Photography and Its Publics

Melissa Miles (Editor), Edward James Welch (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Photography is a ubiquitous part of the public sphere. Yet we rarely stop to think about the important role that photography plays in helping to define what and who constitute the public.

Photography and Its Publics brings together leading experts and emerging thinkers to consider the special role of photography in shaping how the public is addressed, seen and represented.This book responds to a growing body of recent scholarship and flourishing interest in photography's connections to the law, society, culture, politics, social change, the media and visual ethics.Photography and Its Publics presents the public sphere as a vibrant setting where these realms are produced, contested and entwined. Public spheres involve yet exceed the limits of families, interest groups, identities and communities. They are dynamic realms of visibility, discussion, reflection and possible conflict among strangers of different race, age, gender, social and economic status.

Through studies of photography in South America, North America, Europe and Australasia, the contributors consider how photography has changed the way we understand and locate the public sphere. As they address key themes including the referential and imaginative qualities of photography, the transnational circulation of photographs, online publics, social change, violence, conflict and the ethics of spectatorship, the authors provide new insight into photography's vital role in defining public life.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages266
ISBN (Electronic)9781350054981, 9781003103721
ISBN (Print)9781350054967, 9781032238845
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020


  • photography
  • photography theory
  • public culture
  • Visual culture
  • public sphere
  • counterpublics


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