Conference: Photographic Practices and the Making of Religion

Leipzig, 25-26 November 2022

Flyer: Photographic Practices and the Making of Religion (Illustration based on a photogenic drawing on salted paper by Johann Carl Enslen, 1841)

Within the growing field of photography studies, particular interest has been devoted to the social and material qualities of photographs through which practices and meanings are produced. However, less attention has been given to the ways in which these qualities of photographs interact with and affect the sphere of religion. The aim of the conference is to investigate this relationship by showing that not only the visual information in photographs, but also their multi-material, sensorial, and haptic features play an important role in the shaping and transformation of religious communities, practices, and cults.

Concept and organisation: Moritz Lampe
Conference venue: Universität Leipzig, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Dittrichring 18-20, D-04109 Leipzig


Friday, November 25

16.00 Moritz Lampe (Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Leipzig)
Welcome and Introduction

From the Beginning – Chair: Frank Zöllner (Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Leipzig)

16.30 Edoardo Maggi (Dipartimento di Storia dell’Arte e Spettacolo, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy)
“Expressa solis spiculo / Nitens imago” – Photography and Tension to Modernity in the Pontificate of Leo XIII

17.00 Fiona Loughnane (School of Visual Culture, The National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland)
Irish Catholic Identity and Colonial Ideologies in Photographs of African Children at Prayer

17.30 Santasil Mallik (University of Western Ontario, London, Canada)
Performance of Spirituality: Photographs of Sri Ramakrishna and late-19th Century Forms of Religious Power

19.00 Dinner


Saturday, 26 November

Anthropological Research – Chair: Rudolf Hiller von Gaertringen (Kunstsammlung der Universität Leipzig)

09.30 Karin Berkemann (Theologische Fakultät, Universität Greifswald, Germany)
Photography as Proof of Genuine Religious Experience: Gustaf Dalman as Photographer, Photo Collector, and Photo Interpreter

10.00 Sarah E. Wobick-Segev (Institut für Jüdische Philosophie und Religion, Universität Hamburg, Germany)
The (Re)- and (Un)-Making of German Judaism in the 1920s and 1930s

10.30 Coffee Break

Artistic Practices – Chair: Julia Bärnighausen (Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität Berlin)

11.00 Jule Schaffer (Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle, Saale, Germany)
The Shroud of Turin – Religious Resonances in Contemporary Artistic Photography

11.30 Michael Scholz-Hänsel (Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Leipzig)
Cristina García Roderos “España. Fiestas y Ritos” (1993) und der Wunsch “Mitzutun”

12.00 Sarah Frost (Freie Kunstwissenschaftlerin, Berlin, Germany)
“Do You Believe In Photographs?” Fotografisches Zeigen und Erscheinen in Jerry Berndts Serie “The Miraculous Photographs Of Bayside”

12.30 Lunch

Towards Modernization – Chair: Sebastian Schüler (Institut für Religionswissenschaften, Universität Leipzig)

14.00 Tine Van Osselaer (Ruusbroec Institute, University of Antwerp, Belgium)
Exceptional Corpses? Photographing the Exhumation of four Belgian Stigmatics, 1972-1980

14.30 Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil (Centre for Humanities, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Karnataka, India)
A New Way to Look: Islamic Reformism and Photographic Practices in Kerala, India in the 1980s

15.00 Xenia Zeiler (South Asian Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Selfie Taking and Sharing as Communication Practices in Festival Cultures in India and the Indian Diaspora

15.30 Final Discussion and Coffee

16.30 Guided Tour of the University Campus and the Photo Collection of the Kunstsammlung der Universität Leipzig (approx. 90 min.)

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