Thomas Mann Fellows | 2023

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Dr. Carolin Görgen | Associate Professor of American Studies

Carolin Görgen | Image: Privat
Carolin Görgen | Image: Privat

Carolin Görgen, born in 1990, is Associate Professor of American Studies at Sorbonne Université, Paris. After studying American Studies and Art History in the Netherlands, the US, and France, she obtained her PhD from the University Paris-Diderot and the Ecole du Louvre in 2018. Her research focuses on the photographic history of California and the American West. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Photographica.

Publications (Selection)
2022 | Görgen, Carolin, and Camille Rouquet, eds. “Camera Memoria: Photographic Histories from the Margins,” Miranda: Journal of the English-speaking World, No. 25
2021 | Görgen, Carolin. “Arnold Genthe and the California Camera Club,” in Among the Ruins: Arnold Genthe’s Photographs of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Firestorm, eds. Karin Breuer and James A. Ganz. San Francisco and Petaluma: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Cameron & Co.
2021 | Görgen, Carolin. “Californian Women Photographers in the U.S. Archival Landscape: Toward a More Inclusive History of American Photography,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, Vol. 7, No. 2.
2021 | Görgen, Carolin. “Toward a ‘History of Uses’ – Photographic Dissemination in the early twentieth century American West,” in Factuality and Uses of Early Photography, eds. Tatjana Bartsch et al. Berlin and Leipzig: German Archeological Institute & Harrassowitz Verlag.
2020 | Görgen, Carolin. “Everyday Photography? Politicizing ‘vernacular’ photo albums of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906,” Interfaces – Image Text Language, no. 43 “Vernacular Ways”.                
2018 | Görgen, Carolin. « Des cendres à la nouvelle métropole. Le California Camera Club et la reconstruction photographique de San Francisco au lendemain du tremblement de terre et de l’incendie de 1906 », Transbordeur – Photographie Histoire Société, no. 2.

Awards (Selection)
2023 | Archibald Hanna, Jr. Fellowship, Beinecke Library, Yale University
2021 | Davidson Family Fellowship, Amon Carter Museum of American Art
2020 | Research award “Thinking Photography”, German Photographic Society and Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation
2019 | Short-term fellowship, The Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanical Gardens
2016 | Travel grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art

Project description
The exhibition project "Political Ecologies of the Western Camera" is at the center of the project. It explores an extensive archive of Western American photographers, including celebrated artists such as Carleton Watkins and Ansel Adams, from an environmental perspective. The exhibition explores the historical and contemporary role of photographer:s by challenging the common image of the lone artist/explorer in seemingly untouched nature. It considers photographic work against the backdrop of ongoing conflicts over expansion, indigenous dispossession, and violent transformation of the landscape. The project shows artist:s confrontation with the contested aesthetics of the West and shifts the focus from landscape representation to the rootedness of photography in the environment. The goal is to repoliticize a familiar museum corpus and reveal alternative roles for art makers in an era shaped by climate change.