After Post-Photography 6+ – Call for papers by M.A. and PhD candidates of Photography Studies

Cultivation trial with and without lime phosphate fertilizer. Photo Meroth (Vienna). Austria 1935 (Archive Tietjen)

Due to commonly known reasons, the annual After Post-Photography conference on visual studies, history and theory of photography will have to happen online and not at the European University in St. Petersburg. We very much regret not meeting colleagues and friends, listening what they have to say about their newest research and trade ideas, stories and gossip during the coffee breaks. Yet we’ll use the opportunity to add a third day to the conference for M.A. and PhD candidates to pitch their projects and get substantial feedback from the participants of the conference and the APP community.

This Call for Papers has no specific subject – we’re open to, and interested in, M.A. and PhD projects from all walks of research, including, but not limited to, the photo-journalist as an avatar in video games, post-indexical photography, the history of gum bichromate as one of the most versatile emulsions in the late 19th century, Jeff Wall’s lightboxes as apparitions, the use of photographic aesthetics in visualizing black holes in radio-astronomy, the application of photolithography in the semi-conductor industry, queer photographers in Latin America, the accessibility of tintype portraits to members of the lower strata of society of the US in the 1880s, the under-the-counter trade in pornographic photography in the countries of the former eastern bloc before 1989, the interlacing of photography and music in Jazz, private photography in Mongolia before 1990, social media photography in sub-saharan Africa, the changing perceptions of time through ultra-highspeed photography, sceptic re-readings of Roland Barthes’ vitriolic critique of “Family of Man” or similar, or completely different topics.

Please submit your proposal of no more than 1600 characters in English no later than March 28 at As we will blind review the submissions, make sure that your name does not appear in the proposal itself. If your work aims at analyzing visual material we also welcome links where we can see what you intend talking about. If you have any questions, please send an eMail to – we should get back to you within a few days. And should you like to know more about previous conferences, have a look at our website

After Post-Photography 6 – Call for Papers

Photography‘s future perfect
European University at St.-Petersburg, 28-30 May 2020

From the beginnings, photography changed the relation of humans to time. In its pictures, the present was translated into a future past. On closer looks however, and with some attention to the practices photography is part of, it turns out that the connections between photography and time are more complex than the common understanding of photographs being an image from the past: When granny for instance shows her album to her grand-children they have a hard time understanding that the old lady besides them should be identical to that young girl on the pictures. And it doesn’t stop there: Product photography for instance often shows us our happy future if only we buy this car, this trip or that outfit. Re-viewing old photographs uncovers details that during the time they were taken the contemporaries were oblivious to. If a photograph of a far away galaxy gets taken today, it shows us what has happened there ages ago. Using the appropriate filters, digital photographs appear as if they were albumen prints or Polaroids.

At the same time, photography itself was never a stable medium. Instead it has constantly been changing and becoming. In particular in the past 30 years, that is, since the introduction of electronic media and digital cameras to the consumer market, photography has been part of ever new practices and processes. Reading QR codes with the camera of a smartphone is a photographic process. Imaging techniques such as computer tomography translate measurements into images with x-ray aesthetics. It is possible to translate ordinary photographs into 3D-prints. Certain genres of video games become increasingly photo-realistic. With deep-fakes, politicians are convincingly made into dictators and actors into pornstars. And with the downturn of previously dominating analog photography, not only certain processes, but photographic papers, emulsions and other materials vanish – sometimes to the dismay of specialized photographers depending on them.

If, on the one hand, the processes, practices and pictures of photography do not fit easily into the plain concept of past, present and future; and if, on the other hand, photography in itself is constantly in motion, it seems that there are no easy or general concepts that explain the relations of photography and time once and for all. Instead, these relations are volatile, convoluted and contradictory, often depending on the applications the uses of the multitude of photographic processes and influencing them in the process. Hence, questions of time and photography do not only concern theorists of photography. Instead they are also at the core of each and any discipline using photography, including, but not limited to, cultural history, history of art, medicine, law, linguistics, astronomy, environmental studies etc.

