Dr. Adam Jolles participated in the international workshop “Re-Thinking Photobooks: Media Constellations in Media Constellations,” held at Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany, October 14–16, 2022. The workshop featured new research by a global array of scholars exploring how photobooks have historically engaged and overlapped with other media.
Dr. Jolles contributed a paper entitled “‘Ghetto Chaos’: Minority Education, Photobooks, and Kodak’s Visual Literacy Program,” co-authored with Dr. Josh Ellenbogen of the University of Pittsburgh. The paper examined two photobooks—The Way It Is (ed. John Holland) and The Other City (ed. Ray Vogel)—produced by Black and Puerto Rican high school students in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, in 1969. Underwritten by the Kodak Corporation, the books grew out of an effort to provide minority youth with the equipment to take pictures of their own lived environments at the very moment that the notion of community self-representation emerged as an essential criterion in photography. A special issue of Word & Image is planned for the proceedings of the workshop.
Dr. Jolles has also been conducting research on the passage of artists through the Caribbean during World War II and the blossoming of new discursive formations. He presented a paper on this topic at the International Society for the Study of Surrealism (ISSS) annual conference, November 17–20, 2022, in a panel he chaired on “Surrealism and the Postcolonial.” The paper, entitled “Métissage, Errantry, and Exile: Surrealism through Glissant,” examined the critical writings of Martinican theorist Édouard Glissant on Wifredo Lam, the Cuban artist closely associated with Surrealism who fled France for Martinique in 1941. It explored Glissant’s late notion of errantry—the decentralized, heterogenous subjective state with which he associates the forcibly displaced—arguing that it derives not only from his reading of Deleuze and Guattari, but equally from his radical ecocritical approach to Lam’s wartime painting. An expanded version of the paper will appear next year in an anthology on Surrealism and Ecology (Vernon Press).