University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group > Capturing time. William Henry Fox Talbot's universal scholarship and the common ground between Photography and the Antique

Capturing time. William Henry Fox Talbot's universal scholarship and the common ground between Photography and the Antique

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William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) is now primarily remembered as the pioneer of photography, but his work ranged across the natural sciences, classical scholarship and Assyriology. In my talk I explore Talbot’s interest in photographic inventions in connection to his lifelong significant scholarship in Archaeology, Classics and Assyriology, fields Talbot studied in Cambridge and that are still largely unexplored by contemporary Talbot research. I argue that examining Talbot’s interest in the Antique exposes opportunities to gain further understanding of his photographic achievements. In phenomenological terms, photography and archaeology have some substantial characteristics in common. Both disciplines attempt to preserve fading objects. They keep them from falling into oblivion. Talbot offers an exceptional case study to show how the two disciplines have been closely linked to each other in practical terms, ever since photography was invented.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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