Martha Langford, PhD
Professor, Art History
Research Chair and Director, Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art
Editor-in-chief, Journal of Canadian Art History/Annales d'histoire de l'art canadien
Martha Langford is the Research Chair and Director of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art and a 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 and co-editor, with Sandra Paikowsky, of the Beaverbrook Foundation Series on Canadian Art History of McGill-Queen's University Press.
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). Her writing on photography and video addresses mediated experience in relation to constructs of memory and imagination. These interests intersect in "Imagined Memories: On Rafael Goldchain's Family Album," in Rafael Goldchain, I Am My Family: Photographic Memories and Fictions (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008) and "A Murder of White Crows: Susan MacWilliam's Varieties of Psychical Experience," in Karen Downey, editor, Susan MacWilliam: Remote Viewing (Black Dog Publishing, 2009).
Her books include Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001) and Scissors, Paper, Stone: Expressions of Memory in Contemporary Photographic Art (MQUP, 2007). Her edited collection, Image & Imagination, published in both English and French editions (MQUP, 2005), featured original essays by American, Australian, and British scholars. Her studies of vernacular photography include A Cold War Tourist and His Camera, co-written with John Langford (MQUP, 2011) and "Strange Bedfellows: Appropriations of the Vernacular by Photographic Artists," in Photography & Culture 1:1 (2008). Working with a team of graduate students, Langford is developing a common research tool for Canadian photographic studies, to be launched in 2013.
She is currently completing an intellectual biography of Canadian visual artist Michael Snow. This research has already generated numerous conference papers, book chapters, and catalogue essays, including "Repetition / La Répétition: Michael Snow and the Act of Memory," in Catsou Roberts, ed., Michael Snow almost Cover to Cover (Bristol and London: Arnolfini and Black Dog Press, 2001); "Michael Snow: Screen Writing," Switch 3 (Powerplant, spring 2010): 8-15 and "Translation, Migration, Fascination: Motion Pictures by Michael Snow," in Michael Snow, Recent Works (Vienna: Secession, 2012).
Langford serves as a contributing editor for Border Crossings (Winnipeg), EXIT - Imagen y Cultura / Image & Culture (Madrid), Photography & Culture (London), and Ciel Variable (Montreal). She is a regular book reviewer for Source: The Photographic Review (Belfast). Founding director of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa (1985-1994) and artistic director of the international photographic biennale, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal 2005, Langford is an active independent curator whose recent exhibitions include Unmasking: Arthur Renwick, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas (2009) for the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris and curatorial consultant for the Musée du Quai Branly photographic biennale PhotoQuai 2009, both projects in collaboration with Sherry Farrell Racette. Also in 2009, she was the commissioning curator for Preoccupations: Photographic Explorations of the Grey Nuns Mother House for the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University.
Langford received her PhD from McGill University in 1997, followed by fellowships held at the Institute for the Humanities of Simon Fraser University and the National Gallery of Canada.
Research & Teaching Interests
- Photographic History and Theory
- Canadian Photographic Historiography
- Twentieth-Century Canadian Art
- Visual Culture
- Photographic Experience (Memory and Imagination)
- Institutional Theory
Distinctions & Awards
Concordia University Research Chair in Art History, 2013-2014.
Individual Investigator, Standard Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, for three-year project, "The 'Memoriography' of Unwritten Histories: Making an Example of Canadian Photography," April 2008 - March 2011.
Concordia University Research Chair in Art History, 2008-2009
Co-Investigator, L'Américanité et l'art canadien (Award holder: Louise Vigneault, Université de Montréal), Standard Research Grants Program, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, April 2003 - March 31, 2006.
National Gallery of Canada, Research Fellowship in Canadian Art, 2002-03.
Canada Council Arts Grant (A), Criticism and Curating, 2002-2003.
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec: Aide à la circulation d'oeuvres (La Méthode et l'extase: Richard Baillargeon, Michel Campeau, Bertrand Carrière) 2001-2003.
Canada Council Arts Grant (B), Criticism and Curating, 1995-1996, 1997-1998, 2001-2002.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, January 1999 - December 2000.
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec: Literary Grant (B), 1998.
Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 1993-1995.
Max Stern Fellowship in Art History, 1991-92; Fellowship Renewal, 1992-1993.
Government of Canada Merit Award, 1989.
