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DMU Professor named as one of history's key writers on photography


Professor Elizabeth Edwards – Director of De Montfort University’s Photographic History Research Centre – features in a new book listing the most influential writers on the subject of photography both living and historical.

Mark Durden’s ‘Fifty Key Writers of Photography’ (Routledge Key Guides) is a concise survey of some of the most significant writers on photography who have played a major part in defining and influencing our understanding of the medium over the course of its 170 year history.

Of Professor Edwards the book states “Elizabeth Edwards’ writing has been at the forefront of this shift towards a different mapping of the social, historical and political body of photography, primarily in and through the field of anthropology.

“Her writing offers ways of thinking through photographs that shed light on their journeys, institutional currencies and the compelling investments within them.”

A historian by training, Professor Edwards works on the relationship between photography, anthropology and history. She has authored several texts on the subject – including her most recent work: ‘The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination’,described by one reviewer as: “A great book on a great subject by a great author.”

Until 2005 she was curator of photographs at Pitt Rivers Museum and lecturer in visual anthropology at the University of Oxford. She was then senior research fellow at the University of the Arts London until 2011 when she came to De Montfort University. She was also vice-president of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland from 2009 to 2012 and acts as both participant and consultant on a wide range of projects on photographic history.

On being named as one of the key writers, Professor Edwards said: “I was delighted to be contacted by the editor who told me he would like to feature me in the book as many of the other writers, past and present, are people I have admired for years.

“Using photography to map historical consciousness is a field that has deep cultural and social significance for me which I convey in my work. I am happy to say that the students on the courses I teach at De Montfort University also share this passion, and as such it is a burgeoning area of study for our PhD programme.”

To learn more about photography courses at DMU, visit 


Posted on Tuesday 12th February 2013

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