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Title: Changing the lens : writing, early photographies, film, 1849-1915
Author: Clayton, Owen Thomas
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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My thesis examines the ways in which British and US American writers used early photography and film as metaphors and as modes of literary organisation. It focuses on four figures in particular: Henry Mayhew, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Dean Howells, and Jack London. Each of them deals in some way with the transition between photographic methodologies, a subject of my particular attention. I argue that writing during the period of early photography [approx 1839-1915] can better be understood by considering the broad variety of simultaneously-existing visual recording technologies, which I call 'photographies'. While many scholars have tended to view early photography through the 'lens' of twentieth-century critical theory, the writers under examination, I suggest, were highly aware of multiple modes of technology. Indeed their work should be seen · as a site in which contestations between those different technological possibilities were staged. The thesis lays out a model for the critical examination of writing in relation to early photographic difference, remediation and transition in particular. I claim that apparently non-photographic media such as engraving ought to be considered within such examinations. My argument takes place within a wider shift in the arts and humanities toward viewing nineteenth-century visual technologies as more than simply 'pre-cinema'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available