Ph: The Photography Research Network was established in 2010 as a research forum for early career scholars working in the field of photography. Since its establishment, the Ph network has gathered scholars from many institutions across the UK. The diverse interests of the group’s members are reflected in the heterogeneous character of the discussions in monthly meetings held at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, where participants have an opportunity to present their research and current projects in an atmosphere of intellectual rigour and peer support.
The significance of this initiative was acknowledged with the award of the AHRC Student-led Initiatives Grant under the auspices of the Beyond Text Programme (2010-2011). This grant allowed us to establish a dedicated website as a means of extending the group’s activities by opening the discussion to a wider community of researchers, specialists and members of the public. A selection of papers published online is available in the Work in Progress section of this website.
In 2012 the Ph Network has been invited by The National Media Museum to commission content for Either/And: http://eitherand.org/. This project is aimed at examining critical issues that are shaping the histories of photography, film, publishing and broadcast media by making current research by leading thinkers and practitioners available to a wide and varied public. In the course of the first nine months of the project, starting in July 2012, the Ph Network focused specifically on photography. Ph members have selected a number of key issues in the current production, dissemination and theorisation of photography and were commissioning material in relation to these thematic areas. Published on the Either/And website, commissioned material includes essays, interviews, images and films, that provided a starting point for invited responses as well as public online discussion. Bringing together these disparate thematic strands is the conviction that unites the activity of Ph as a group: that photography can provide a point of contact between different disciplines, discourses, periods and approaches and that, by opening a dialogue between them, we might better understand the positions it occupies in society and culture.
Ph: The Photography Research Network was established and developed by Ben Burbridge and Olga Smith. It is now directed by Andreia Alves de Oliveira, Alexandra Tommasini, Lauren Winsor, Liz Johnston Drew, and Gil Pasternak
2013-2016 Annebella Pollen, Gil Pasternak, and Juliet Baillie
2010-2013 Ben Burbridge and Olga Smith