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2011 Lecture : Liz Wells

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Liz Wells

Texas Tech University’s Landscape as Knowledge series will host Liz Wells, professor in photographic culture, faculty of arts, University of Plymouth, UK, and director of Land/Water and the Visual Arts.

Wells will give a lecture in room LH001 of the English Building at 7 p.m. March 8.


Topographic Narratives: Photography and Landscape Research

Abstract: Photographic imagery reveals that which might otherwise remain unnoticed, creating pause for scrutiny, telling stories about particular places. Photography enhances cultural knowledge through tracking historical and geographic change, variously bringing environments into focus topographically, experientially and metaphorically. Photographers as landscape researchers operate interrogatively and intuitively, articulating a range of methods to explore both the broader contexts within which they are operating and specific phenomena to which they wish to draw attention. This paper considers photography and landscape research, pointing to unique qualities of photography as a visual tool of investigation, reflecting upon research methodology, and indicating ways in which photographic enquiries articulate inter-disciplinary approaches. It is argued that systematic approaches to research lend authority to photographers as investigators, reporters and storytellers.


Wells writes and lectures on photographic practices. She is editor of The Photography Reader, 2003, Photography: A Critical Introduction, 2009, 4th ed., and co-editor of photographies, Routledge journals.

Exhibitions curated by Wells include Facing East, Contemporary Landscape Photography from Baltic Areas (UK tour 2004 - 2007) and Landscapes of Exploration, work from Antarctica (forthcoming 2012). Her book, Land Matters: Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity, is scheduled to be published May 2011.

She held a visiting research fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, January - April 2010.

Wells’ presentation has received special funding from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available after 5:30 p.m. in Lot R5 and the Flint Avenue Parking Facility.



Liz Wells lecture is sponsored by the School of Art as part of the joint series Landscape as Knowledge.


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