Drawing on her specialization, professional background, and current research, Martha Langford has taught undergraduate courses on photographic history and theory, museums and other art institutions, and individual practice (Life and Work of Michael Snow). At the graduate level, Langford's seminars tackle thematic and methodological questions, such as "Artists' Words," "What Use Is Photography?" and "How to Explain Art to the 99%." Her lectures and course materials are interdisciplinary, while stressing creative processes, spectatorial experience, and socio-political formations.
- ARTH 267 Aspects of the History of Photography
- ARTH 283 The Life and Work of Michael Snow
- ARTH 384 Theories of Representation: Photography and Memory
- ARTH 390 Art and the Institution: The Museum
- ARTH 450D Advanced Seminar in the History of Art: Aspects of Photographic Narrative
- ARTH 610K Selected Issues in North American Art and Architectural History: Images of Exile in 20th Century Art
- ARTH 610L Selected Issues in North American Art and Architectural History: Artists' Words
- ARTH 640 Issues in North American Photographic History
- ARTH 803H Strained Histories
- ARTH 804E What Use Is Photography?
- ARTH 805 What Do We Owe the Object?
- ARTH 805H Critical Examination of Artistic Content: Artistic Milieux: Surfacing Survivals: The Status of Nationalisms, Localisms, Objecthood, Ephemerality, and Interdisciplinarity in Current Art Historical Research
Amanda Burstein (in progress)
The Operations of Memory in the Art of Angela Grossmann and Rafael Goldchain
Emma Kreiner (in progress)
Vana Nazarian (in progress)
Familiar Faces and Nostalgic Places: Family Photographs as Instruments of Memory and Identity in the Montreal Armenian Community
Philippe Guillaume, SIP (in progress)
A Study of Photography and Walking in Canadian Art since 1950
Natalia Lebedinskaia, MA
The Makortoff Family Collection: Tradition and Assimilation in the Photographs of Doukhobor Daily Life in the 1920-1950
Pablo Rodriguez, MA
Phantasms of Interpretation: Raphaelle de Groot's Portraits de Clients
Robert Coles, MA
Ready for Takeoff: Carl Schaefer's Second World War paintings of the RCAF
Adam Lauder, MA
Executive Fictions: Revisiting Information
Convocation: Fall 2010
Stephen Lyons, MA
Stan Douglas and the "New-old" Film
Convocation: Fall 2010
Erin Silver, MA
No "Gestures of Return"? Querying Queer Aesthetics in North American Art
Convocation: Fall 2009
Patricia Killoran-Quill, MA
Literary Excavations: The Text-based Art of Brigitte Radecki
Convocation: Spring 2009
Christopher Régimbal, MA
Institutions of Culture and Urban Planning: The relationship between art museums and culture-led urban planning initiatives in two small Ontario cities
Convocation: Spring 2009
Andria Hickey, MA
In the Wake of Trauma: Representing the Unnameable in Contemporary Art
Convocation: Spring 2009
Jacqueline Sischy, MA
The Ethics of Remembrance: The S-21 Photographs
Convocation: Spring 2009
Shane McCord, MA
Pushing Books: The Bookwork as Democratic Multiple in the Late Capitalist Era
Convocation: Spring 2008
Tammer El-Sheikh, MA
Paper Cuts: Life, Death and "Drags" in Andy Warhol's America
Convocation: Fall 2007
Sharon Murray, MA
Missionizing Photography: Miss Amanda Jefferson's Photograph Album, 1892-1898
Convocation: Fall 2007
Jean-Francois Bélisle, MA
Canadian Voices at the Venice Biennale: The Production of a Canadian Image through the Venice Biennale between 1988 and 2005
Convocation: Spring 2007
Marsha Taichman, MA
Objects, Materials, and Surfaces: The Photographs of Lynne Cohen
Convocation: Fall 2006
Samuel Gaudreau-Lalande, Art History (in progress)
Pablo Rodriguez, Art History (in progress)
Michel Hardy-Vallée, Art History (in progress)
Open Testimony: A Critical Study of John Max's Narrative Photographs
Sarah Watson, Art History (in progress)
Elizabeth Cavaliere, Art History (in progress)
19th-century North American landscape photography
Corina Ilea, Art History (in progress)
Displacements of the Body in Contemporary Romanian Photography
Karla McManus, Art History (in progress)
Witnessing the Future and Exhibiting the Present: The Ecological Turn of Contemporary Landscape Photography in the Art Institution
Sharon Murray, Art History (in progress)
Mission photography in India
Zoë Tousignant, Art History (in progress)
Magazines and the Making of Photographic Modernism in Canada, 1925-1945
Véronique La Perrière, Humanities (in progress)
Palimpseste muséographique: L'objet de collection revisité par l'artiste
Aurèle Parisien, Art History (in progress)
Mrs. Barnett's Dead Child: Photography, Objects, and Commemorative Practice
"Many Events Lead to Many Others:" An Intellectual Biography of Michael Snow
This comprehensive critical study will take into account Snow's personal and social background, his formal and informal training, his absorption of influences, his interests in philosophy, cognitive psychology, and communications.
