Show simple item record

Files in this item


There are no files associated with this item.

Item metadata

dc.contributor.advisorGartlan, Luke
dc.contributor.authorLabo, Nora
dc.coverage.spatial431 pages: 10 unnumbered pages + 352 pages body of thesis (1-352) + 69 pages appendix (i-lxix)en_US
dc.description.abstractWhile the role of photography in enforcing hegemonic ideologies has been amply studied, this thesis addresses the under-researched topic of how photography undermined dominant narratives in specific historical circumstances. I argue that, in the later part of the long nineteenth century, photographs were used to represent the natural world in contexts where their functions were uncertain and their capacities not clearly defined, and that these hesitations allowed for the expression of resistances to dominant social attitudes towards nature. I analyse how these divergences were articulated through three independent case studies, each addressing a corpus of photographs which has been marginalised in scholarly discourse. The case studies all concern photographs of vegetation. The first one discusses photographs produced around Fontainebleau during the Second French Empire, commonly understood as auxiliary materials for Barbizon painters, and argues that they were in fact autonomous representations, reflecting marginal modes of experiencing nature which resisted its prevailing construction as spectacle. The second case study examines a photographic series depicting Amazonian vegetation, published between 1900 and 1906, and shows how, in attempting to satisfy conflicting ideological demands, these photographs undermined the hierarchies enforced upon the natural world by colonial science. The third case study analyses photographs from an early twentieth-century environmentalist treatise, and demonstrates how, while the author's discourse seemingly complied with conventional attitudes towards nature, the photographs instituted an ethical stance opposed to early conservation's aesthetic focus and anthropocentrism. Throughout the case studies, I argue that the photographs were consubstantial to the emergence of these resistances; that dissenting representations stemmed from a tension between their producers' lived experience and the ideological frameworks which informed each context; and that this process engendered remarkable formal innovations, which are not usually associated to non-artistic images. I contend that radical renewals of visual expression occur in all representational contexts, as image producers adapt their tools or forge new ones according to circumstances, and that more attention must be paid to such visual innovations outside the field of artistic production.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.subjectHistory of photographyen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental historyen_US
dc.subjectNineteenth-century photographyen_US
dc.subjectBotanical photographyen_US
dc.subjectColonial historyen_US
dc.subjectColonial photographyen_US
dc.subjectFrench photographyen_US
dc.subjectBelgian photographyen_US
dc.subjectBrazilian photographyen_US
dc.subjectHistory of the Amazon regionen_US
dc.subjectBarbizon schoolen_US
dc.subjectEarly environmentalismen_US
dc.subjectSecond Empire Franceen_US
dc.subjectAmazonian rubber boomen_US
dc.subjectPlants in photographyen_US
dc.subjectTropical representationsen_US
dc.subjectJean Massarten_US
dc.subjectJacques Huberen_US
dc.subjectNature as spectacleen_US
dc.subjectHierarchies of natureen_US
dc.subjectNature conservationen_US
dc.subjectVisual studiesen_US
dc.subjectCritique of anthropocentrismen_US
dc.subjectÉtude d'après natureen_US
dc.subjectColonial scienceen_US
dc.subjectResistances to ideologyen_US
dc.subjectPalm treesen_US
dc.subjectPhotography and paintingen_US
dc.subject.lcshPhotography of plants--Historyen
dc.subject.lcshNature photography--Historyen
dc.titleCompeting constructions of nature in early photographs of vegetation : negotiation, dissonance, subversionen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorUniversity of St Andrews. 600th Anniversary Scholarshipen_US
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen_US
dc.publisher.departmentSchool of Art Historyen_US
dc.rights.embargoreasonThesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print copy restricted until 15th January 2020. Electronic copy restricted until 15th January 2023en

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record