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Photo Archives VI: The Relational Album: Photographic Networks, Anthropology, and the Learned Society

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Duration: 0:22:46 | Added: 09 May 2017
Loading Video...
Duration: 0:22:46 | Added: 09 May 2017
Christopher Morton (University of Oxford) discusses the concept of the relational museum applied to an album from the Anthropological Society in London.

This paper takes the notion of the ‘relational museum’ – the concept that museum objects to some degree conceal the mass of relations that lie behind them – and applies it to a nineteenth-century album compiled at meetings of the Anthropological Society in London. The album is something of a ‘scrapbook’, as such this album is a particularly important ‘relational’ object, enabling a rich and nuanced insight into the relationships between photography, anthropological knowledge, and scientific networks in nineteenth-century London. The paper gives an overview of the album’s relational networks and suggest ways in which it shifts our understanding of photography and anthropology in a crucial period in the discipline’s early history.

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