Studies in Canadian Photographic History
Embracing a wide range of photographic experience and circulation, the objective of this research program is to design a framework for the writing of a Canadian photographic history that breaks the mould of Euro-American accounts. The project, which involves a team of graduate students, includes the creation of a common research tool that will be made available on-line. The burning question is: what did Canadians know about photography and when did they know it?
Knowledge and Networks
As director and research chair of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, I am initiating and/or participating in projects initiated by Institute members and their partners in investigations of local, regional, and national institutions that have defined and produced Canadian art in all media. My particular contributions revolve around photographic circuits that began to form in the late 1960s and the cultural stimulus programs of the so-called Pelletier years (1968-1975).
Books (monographs, edited collections, or co-authored)
- A Cold War Tourist and His Camera. Co-written with John Langford. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2011.
- Scissors, Paper, Stone: Expressions of Memory in Contemporary Photographic Art. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007. Shortlisted for the Raymond Klibansky Prize for best English-language book in the Humanities. Reissued in paperback, 2012.
- Image & Imagination. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005. Collection editor. Introduction and nine essays were peer-reviewed.
- Suspended Conversations: The Afterlife of Memory in Photographic Albums. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001. Shortlisted for the Harold Adam Innis Prize in the Social Sciences. Reissued in paperback, 2007.
Chapters in Books (peer-reviewed)
- "A Short History of Photography in Canada, 1900-2000," in Anne Whitelaw, Brian Foss, and Sandra Paikowsky, eds., The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2010, 279-311.
- "The Child in Me: A Figure of Photographic Creation," in Loren Lerner, ed., Depicting Canada's Children. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 387-413.
- "Speaking the Album: the Oral-Photographic Framework," in Annette Kuhn and Kirsten McAllister, eds., Locating Memory: Photographic Acts. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2006, 223-246.
- "Introduction: Movements toward Image," in Martha Langford, ed., Image & Imagination, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005, 3-14.
- "Lost Horizons, or The Gates Close at Sunset: Doubtful Realisms and Paradisiacal Gains," in Martha Langford, ed., Image & Imagination, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005, 114-127.
Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)
- "Strange Bedfellows: Appropriations of the Vernacular by Photographic Artists," Photography & Culture 1:1 (July 2008): 73-94.
- "Familiegeheimen openbaar. Privé-fotoalbums in het McCord Museum of Canadian History," Nederlands Fotogenootschap / Nieuwsbrief ["Notes on the Private Photographic Albums in the Public Collection of the McCord Museum of Canadian History," trans. Ronald Gans], September 1996, 16-18.
- "A Machine in the Grotto: The Grotesque in Photography," JAISA: The Journal of the Association for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Arts, Vol. 1, no. 2, Spring 1996, 111-123.
Selected Essays in Books, Catalogues, Journals and Magazines
- "Translation, Migration, Fascination: Motion Pictures by Michael Snow," in Michael Snow, Recent Works (Vienna: Secession, 2012).
- "Michael Snow: Screen Writing," Switch 3 (spring 2010): 8-15.
- "Michael Snow," in Rosa Olivares, ed., 100 Video Artists. Madrid: EXIT Publicaciones, 2010, 370.
- "Gabor Szilasi: An Appreciation," CV Ciel Variable 84 (February-May 2010): 20-22.
- "A Murder of White Crows: Susan MacWilliams's Varieties of Psychical Experience," in Karen Downey, ed., Susan MacWilliam: Remote Viewing [exhibition catalogue for Northern Ireland's participation in the 53rd Venice Biennale] (London: Black Dog, 2009), 128-135.
- "Pour la défense du Musée canadien de la photographie canadienne," Ciel Variable 82 (June-September 2009): 69-70 ("In Defence of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ciel Variable].
