What makes photographs different from other kinds of documents that historians use to explain what happened in the past? What can photographic images do that other documents cannot? Can photography accurately depict labor? Contributors to this issue examine these questions with both fine art photography and visual archives of many kinds: state, corporate, family, trade union, ethnographic, photojournalistic, and environmental. They investigate the ways that photography has been central to both the expropriation and exploitation of labor and the potential of photography to enable new and radical approaches to historicizing the study of working peoples and labor. Articles showcase methodologically generative research that builds upon the recent boom in theoretical work in the fields of visual cultural studies and photography to reinvigorate historical studies of work.
Contributors: Siobhan Angus, Ian Bourland, Oliver Coates, Kevin Coleman, Clare Corbould, Adrian De Leon, Rick Halpern, Daniel James, Tong Lam, Walter Benn Michaels, Jessica Stites Mor, Carol Quirke, Jayeeta Sharma, Erica Toffoli, Daniel Zamora
Kevin Coleman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, Mississauga and author of A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-Forging of a Banana Republic.
Daniel James is Bernardo Mendel Chair of Latin American History at Indiana University and author of Dona Maria's Story: Life, History, Memory, and Political Identity, also published by Duke University Press.
Jayeeta Sharma is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, Scarborough and author of Empire's Garden: Assam and the Making of India, also published by Duke University Press.