Professors Liz Wells and Martha Langford in conversation on line with the RPS

Liz Wells, a writer, curator, and lecturer on photographic practices, is Professor Emeritus in Photographic Culture, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, at the University of Plymouth, UK and remains active in the Faculty’s international Environmental Arts research networks. Her research in photographic culture focuses on land, landscape, place, and environment, as well as on photographic theory and practices. She is currently investigating histories of botanical photography, about which remarkably little has been written, other than in terms of aesthetics. This interest arises from curating Seedscapes: Future-proofing Nature and seeking to situate the exhibition within contemporary and historical developments. She is working towards a proposal for a monograph on botany and photography, historically and now.

Liz edited and co-wrote Photography: A Critical Introduction and is editor for The Photography Reader and The Photography Culture Reader (2019), London: Routledge. She co-founded and co-edits photographies (Routledge journals) and is series editor for Photography, Place, Environment, (Routledge).

Photography, Curation, criticism: an anthologyby Liz Wells, was published in July this year by Routledge. This unique collection brings together Liz’s work, reflecting on key themes of landscape, place, nationhood, and environmental concerns. A newly written introductory chapter contextualizes the collection. This is followed by an ‘in conversation’ with Martha Langford, Concordia University, Montreal, that brings together two leading figures in the field to respond to Wells’ thought and the themes that emerge in her writings.

Liz received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017. In 2021, she was awarded Honored Educator, Society for Photographic Education (USA) and in 2022 she received the RPS J Dudley Johnston Medal for major achievement in the field of photographic criticism or the history of photography for her research in photographic culture that focusses on land, landscape, place and environment, as well as on photographic theory and practices.

Martha Langford is the Research Chair and Director of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art and a Distinguished University Research Professor in the Department of Art History at Concordia University in Montreal. She is also editor-in-chief of Journal of Canadian Art History/Annales d’histoire de l’art canadien, editor of the Beaverbrook Foundation Series on Canadian Art History of McGill-Queen’s University Press, and a member of the editorial board of History of Photography. In 2018, she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Langford has written the first comprehensive survey of modern Canadian photographic art: ‘A Short History of Photography, 1900-2000’ in Anne Whitelaw, Brian Foss, and Sandra Paikowsky, (eds)., The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2010). She is currently completing a three-volume history of photography in Canada (1839-2000), with the support of her Concordia University research chair, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant (Insight), and a National Gallery of Canada research fellowship.