- "Por la madriguera del Conejo... Otr Vez / Down the Rabbit Hole Redux," in EXIT- Imagen y Cultura / Image & Culture 33 (2009): 16-36.
- "Imagined Memories: On Rafael Goldchain's Family Album," in Rafael Goldchain, I Am My Family: Photographic Memories and Fictions. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008, 10-15.
- "Michael Snow: Reflections at the Speed of Light," Michael Snow @ MOCCA 2007. Toronto: Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 2007.
- "Prezensa continua: le projezioni di Michael Snow," in Fondzione Ragghianti and Lucca Film Festival 2007, Michael Snow: Cinema, Installazioni, Video e Arti Visuali, trans. Guilia Bancheri, 2007, 23-9.
- "Ventanas en la fotografía / Picture Windows," EXIT- Imagen y Cultura / Image & Culture 26 (2007), 24-45.
- "The Varieties of Goldchain Experience," in Ciel Variable 75 (March 2007): 7-11.
- "Lorraine Simms: Fugitive," exhibition brochure, Montreal: Maison de la culture Marie Uguay, 2007.
- "Workers in Progress: The Art of Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge," Border Crossings, Vol. 25, No. 3 (August 2006): 98-103.
- "What Use is Photography?" in Christopher Coppock and Paul Seawright, eds., So Now Then. Cardiff: Ffotogallery, 2006, 164-7.
- "Arnaud Maggs, Turning Colours," in Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Arnaud Maggs Nomenclature, exhibition catalogue by Linda Jansma, 2006, 14-25.
- "When is a Photographic Self-Portrait Not?" in Autoportrait dans la photographie canadienne contemporaine. Québec: Éditions J'ai VU, 2004, 14-21.
- "Aura Dynamics: The Task of the Spectator in the New Era of the Aura," Border Crossings 22:2 (May 2003): 56-65.
- "Repetition / La Répétition: Michael Snow and the Act of Memory," in Catsou Roberts, ed., Michael Snow almost Cover to Cover. Bristol and London: Arnolfini and Black Dog Press, 2001, 34-75.
- "An Excursion into the Amateur Grotesque," in Ian Angus, ed., Anarcho-Modernism: In Honour of Jerry Zaslove. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2001, 99-113.
- ml_book-III.jpg"The Power of Reflection," Border Crossings, Vol. 20, No. 2 (May 2001): 46-53.
- "Dispiriting Nature: The Work of Eldon Garnet and Geneviève Cadieux," Border Crossings (November 2000), 36-41.
- "Snow by Degrees: Michael Snow's Photographic Work," Border Crossings, Vol. 19, No. 3 (August 2000): 58-63.
- "In The Playground of Allusion," exposure (Journal of the Society for Photographic Education) 31:3/4 (1998): 13-24.
- "The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography," History of Photography, Vol. 20, no. 2 (Summer 1996): 174-180.
Selected Exhibition Catalogues
- Preoccupations: Photographic Explorations of the Grey Nuns Mother House, exh. cat. Galerie FOFA Gallery, Montreal, 2009.
- The Power of Reflection, exh. cat., Liane and Danny Taran Gallery, Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montréal, 2001.
- La Méthode et l'extase: Richard Baillargeon, Michel Campeau, Bertrand Carrière, Occurrence, Espace d'art et d'essai contemporains, Montréal, 2001.
- Interior Britannia: Richard Billingham / Anna Fox, Liane and Danny Taran Gallery, Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Montréal, 1999.
- Tom Gibson: False Evidence Appearing Real, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography/ National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1993.
- George Steeves: 1979-1993, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography / National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1993.
- BEAU: A Reflection on the Nature of Beauty in Photography, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography / National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1992.
- Anima Mundi: Still Life in Britain, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography / National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1989.
- Reality and Motive in Documentary Photography / Donigan Cumming, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography / National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1986.
- Genius Loci / Geoffrey James, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography / National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1986.
- Separate from the World: Meetings with Doukhobor-Canadians in British Columbia / Robert Minden, Still Photography Division / National Film Board of Canada, Ottawa, 1979.
Selected Book Reviews
- "The Facts about an Image, review of Errrol Morris, Believing is Seeing, in Source: The Photographic Review 69 (winter 2011): 73-5.
