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Photography and the Optical Unconscious


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction / Shawn Michelle Smith and Sharon Sliwinski 1
1. Photography's Weimar-Era Proliferatino and Walter Benjamin's Optical Unconscious / Andres Mario Zervigon 32
2. "A Hiding Place in Waking Dreams": David Octavius Hill, Robert Adamson, and Walter Benjamin's "Little History of Photography" / Shawn Michelle Smith 48
3. Freud: The Photographic Apparatus / Sarah Kofman 75
4. "To Adopt": Freud, Photography, and the Optical Unconscious / Jonathan Fardy 81
5. The Politics of Contemplation / Zoe Leonard and Elisabeth Lebovici 93
6. Freud, Saturn, and the Power of Hypnosis / Mary Bergstein 104
7. On the Couch / Mignon Nixon 134
8. Vision's Unseen: On Sovereignty, Race, and the Optical Unconscious / Mark Reinhardt 174
9. Sligo Heads / Kristan Horton 223
10. Developing Historical Negatives: The Colonial Photographic Archive as Optical Unconscious / Gabrielle Moser 229
11. The Purloined Image / Laura Wexler 264
12. The Vancouver Carts: A Brief Memoire / Kelly Wood 281
13. Vietnamese Photography and the Look of Revolution / Thy Phu 286
14. Shooting in the Dark: A Note on the Photographic Imagination / Sharon Sliwinski 321
15. Slow / Terri Kapsalis 339
Contributors 363
Index 367

About the Author

Shawn Michelle Smith is Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the author of At the Edge of Sight: Photography and the Unseen and Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture, both also published by Duke University Press.

Sharon Sliwinski is Associate Professor of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario and author of Mandela's Dark Years: A Political Theory of Dreaming and Human Rights in Camera.


"A diverse collection of essays and artists' portfolios. . . . Overall, Photography and the Optical Unconscious is a compelling read, one that points to the significant amount of work remaining to be done with regards to the optical unconscious." -- Shandell Houslden * TOPIA *

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