Held at the University of Sydney on 2 and 3 June 2016, this symposium brings together international scholars and specialists on the photographic medium. They will explore the relationship between photography’s ontology, the camera as a human perceptual apparatus and the unconscious, using themes of evidence, the archive, photographic practice and theory.




  • Professor Shawn Michelle Smith
  • Associate Professor Andrés Zervigón

Plenary address:

  • Professor Melissa Miles

Symposium speakers:

  • Katherine Biber
  • Donna West Brett
  • Helen Grace
  • John Di Stefano
  • Danie Mellor
  • Toni Ross



2—3 June 2016
The University of Sydney, Camperdown campus (for exact lecture rooms, see this page)
Tickets at $50 (waged) and $25 (students and unwaged)
For enquiries, contact: ira.ferris@sydney.edu.au



For more about the speakers, the full program and how to register, please click here.



As part of the symposium, Photographic Cultures invites postgraduate students and early career researchers to participate in one of two concurrently run Masterclasses held at the University of Sydney on Thursday 2 June, from 10am – 12pm, and hosted by internationally acclaimed photography historians and theorists: Andrés Mario Zervigón and Shawn Michelle Smith. Each of the masterclasses will be an informal workshop of 15-20 participants who will have an opportunity to engage in a lively and in depth discussion around a particular topic. If you would like to join a Masterclass, please email a brief expression of interest (EOI) by Friday 6 May to giorgia.alu@sydney.edu.au stating in no more than 300 words why you would like to participate and how this masterclass will benefit you. You will be notified of your masterclass placement by Friday 13 May, and sent contextual reading material to prepare for the session.



This symposium is co-presented by The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Literature, Art, and Media (SLAM), School of Languages and Cultures (SLC), The Power Institute, Sydney Ideas, The Photographic Cultures Research Group, and the Art and the Document Research Cluster at Sydney College of the Arts.