In this talk Amos Morris-Reich will discuss racial photography as a form of scientific evidence, reconstructing individual cases, conceptual genealogies, and usage of photography and photographic techniques for the study of "race" from the nineteenth century to the Nazi period. From an historical-epistemological perspective, Morris-Reich demonstrates that photography was used in several ways, such as for the generation of statistical data, medical observation of Mendelian characteristics, or as a form of psychological "thought experiments." Drawing examples primarily from German and Jewish contexts, he will pay close attention to the roles of visual argumentation, perception, imagination, and ideology within these scientific studies.
Morris-Reich is a Professor in the Departmenf for Jewishi History and Thought, and the Director of Bucerius Institute for the Study of Contemporary German History and Society, both at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Quest for Jewish Assimilation in Modern Social Science (2008) and Race and Photography: Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980 (2016). He is co-editor (with Dirk Rupnow) of Notions of 'Race' in the History of the Humanities (in press, 2017) and editor of the first collections of essays by Georg Simmel (2012) and Sander Gilman (2015) in Hebrew.