As with previous conferences, After Post-Photography conferences were and are interested in all kinds of new approaches, discoveries and hypothesis concerning the history and theory of photography. For the 6th issue we also specifically ask for papers that one way or the other deal with issues of time, temporality, timelessness and timeliness in photography in ways similar to those described above. We welcome in particular key studies on specific and concrete subjects, and we explicitly invite not only researchers and practitioners with a background in history and theory of photography, but also cultural historians, art historians, chemists, historians, architects, criminologists or any other discipline that one way or the other is involved in thinking about photography.

Please submit your application, including a short summary of your paper (250-400 words) in English using the following link: no later than 22 December 2019. Note that you should register at the Easychair website in order to submit your application. Should you like to consult with us prior to your submission please get in touch via We also will be available on Skype for both Russian and English speakers; for the schedule, please see and write an eMail in advance for co-ordination. You can also find the programs and speakers of the previous conferences on that page.

There is no participation fee, neither for speakers nor for guests. Should your paper be accepted we regret that we can’t sponsor traveling or accommodation; but if need be we’re happy to help you finding a place to stay. We will also provide you with an invitation in case you need a visa.

The working languages of the conference are Russian and English; translations from the one to the other are provided. For programs of After Post-Photography conferences since 2015, please see

We would appreciate it if you would circulate the call to your own networks and other mailing lists.

The Organizing Committee After Post Photography 6

Maria Gourieva, Olga Davydova, Natalia Mazur, Daria Panaiotti, Friedrich Tietjen, Jennifer Tucker

After Post-Photography 2019

The dates for the upcoming, fifth After Post-Photography are 23-25 May 2019, at the European University in St. Petersburg. 

Conference schedule is here

Our keynote speakers this year are: 
Fred Ritchin (International Center of Photography, New York) 
Galina Orlova (Higher School of Ecomonics, Moscow) 
Gil Pasternak (DeMontfort University, UK) 
Andres Zervigon (Rutgers University, USA) 
Helen Petrovsky (Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

We are very much looking forward to all of this! 

Attendance of and entrance to conference is free. 
More news to follow.

Lecture by David Bate

David Bate: The Optics of the Data Flow
16 May, 18:00
European University in St.Petersburg

We are happy to announce that the conference After Post-Photography 4 (APP 4) will be opened with keynote lecture by David Bate. Renown as an artist, theorist and Professor at the University of Westminster (London, UK), Bate is the author of “Photography: Key Concepts” and “Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent”. In his talk at APP4, David will discuss the role the forms, processes and aesthetics of analogue photography play under the conditions of digital photography. He also suggests that with the dominance of wide angle lenses in smartphones, the “retinal ideology of realism” depend on a new normal.

See the full program of Conference

David Bate is a photo-artist and theorist based in London, UK. His many writings include the books Photography: Key Concepts, second edition (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), Art Photography (London: Tate, 2015) and Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent (I. B. Tauris, 2004). His photographic artworks have been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions, in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America. His photographic work Zone, set in Estonia and based on Tarkovskiy’s film Stalker was published as a photobook in 2012 (Artwords Press London). He is also a co-founding editor of Photographies journal (Routledge) and currently Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster, London, UK.

The widespread use of smart phone cameras and their associated automated processes and uploading of images online have not only intervened in how we see the world, they have also changed how we see the older forms of analogue photography. On the one hand, this disruption triggers nostalgia for a format that some have never used, whilst on the other, those same new forms provide a new format for the visioning of everyday life. What are the effects of these technologies and their shifting platforms on the human body?

As the old photographic industries (e.g. advertising, family, fashion, journalism, police surveillance, tourism and travel, and perhaps art) replicate themselves within the new digital formats and platforms they also mutate their forms and aesthetics in the process. What are the effects of these new forms and formats? How do the new formats affect the perception of what we call the world and its ideological valuation?

