At the Edge of Sight: Photography and the Unseen

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9780822355021: At the Edge of Sight: Photography and the Unseen

The advent of photography revolutionized perception, making visible what was once impossible to see with the human eye. In At the Edge of Sight, Shawn Michelle Smith engages these dynamics of seeing and not seeing, focusing attention as much on absence as presence, on the invisible as the visible. Exploring the limits of photography and vision, she asks: What fails to register photographically, and what remains beyond the frame? What is hidden by design, and what is obscured by cultural blindness? Smith studies manifestations of photography's brush with the unseen in her own photographic work and across the wide-ranging images of early American photographers, including F. Holland Day, Eadweard Muybridge, Andrew J. Russell, Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, and Augustus Washington. She concludes by showing how concerns raised in the nineteenth century remain pertinent today in the photographs of Abu Ghraib. Ultimately, Smith explores the capacity of photography to reveal what remains beyond the edge of sight.

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About the Author:

Shawn Michelle Smith is Associate Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture (also published by Duke University Press) and American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture; coauthor of Lynching Photographs; and coeditor of Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity (also published by Duke University Press).

Review:

"A beautifully written and deeply original book, At the Edge of Sight integrates historical and theoretical sophistication with the author's distinguished practice of photography in very new ways. Shawn Michelle Smith investigates the medium's patterns of blindness. This negative potential—learning to observe what one is not seeing—is revolutionary, and its profound, peculiar, uncanny force is beautifully invoked throughout."—Laura Wexler, author of Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism

"Shawn Michelle Smith is our foremost scholar of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American photography. In this book, she engages with Benjamin's notion of the optical unconscious to think through what's at the 'edge of sight' in the work of photographers and theorists, an approach that allows her to bring together, successfully, a wide range of insights and political formations."—Elspeth H. Brown, author of The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884–1929

"Smith works to expand the field of vision of the photograph, beyond the limitations of the frame. She asks, what is hidden at the edges of photographs?.... I am a sympathetic reader. I too glut myself with old photographs, scanning and enlarging, searching for meaning in a blurred hand, a shadow without identifiable source, a mouth captured mid-word.” (Jenna Brager The New Inquiry)

At the Edge of Sight achieves an agreeable balance between the beauty of prose and the difficulty of subject matter and is therefore valuable not only for its critical insights but also for its accessible presentational style. Furthermore, Smith accompanies several chapters with her own artworks, which adds a personal note to the writing. The title thus integrates archival research, critical writing with photography and arts practice resulting in a work that offers rewarding general reading as well as useful classroom material." (Jelena Stojkovic Visual Studies)

“This is a solid invitation to rethink one’s own—and history’s—understanding of photography’s vast presence and influence on life. Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." (C. Chiarenza Choice)

 "A provocative idea about the visual and cultural limitations of photography and a model for how to analyze photographs as complex historical documents." (Martha Sandweiss Journal of American History)

“Given this persuasive combination of photographic theory, analysis and practice with history and politics, At the Edge of Sight should appeal not just to art historians and others invested in photographic theory and history, but more broadly to scholars and readers interested in American studies, visual culture, and US history.”   (Marcy J. Dinius Journal of American Studies 2015-02-01)

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Shawn Michelle Smith
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Descrizione libro Duke University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The advent of photography revolutionized perception, making visible what was once impossible to see with the human eye. In At the Edge of Sight, Shawn Michelle Smith engages these dynamics of seeing and not seeing, focusing attention as much on absence as presence, on the invisible as the visible. Exploring the limits of photography and vision, she asks: What fails to register photographically, and what remains beyond the frame? What is hidden by design, and what is obscured by cultural blindness? Smith studies manifestations of photography s brush with the unseen in her own photographic work and across the wide-ranging images of early American photographers, including F. Holland Day, Eadweard Muybridge, Andrew J. Russell, Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, and Augustus Washington. She concludes by showing how concerns raised in the nineteenth century remain pertinent today in the photographs of Abu Ghraib. Ultimately, Smith explores the capacity of photography to reveal what remains beyond the edge of sight. Codice libro della libreria AAJ9780822355021

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Descrizione libro Duke University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The advent of photography revolutionized perception, making visible what was once impossible to see with the human eye. In At the Edge of Sight, Shawn Michelle Smith engages these dynamics of seeing and not seeing, focusing attention as much on absence as presence, on the invisible as the visible. Exploring the limits of photography and vision, she asks: What fails to register photographically, and what remains beyond the frame? What is hidden by design, and what is obscured by cultural blindness? Smith studies manifestations of photography s brush with the unseen in her own photographic work and across the wide-ranging images of early American photographers, including F. Holland Day, Eadweard Muybridge, Andrew J. Russell, Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, and Augustus Washington. She concludes by showing how concerns raised in the nineteenth century remain pertinent today in the photographs of Abu Ghraib. Ultimately, Smith explores the capacity of photography to reveal what remains beyond the edge of sight. Codice libro della libreria AAJ9780822355021

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Descrizione libro Duke University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, At the Edge of Sight: Photography and the Unseen, Shawn Michelle Smith, The advent of photography revolutionized perception, making visible what was once impossible to see with the human eye. In At the Edge of Sight, Shawn Michelle Smith engages these dynamics of seeing and not seeing, focusing attention as much on absence as presence, on the invisible as the visible. Exploring the limits of photography and vision, she asks: What fails to register photographically, and what remains beyond the frame? What is hidden by design, and what is obscured by cultural blindness? Smith studies manifestations of photography's brush with the unseen in her own photographic work and across the wide-ranging images of early American photographers, including F. Holland Day, Eadweard Muybridge, Andrew J. Russell, Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, and Augustus Washington, concluding with a chapter that shows how concerns raised in the nineteenth century remain pertinent today, in the photographs of Abu Ghraib. Ultimately, Smith explores the capacity of photography to reveal what remains beyond the edge of sight. Codice libro della libreria B9780822355021

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