About us and Research Themes

The Bristol Photography Research Group is a multidisciplinary network dedicated to exploring a broad understanding of photographic practices and the complex role photography plays in contemporary society.

We are based in the creative arts department of the university, though have a reach across all subject areas, including the physical and social sciences, linguistics, education, law, business and health.  We work with our members to apply for funding, conducting both practice-based and written research projects, working with partner organisations to maximise knowledge bases and impact.

We hold conferences and talks, publish articles, release publications, and organise other events to communicate ideas exploring broad aspects of photographic discourse.  The broad themes of the research group are;

1 – Photographic methodologies and practices

2 – Photography in arts and culture

3 – Photography in society, ethics and human relations

4 – Photographic histories and theories

5 – Photographic objects and technologies

We are enthusiastic to explore how photography has become part of the fabric of many facets of society, linking different experts together, (for example – a landscape photographer to work with an architect), to see what new types of conversations happen and knowledges explored. These interactions are documented through our IN FOCUS  series, where we commission two (or more) scholars from different disciplines to start a conversation or element of combined practice and see what happens.  The ethos of these interactions is through a multidisciplinary methodology, meaning we are interested in the how the experts bring their distinct subject knowledges to the table, and use the interactions to strengthen and develop new understandings of their subject areas as a result.

To find out more about the IN FOCUS scheme click here.

The research group is convened by Dr Shawn Sobers – Associate Professor of Lens Media.

Santa-Muerte Angus Fraser with credit