Laura Wexler (Yale University)
  • Jeehey Kim (Independent Scholar, Korea), “Funerary Portrait Photography and Ghost/Spirit Marriage in East Asia”
  • Autumn Womack (Princeton University), “What of the Family of the Dead?: The Family Photograph as Lynching Photography”
  • Franny Nudelman (Carleton University), “Reframing Postmortem Photography:                             Tim Hetherington’s ‘Sleeping Soldiers’”
  • Discussant: Yi (Evie) Gu (University of Toronto)

                           Akin: Conventions of Childhood // Munk 108N

  • Chair: Martha Langford (Concordia University)
  • Jennifer Orpana (Royal Ontario Museum), “Childhood Snapshots: Transnational Conventions in Family Photography”
  • Daniel Magilow (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), “Cute Jews: On Nahum                                Gidal’s Judische Kinder in Erez Israel Ein Photobuch
  • LiLi Johnson (Yale University), “Photographic Conceptions: Referral Photography and the Family Album in Chinese Transnational Adoption”
  • Discussant: Marianne Hirsch

                           Racialized Citizenship and Non-citizenship // Munk 208N

  • Chair: Sara Blair (University of Michigan)
  • Gabrielle Moser (OCAD University), “Familial Ties and Citizen Claims: Photography, Race and Citizenship in African Canadian Newspapers”
  • Julia Lum (Yale University), “Narrating Visibility: Chinese Canadian Family Photography and the Exclusion Period, 1923-67”
  • Nadine Attewell (McMaster University), “Intimations of Abundance: Working-Class Family Photography and the Look of Mixed Race”
  • Discussant: Gayatri Gopinath (New York University)

4:15-4:30           Coffee break // CCF lounge

4:30-6:30           Plenary Session: Reframing Family in Colonial and Carceral Contexts // CCF

  • Tina Campt (Barnard College)
  • Nicole Fleetwood (Rutgers University)
  • Moderator: Julie Crooks (Art Gallery of Ontario)

6:30-6:45           Concluding remarks // CCF

  • Thy Phu (Western University)
  • Elspeth Brown (University of Toronto)
  • Deepali Dewan (University of Toronto & Royal Ontario Museum)

7:30                    Closing Banquet // The Host

  • Pre-registration required
  • Meet at The Host: Fine Indian Cuisine, 14 Prince Arthur Avenue