Workshop 2017

The two-and-a-half-day workshop aims to explore travel images and travelling images as both physical objects and visual ideas that act as representations of foreign places, as souvenirs, and as agents of knowledge. We will discuss the complex meaning of these travelling images: (1) as representations of “foreign” places, (2) as travelling objects that connect places and carry the experiences of their journey, (3) as objects of personal memory that cross public and personal spaces and (4) as visual motifs that constantly change their meaning in relation to different media and visual framing.

The following questions serve as a methodical starting point and will be addressed in specific case studies:

  • How did pictorial objects travel both historically and geographically?
  • How did images travel across different media?
  • How does the meaning or interpretation of travelling images change in different contexts and places?
  • How have the mediums themselves been viewed as vehicle of national and universal representations?[1]

The workshop serves as an open platform for doctoral and postdoctoral candidates to exchange thoughts on how to approach the topic of travelling images. We want to initiate ties between and across universities and disciplines to help encourage our understanding of complex transnational travel routes of images. The goal is to thoroughly investigate the changing interpretations and meanings of images, both through a media specific and art historical lens, and in a wider historical, cultural and social realm. 

Funded by the Graduate Campus of the University of Zurich


Supported by the Dr. Carlo Fleischmann-Stiftung



[1]                 François Brunet, “Nationalities and Universalism in the Early Historiography of Photography (1843–1857).” History of Photography, 35:2 (2011) 98–110.

[2]                 Luke Gartlan, A Career of Japan: Baron Raimund von Stillfried and Early Yokohama Photography. Amsterdam: Brill, 2016; Luke Gartlan and Ali Behad, eds., Photography’s Orientalism: New Essays on Colonial Representation. Los Angeles: The Getty Institute Publications, 2013.