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Title: Photography, geography and Empire, 1840-1914.
Author: Ryan, James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3542 9876
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis considers the relationships between photography and geography in the wider context of British imperialism, c. 1840-1914. It distisses reproductions of sixty photographs. Chapter one situates this research within current theoretical debates concerning the histories of photography, geography and British imperialism. It also discusses the sources used, and provides a detailed outline of the thesis. Chapter two considers the photographic representation of landscape on geographical expeditions, particularly scientific expeditions in central Africa and the travels of commercial photographers in northern India. Chapter three focuses on the role of photography within military campaigns. A detailed discussion of the Abyssinian campaign (1867-8) reveals how photography and geography were associated in imperial campaigning. Chapter four traces the language and imagery of 'photographic-hunting'. A discussion of practices of hunting, exploration and conservation, particularly in Africa, shows how photography was a means of representing the imperial domination of the natural world. Chapter five explores the photographic survey and classification of 'racial types'. It situates the associated uses of photography in anthropology and geography within the context of Victorian scientific ideas on race, both within the empire and in Britain itself. Chapter six discusses the relationship between the representation of racial 'types' abroad and the social 'others' of Victorian London. It presents a case study of the work of the professional photographer John Thomson, placing his work in China and London in the context of his ethnological and geographical interests. Chapter seven explores Halford Mackinder's work with the Colonial Office Visual Instruction Committee, 1902-1911. It shows how photography was used to promote an imperial vision of geography, but raises also questions as to its ultimate impact. Chapter eight provides a conclusion which argues that photography was central to the construction of imaginative geographies of empire in the period 1840-1914 and suggests that, through photography, such geographies continue to be reproduced today
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: British imperialism