Framing Identity

Social Practices of Photography in Canada (1880-1920)
  • ISBN-13: 9781894037297
  • PRICE: $29.95
  • Paperback, 211 pages

Framing Identity defines photography as social practice and examines how women moved beyond making pictorial images to using photography as a form of speech to represent social issues. Key concepts and practices drawn from cultural analysis and issues related to identity, gender, post-colonialism, tourism and travel are mapped out. Close considers Gunterman’s photographs as a form of visual narrative within the context of the family album and the practice of amateur, women photographers. Moodie’s portraits of the Inuit are examined in terms of professional photographic practice and discourse on the representation of the Other. The book also analyzes the photographic albums of two Canadian army nurses, Peterkin and Sparks, who were stationed overseas during World War I. Close concludes her study with an overview of the history of women in photography in Canada and investigates various aspects of women’s interaction with the medium.

Susan Close

Susan Close has a Ph.D. from the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Theory and Interpretation at University of Amsterdam. She received a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) doctoral fellowship for her research on women photographers in Canada. She currently teaches at the University of Manitoba?s Faculty of Architecture in Winnipeg. Her teaching experience includes courses in art history, photography, drawing, theory, criticism and environmental design at the University of Manitoba, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the University of Saskatchewan.

The absolute strength of this book is that it offers a female visual perspective on the years 1880 to 1920. It focuses on four individuals from a time when very few women, let alone the working-class women represented here, were able to gain access to the means of producing photographic images. That alone would make the book unique, but Susan Close places these photos in a social frame. — Don Bouzek, Le Travail