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Accueil > Conferences > 2017-2018

Images and Copyright

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“Images, Copyright, and the Public Domain in the Long Nineteenth Century” is a multi-year project that will begin with a conference at the Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library (Delaware) in the spring of 2018. A second meeting will be held at Université Paris Diderot in the spring of 2019. The project is coordinated by Will Slauter (LARCA) and Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire (Winterthur)

The Call for Papers for the first meeting (now closed) is below. The program will be announced soon.

A combination of technological, cultural, and economic factors during the “long” nineteenth century made images more readily available in a wider range of media than ever before. These transformations raised new questions about the ownership and use of images.

Working in the new field of lithography, artists produced portraits, topographical landscapes, caricatures, everyday scenes, and representations of events done "on the spot,” which publishers distributed quickly and relatively cheaply. Thanks to changes in printing techniques and the commercial strategies of publishers, engraved images became more common in books, magazines, and newspapers. The development of photography led to the production and circulation of images in the form of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visite, and stereographs. The quest to reproduce photographic images in print inspired numerous photomechanical processes that raised questions about the status of the image and its creator. Meanwhile, increasingly sophisticated printed reproductions of visual works raised new questions about what constituted “authorship” under copyright law ; about how to balance the interests of artists, distributors, and collectors ; and about how to protect the privacy of individuals whose images were being reproduced and displayed in public. As images and the techniques used to produce them spread across national borders, the question of colonial and international copyright became increasingly important.

This project aims to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines and fields (printing history, art history, law, literature, visual culture, book history, etc.) to explore the cultural and legal consequences of the proliferation of images in the long 19th century. Our geographic focus will be on Great Britain and the United States in connection with the wider world, not only their colonies and territories, but also their commercial and artistic links with other countries. Contributions that consider the transnational circulation of images, or provide a comparative perspective on copyright, are most welcome, as are case studies that reveal the local factors that shaped attitudes and practices related to the circulation of images. In referring to the “long 19th century,” we want to encourage specialists of earlier and later periods to help us elucidate the broader history of imaging and printing techniques and the legal and cultural norms that surrounded them.

Complete call for papers on the Winterthur website : http://www.winterthur.org/cfp.

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