- Review of Elizabeth Siegel, Galleries of Friendship and Fame: A History of Nineteenth-Century American Photograph Albums, CAA Reviews. Posted 21 October 2011. http://www.caareviews.org/reviews/1713
- "The Old Couple," review of Christopher Pinney, Photography and Anthropology, in Source: The Photographic Review 68 (autumn 2011): 74-6.
- "Wonders and Horrors," review of Verna Posever Curtis, ed., Photographic Memory: The Album in the Age of Photography, in Source: The Photographic Review 67 (summer 2011): 73-5.
- "Photography Infinitely Receding," review of Jacques Derrida, Athens, Still Remains: The Photographs of Jean-François Bonhomme and Derrida, Copy, Archive, Signature: A Conversation on Photography, in Source: The Photographic Review 66 (spring 2011): 73-6.
- "What is the Photo Essay?" review of Andy Stafford, Photo-texts: Contemporary French Writing of the Photographic Image, in Source: The Photographic Review 66 (spring 2011): 80.
- "Geography, Autobiography, Metaphor," review of Gerry Badger, The Pleasures of Good Photographs, in Source: The Photographic Review 65 (autumn 2010): 70-1.
- "Mum's Work," review of Gillian Rose, Doing Family Photography, in Source: The Photographic Review 64 (summer 2010): 83-4.
- "Pictures with Words," review of Mick Gidley, ed., Writing with Light, Source: The Photographic Review 64 (summer 2010): 85.
- "For the Photography Student," review of David Bate, Photography: The Key Concepts and Stephen Bull, Photography, in Source: The Photographic Review 62 (spring 2010): 66-8.
- "Terence Byrnes. Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait," in University of Toronto Quarterly 79:1 (winter 2010), 445-7.
- "Making it Memorable," review of Damian Sutton, Photography, Cinema, Memory, in Source: The Photographic Review 61 (winter 2009): 80-81.
- Review of Louis Kaplan, The Strange Case of William Mumler Spirit Photographer, in Source: The Photographic Review (2009).
- "The Moral Lesson of Photography," review of Ariella Azoulay, The Civil Contract of Photography, in Source: The Photographic Review 58 (spring 2009): 72-3.
- "Democracy's Evil Twin," review of Kiku Adatto, Picture Perfect: Life in the Age of the Photo-Op, in Source: The Photographic Review 56 (autumn 2008): 74-5.
- "In the Thick of Things," review of Paolo Pellegrin, As I Was Dying, in Source: The Photographic Review 52 (summer 2008): 79-80.
- "Fred Herzog: Vancouver Photographs and Seduced by Modernity: The Photography of Margaret Watkins," in Journal of Canadian Art History, Vol. XXIX (2008): 156-61.
- "Photographing Purity," review of Christy Johnson and 33 Confessors, Feast, in Source: The Photographic Review 52 (autumn 2007): 74-6.
- "Insufficient Evidence," review of Katherine Biber, Captive Images: Race, Crime, Photography, in Source: The Photographic Review 52 (autumn 2007): 83.
- "An Elegant Compilation," review of Collier Schorr, Neighbors, in Source: The Photographic Review 51 (summer 2007): 78-9.
- "Seeing Through Corn Syrup," review of Roger Newton, Op Tics, in Source: The Photographic Review 51 (summer 2007): 80-1.
- Review of James Elkins, ed. Photography Theory, in Source: The Photographic Review 50 (spring 2007): 74-6.
- Review of Geoffrey Batchen, Forget Me Not: Photography and Remembrance. CAA Reviews. Posted 2 January, 2007.
- Snyder and Levine, eds, Snapshot Chronicles: Inventing the American Photo Album; Bitner, ed., LaPorte, Indiana, Jason Bitner; and Fiona Tan, Vox Populi, Norway, reviewed in Source: The Photographic Review 48 (autumn 2006): 54-6.
- Foodculture: Tasting Identities and Geographies in Art, Barbara Fischer, ed., reviewed in RACAR, XXVII, 1-2/2000 (2003): 149-151.
- "The Twentieth Century," review of Imagining the Twentieth Century, Charles C. Stewart and Peter Fritzsche, eds., History of Photography, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Summer 2000): 183.
- "Fantastic Trauma," review of Diana Thorneycroft: The Body, Its Lesson and Camouflage, afterimage, Vol. 28, No. 2 (September/October 2000): 15.
Conferences & Lectures
- Speaking of Photography, 2006-present. Annual lecture series, organized for the Department of Art Art History
- "A Room with a View: Cold War Cairo," Cities and Societies in Comparative Perspective, European Association for Urban History, Prague, Czech Republic, 29 August - 1 September 2012.
