Illness and Irony: On the Ambiguity of Suffering in Culture

Illness and Irony: On the Ambiguity of Suffering in Culture

Illness and Irony: On the Ambiguity of Suffering in Culture

Illness and Irony: On the Ambiguity of Suffering in Culture

Synopsis

As a visual medium, the photograph has many culturally resonant properties that it shares with no other medium. These essays develop innovative cultural strategies for reading, re-reading and re-using photographs, as well as for (re)creating photographs and other artworks and evoke varied sites of memory in contemporary landscapes: from sites of war and other violence through the lost places of indigenous peoples to the once-familiar everyday places of home, family, neighborhood and community. Paying close attention to the settings in which such photographs are made and used--family collections, public archives, museums, newspapers, art galleries--the contributors consider how meanings in photographs may be shifted, challenged and renewed over time and for different purposes--from historical inquiry to quests for personal, familial, ethnic and national identity.

Annette Kuhn is Professor of Film Studies at Lancaster University, UK, and an editor of the journal Screen. She has written about photographs in The Power of the Image: Essays on Representation and Sexuality (1985) and Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination (1995). Her most recent book is An Everyday Magic: Cinema and Cultural Memory (2002).

Kirsten Emiko McAllister is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Simon Fraser University in Canada. She has written about photographs, visual culture and museum artifacts in West Coast Line, CineAction and Cultural Values, and is currently writing a book on a memorial that marks the site of a World War II Japanese-Canadian internment camp.

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