Ethnicity, Race, and Racism Research Seminar: Professor Michael Berkowitz

25th Feb 2010, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Edge Hill University

Photography and its Jewish Questions: Ethnicity, Anyone?

Professor Michael Berkowitz (from University College London) visits Edge Hill University on 25th February 2010 to present a talk entitled ‘Photography and its Jewish Questions: Ethnicity, Anyone?’ 

Despite increasing interest in visual culture and efforts to include under-represented groups in photographic exhibitions and studies, the treatment (such that there is) of Jews in such endeavours has been narrowly circumscribed and self-referential. Jews were conspicuous in establishing commercial premises, devising and popularising studio practises, participating in government-sponsored photographic expeditions, advancing film and optical technologies, photojournalism, advertising, fashion photography, sport photography, the retailing of cameras, film, and photo equipment, and the merging of photography into the fine arts and avant-garde movements.  

Although some attention has been paid to the photographing of Jews “as Jews'” particularly in interwar Europe, and to photographs of Jews as victims of the Holocaust, Jewry’s complex, and often (Jewishly) self-conscious, involvement in photography has generally escaped scholarly notice.  In addition to gaining a better sense of how Jews lived and worked, Professor Michael Berkowtiz wishes to integrate Jews and Jewish matters in the history of photography and more generally, into cultural history.

Michael Berkowitz is Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London. A student of the late George Mosse, his current research has been supported by the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), the British Society for the History of Science, and the Central Research Fund of the University of London.

His most recent books include The Crime of My Very Existence: Nazism and the Myth of Jewish Criminality (University of California Press, 2007); and, co-edited with Avinoam J. Patt, We Are Here: New Approaches to Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany ( Wayne State University Press, 2009).

The seminar takes place in room M40, in the Main Building at the Ormskirk Campus, from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. For further information on the event, contact James Renton on 01695 584217 or email