Framed within these contexts, this paper looks at the relation between optical technologies and human experience. Drawing on camera phone lens optics, which typically use a wide-angle lens, the paper examines the significance of this often overlooked shift towards wider-angle viewpoint as ‘normal’. In what might be called the retinal ideology of realism, the paper questions the relation of these optics to the data-flows of images. Digital camera optics, adapted from the space of monocular perspective inherited so long ago from the Renaissance and later optical theories, are interrogated as a metaphor of the changing ideological values instituted, developed and organised by human societies within digital culture.

Announcement 2018

In 2018 the conference is scheduled for 16-18 May, parallel program 15-24 May.

Preliminary program is here.


After Post Photography is annual international academic conference on visual, cultural and historical studies in photography. It has been held in St.Petersburg since 2015 and has become a platform for inter-disciplinary dialogue embracing a wide range of topics and methodologies of research of photography and visual culture.
After Post Photography 4 is scheduled in St.Petersburg in May 2018: academic program will take place at the European University, the events on the side program are scheduled at museums and educational venues in St.Petersburg.
See the programs of the conference in previous years:


CFP 2018 Call For Papers

Сultural, Historical and Visual Studies in Photography

16-18 May 2018
European University in St. Petersburg, Russia


Call for papers

That photographic media, in one way or the other, record, depict and represent truth, realities and the past, is a staple. In theory this relation has been called into question, in particular with the advent of digital image manipulation, and the doubts have been extended since to analogue photography, too. Yet despite these doubts the notion of photographs being somewhat true permeates most, if not all, practices with these media: in science and humanities, photographic images replace and represent the object of research; in an ID, the portrait connects a face and a body with a name and other personal data; photographs in family albums and books allow to look back into the past. And though it may have been the reason for recent doubts in photography’s veracity, digital photography thrives on this promise as well: we share meals with our social networks the moment they are served, video telephony lets us talk not only to a voice but a face, and GPS metadata tells us where on Earth we took a certain picture. Moreover, photography is hybridized when the camera in our smartphones becomes a scanner for QR-codes, drones are equipped with face-recognition software, and augmented reality systems transform the material world into a space and surface for digital data.

Under these conditions, photography has ceased to be a specific medium generating still images. It has become a dispositif  in the sense of being a network of applications, institutions, materialisations and theoretical settings such as its privileged relation in representing truth – which, looking back, it has always been. The discussions concerning the re-evaluation of photography, however, usually give most attention to individual pictures as products and as depictions. What we would like to focus upon  with our next conference are the modes of the technical, optical, chemical and social conditions of pre-, post-, mass and over-production, of  the distribution, consumption, circulation and archiving of what is so commonly known as photographs. We welcome in particular submissions concerned with new theoretical and empirical approaches and perspectives on these fields. And we would be delighted to receive papers dealing with rarely researched topics such as photographic optics, photochemistry and the applications of soft- and hardware for generating photorealistic images. We plan to arrange the talks in four panels:

  • Ça eu été?What photography has been and will become.
  • What is needed. The material bases of photography
  • How to use them. Production, dissemination, application and perception of photographic images
  • What else is new? Photographic practices at the fringes of photography.

Please submit your application, including a short summary of your paper (250-400 words) in English using the following link: no later than 20 December 2017. Note that you should register at the Easychair website in order to submit your application. There is no participation fee.

We shall consider the possibility of online participation for a limited number of participants. The working languages of the conference are Russian and English. Conference materials are planned for publication in 2018-2019. For programs of After Post-Photography since 2015 and past publications, please see

We would appreciate it if you would circulate the call to your own networks and other mailing lists.

Organizing committee After Post Photography 4:

Maria Gourieva, Olga Davydova, Natalia Mazur, Daria Panaiotti, Friedrich Tietjen