Dr Sara Dominici
Post Doctoral Teaching & Research Fellow
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My interests are in the history and culture of photography, in the relationship between photography and the archive, in the interdisciplinary study of visual culture, and in cultural studies.
I have taught at the University of Westminster since 2010. I am a currently a Teaching and Research Fellow in Visual Culture Studies and Course Leader for the MA in Art and Visual Culture. I previously studied at La Sapienza University, Rome (Laurea quinquennale in Scienze della Comunicazione, 2004) and at the London College of Communication (FdA in Photojournalism, 2006), and hold an MA in Visual Culture (2010) and a PhD (2014) from the University of Westminster. I also previously worked as a photographer and photo editor in both commercial and non-profit organisations.
I am the Course Leader for the MA in Art and Visual Culture. I teach on the MAs in Art and Visual Culture, and Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture. I am Module Leader for "Engaging the Archive" and "Representing World Cultures", and also supervise MA dissertations in Art art Visual Culture; Cultural and Critical Studies; and Museums, Galleries and Contemporary Culture. At BA level I am the Module leader for "Photography in London" and co-lead "Art and Society" on the Study Abroad programme.
I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, and I am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.
My research focuses on the history and culture of photography, in the interdisciplinary study of visual culture, and in cultural studies. I recently completed a monograph entitled Travel Marketing and Popular Photography in Britain, 1888-1939: Reading the Travel Image (Routledge, forthcoming). The book aims to make a contribution toward understanding how popular participation in the production, dissemination and consumption of photographic images, specifically those that pertained to the experience of travelling, challenged and subverted the dominant visual culture of travel in Britain. In analysing the popularisation of photography between 1888 and 1939, it seeks to understand how this intersected with the social and cultural changes that saw the emergence and development of mass consumer culture and tourism marketing from the late nineteenth century. As the book shows, the relationship between popular photography and travel marketing was shaped by the different desires and expectations that consumers and institutions projected onto photography, in what became, effectively, a struggle over the interpretation of the travel image itself.
My current research builds on the reflections on photography as a transformative force explored in my book. I am focusing, specifically, on the intertwined development of popular photography and cycling in Britain in the period from 1888 to the outbreak of the First World War. During this time these new technical forms became increasingly popular against the backdrop of the experience of living in a modern metropolis. My research investigates people’s engagement with such technologies within a new social and cultural landscape.
Another area of research that I have a strong interest in is the relationship between photography and archival theory and practice. Arising from my doctoral research, which drew extensively on the image archive of the Polytechnic Touring Association, the relationship between photography and the archive informs some of my teaching areas as well as current research.
In 2017 I was the convenor of the symposium Researching, Writing and Exhibiting Photography, which brought together academics, artists and curators interested in exploring how these three activities are central to the production of our knowledge about photography (more information at http://rwepsymposium.weebly.com/).
I am a member of the European Society for the History of Photography, and I have published in journals including Photography and Culture and Annals of Tourism Research.