P17
Originals: The consequences of photography: reconstructing our view of the early anthropological surveys in the UK

Convenors:
Jos Dudding (University of Cambridge)
Discussant:
Dr Mark H Maguire
Location:
Studio
Start time:
29 May, 2014 at 15:30
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

The centrality of photography in the Ethnographic Survey of Ireland of 1891-1903 reveals much about the use of the camera in the then emerging anthropological survey. When re-examined over time and space, complex issues arise regarding photography, intertextuality and the politics of representation.

Long abstract:

This panel re-imagines the 'magic lantern' show compiled by A.C. Haddon during a series of surveys of the West Coast of Ireland between 1891 and 1903 that projected to colleagues, students, and public alike notions of Irish race and culture onto both a geographical and imagined space. This Ethnographic Survey of Ireland was the precursor and benchmark for many subsequent anthropology surveys. The presentation will consist of three linked projections. The Collection: Dr Jocelyne Dudding places the Haddon collection in MAA Cambridge in context by reference to other sources in multiple collections and sites (theoretical and archival) in order to better understand the role photography played in the early development of anthropological methods. The Source /Subjects: Dáithí de Mordha (Folklorist and Ethnologist) is the Great-grandson of the some of the people visited by Haddon (1890) and surveyed by Browne (1897). He will review the photographic survey of 1897 in terms of (a) the folk memory of that time/place and (b) a contemporary understanding of the community visited by Haddon and Browne. Photography in Context: Ciarán Walsh places the ethnographical activity of Haddon and Browne in context in terms of the photographic documentation of life in the west of Ireland, arguing that images of Irish 'primitives' inadvertently challenged Anglo-Saxon hegemony with surprising consequences for contemporary attitudes to anthropology.