Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



In my study, I place concepts and practices of photography and performance in dialogue to enable our understanding of how photographs perform and how performance contains or can contain elements we attribute to photographs. The connection between photography and performance that most intrigues me is how they make memories and when collected or restored in some socially shared way make histories too. My specific aim is to understand how photographs and performance might benefit from each other in how they make and transmit memories and histories. To activate the study, I select and focus on five specific events in which photographs are or have been displayed. I analyze each event in terms of its “internal,” “original,” and “external” or display context (Barrett 96), pertinent concepts and practices of photography, and also those of performance that are similar. By means of a comparative approach, I look at what memories and histories appear to be remembered and forgotten, and how, in each photographic event and the performance practices I draw on. My study is significant because while scholars have discussed the conceptual links between photography and performance, they have not considered the practical links. This study emphasizes the latter and thereby offers methods for “doing” photography and/in performance that feature rather than minimize how memories and histories are made in both mediums.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ruth Laurion Bowman



Included in

Communication Commons