This is a past event.
This talk will reconsider the contradictory contributions of Jacob Riis’s use of photography in his mission of urban reform. It draws upon this scholar’s earlier quite critical research and seeks to balance that largely negative perspective with more positive assessments by other scholars of Riis’s pioneering work and legacy in using photography to expose the enormous inequities in a social system driven by the profit motive. It finally asks if Riis’s method of expose journalism constituted the most effective means of shining light on grave social problems? If not, what might be alternative methods?
This lecture is partially sponsored by the Visiting Possessor/Lecture Scholars Series (VPLSS) which is funded by a grant to the Provost Office from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. Additional support provided by the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association and the Department of Humanities.