CONF May 8, 2021

Photography and Its Many Colours (online, 14-15 Jun 21)

online / Leicetser, UK, Jun 14–15, 2021
Registration deadline: Jun 11, 2021

Gil Pasternak

Photography and Its Many Colours: Innovations, Emotions and Activism

Recent scholarship surrounding the development, use, and reuse of colour photography has highlighted the need for more research and debate about photographic colour, in terms of histories, technologies and the emotions they have affected. Long told as merely a triumphalist history of technological achievement, colour photography is steeped as well in controversy, in the re-telling of history, in activism, in politics of individuals, communities and countries. Colour photography, while a boon to some, has been developed and deployed at the expense of others. As well as seeking to delve to broader issues and concerns, Photography and Its Many Colours wishes to create a platform for the voices of such individuals and communities to be heard.

The 9th annual conference organised by the Photographic History Research Centre at De Montfort University in Leicester (UK) will thus address contemporary debates in and around colour photography through discussion of themes such as

— Historical and contemporary uses of colourisation
— Emotional and affective responses to colour photography
— Industrial histories
— Activist and political uses of colour in photography
— Colour photography in race and identity politics

The conference will be hosted online, via Microsoft Teams and attendance costs £20.

Visit our conference webpage for updates and details about registration:


MONDAY 14 June 2021

9.30 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.15 Welcome
10.15 – 10.45 Keynote Lecture: Kim Timby (École du Louvre), Sepia: An “Analogue” Filter in Twentieth Century Photography?
10.45 – 11.15 Discussion
11.15 – 11.45 Break

Panel 1. The Colour of Emotions
11.45 – 12.00 Dr Christine Slobogin (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘Feeling through Colour’: Emotion and Nationalism in British Women Go to War (1943) and An English Farmhouse and Its Neighbourhood (1948)
12.00 – 12.15 Catlin Langford (Victoria and Albert Museum), Title TBC
12.15 – 12.45 Discussion

12.45 – 13.45 Lunch

Panel 2. Colours in hiding
13.45 – 14.00 Michele Dick (University of Zurich), Flaring up and going black – The Impermanence of Colour Transparencies in Social Anthropological Science Practices of the 1970s. Florence Weiss Collection as a Case.
14.00 – 14.15 Leila Anne Harris (The Morgan Library & Museum), Edward S. Curtis in Color: The Indian Picture Opera and Myth of a Vanishing Race
14.15 – 14.45 Discussion

14.45 – 15.15 Coffee break

Panel 3. Colour, Science and Experiments
15.15 – 15.30 Johanna Frigård (University of Turku), The affective and political functions of colour in nature photography
15.30 – 15.45 Dr. Hanin Hannouch (Ethnologisches Museum - Berlin State Museums & Max-Planck Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz), Richard Neuhauss' Colour Photography: The Stuffed Parrot as the Test Object of the Lippmann Process
15.45 – 16.00 Alexandra Nicolaides (Stony Brook University), ‘Agog, Smiling, Just Feeling Good’: Psychophysical Sensations in Color Photography Exhibitions, 1939-1950

16.00 – 16.30 Discussion

16.30 – 17.30 Socialising session

Close of Day 1

TUESDAY 15 June 2021

9.00 – 10.00 Socialising breakfast

Panel 4. The affect of colourisation
10.00 – 10.15 Sean Willcock (Birkbeck, University of London), The Affects of Evidence: Colourisation and the ‘Archival Romance’ of the Whitechapel Murders
10.15 – 10.30 Liz Watkins (University of Leeds), Imperfect tense: colourisation and the photographic archive
10.30 – 10.45 Maria Luisa Coelho (Oxford University/ Universidade do Minho), Colour in the photographic work of contemporary women artists from the African diaspora: the cases of Alida Rodrigues, Keyezua and Alice Marcelino
10.45 – 11.15 Discussion

11.15 – 11.45 Comfort Break

Panel 5. Adding colour
11.45 – 12.00 Kimberly Schreiber (University College London), title TBC
12.00 – 12.15 Denis Pellerin (London Stereoscopic Archive), Improving Early Photographic Images with Depth, Movement and Colour
12.15 – 12.45 Discussion

12.45 – 13.45 Lunch

Panel 6. New colours: markets and values
13.45 – 14.00 Nicolas Le Gern, Colouring analogue photography with filters: the influence of the Cokin company 1980-2000
14.00 – 14.15 Suryanandini Narain (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Chromatic Conjugations: colourisation of couple photographs in India
14.15 – 14.30 Sarah Samira El-Taki, The Colour of Britain
14.30 – 15.00 Discussion

15.00 – 15.30 Break

15.30 – 16.00 Keynote Discussion
Emily Mark-Fitzgerald (University College Dublin) and Christina Riggs (Durham University), The Colourization Conundrum
16.00 – 16.30 Discussion

16.30 Close of Conference

CONF: Photography and Its Many Colours (online, 14-15 Jun 21). In:, May 8, 2021 (accessed Jul 25, 2021), <>.