University of Illinois at Chicago

File(s) under embargo





until file(s) become available

The Fecundity of Family Photography: Histories, Identities, Archival Relations

posted on 2022-05-01, 00:00 authored by Deanna Ledezma
Commonplace to the extent that their existence is frequently taken for granted, the ubiquity of family photographs propels simplistic understandings of their forms, uses, and meanings. The reliance upon subject matter to delineate the category of family photography, for instance, perpetuates normative notions of family. “The Fecundity of Family Photography: Histories, Identities, Archival Relations” argues that neither image content, nor placement, nor a feeling of affiliation alone determines whether a photograph is, has been, or will become a family photograph. No photograph is fixed within a familial classification. Beginning in the late nineteenth century and concluding in the present day, the dissertation chapters are situated in multiple regions of the United States, including the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southwest, and Texas Hill Country. Anticipating how superficial resemblances contribute to anachronistic correspondences and the erasure of meaningful differences concerning race, ethnicity, gender, and class, this dissertation analyzes the social and historical contexts in which photographic materials were produced, circulated, and continue to be seen. “The Fecundity of Family Photography: Histories, Identities, Archival Relations” explicates how the uses and ways of relating to photographs redefine and reframe what is regarded as a family photograph and what “counts” as family.



Harmansah, OmurMekinda, Jonathan


Harmansah, OmurMekinda, Jonathan


Art History

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Finegold, Andrew Smith, Shawn Michelle Duganne, Erina

Submitted date

May 2022

Thesis type



  • en

Usage metrics


    No categories selected