- "The Group: Founders of The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 1970 - 1972," Imagining History, Canadian Women Artists History Initiative 2nd Conference, Concordia University, 3-5 May 2012.
- "Richard Harrington's Guide: Universality and Locality in a Canadian Photographic Document," 38th Annual Association of Art Historians Conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes, 29 - 31 March 2012.
- "New Photographic Histories in Canada," session chair, Universities Art Association of Canada annual conference, Carleton University, 27-29 October 2011.
- "Circuits of Faith: Representations of the Canadian North in an Oblate Missionary Journal Pôle et Tropiques," Photographie, mobilités, intermédialité, Atelier du Centre de recherche sur l'intermédialité (CRI), Université de Montréal, Montreal, 8-9 April, 2011 (NB: member of scientific committee).
- "Vernaculars in Translation: A Cold War Tourist and His Camera." Photo Archives and the Photographic Memory of Art History III, organized by the Institute of Fine Arts and the Department of Art History of New York University, 25-6 March 2011.
- "Light Erasures and Shifting Temporalities in Recent Work by Michael Snow," College Art Association, New York, 12 February 2011 (read in absentia).
- "Dis-InFORMation: Michael Snow's Ideas about Idea Art," Traffic: Conceptualism in Canada, international conference organized by the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, November 26, 2010.
- "Re-aligning the View: Cold War Cairo," co-written with John Langford, Cold War Cities, study day organized by the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, September 25, 2010.
- "Showing Without Telling: A Cold War Tourist and His Camera," co-presented with John Langford, Art Histories, Cultural Studies and the Cold War, international conference hosted by the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, September 24, 2010.
- "Rogue Photographies and Primitivist Fantasies: A Note of Caution on the New Photographic Vernacular," UAAC conference, York University, Toronto, November 6-8, 2008.
- "Collective Memories and Persistent Primitivisms: Notes of Caution on the Photographic Vernacular," for Back to the Future: Productive Remembering in Changing Times, an invitational workshop/symposium organized by McGill University, October 22 24, 2008.
- "The Thickness of Light, the Thinness of Materials: Thinking through Process in the Work of Michael Snow," for presentation at Faire oeuvre: Transparence et opacité, organized by École des Arts visuels, Université Laval, May 19-22 2008.
- "A Cold War Tourist and his Camera," co-written with John Langford for presentation at SSHRC-funded workshop, The Cultural Work of Photographs in Canada, organized by Carleton University, in affiliation with the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, May 8-10, 2008.
- "Agit-prompters: The Workings of Memory in Condé and Beveridge's Representations of Labour," Politics of Cultural Memory, Manchester Metropolitan University, November 4-6, 200.
- "Tournage: Turning (Returning) to Michael Snow's La Région Centrale," Revisiting the North, CIHA 2004, Montreal, August 22-27, 2004.
- "After Vietnam: Traces of Exile and Fragments of Homeland in Canadian Art," session co-chair with Jerry Zaslove, College Art Association Conference, Seattle, February 18-21, 2004.
- "The Pictures that We Have: Reconstructions of the Photographic Archive," paper presented at Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, Queen's University, Kingston, November 8, 2003.
- "Speaking the Album: An Application of the Oral-Photographic Framework," College Art Association Conference, Philadelphia, February 22, 2002.
- "Replacement Parts: Cindy Sherman's Abuse of the Doll," paper presented at Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto, November 1999 (session co-chaired with Jerald Zaslove).
- "Rear Projections: The Play of Memory on the Photographic Landscape," College Art Association Conference, Los Angeles, February 1999.
- "As Gaea Gave Birth to Mnemosyne: The Landscape in Photographic Reprise," paper presented at the Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Conference, McGill University, November 1996.
- "The Private Photograph Transposed," paper presented at the 33rd national conference of the Society for Photographic Education, Los Angeles, 1996.
- "Une Architecture Murmurante: An Expression of Freemasonry in Claude-Nicolas Ledoux's Propylaea for Paris?" paper presented at a conference, "Recontextualizing the Eighteenth Century," organized by the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Ottawa, 1995.
- "A Machine in the Grotto: The Grotesque in Photography," paper presented at the "International Conference on the Hideous and the Sublime," organized by West Georgia College, Atlanta, Georgia, 1994.
- "The Museum as Site and Source of Memory," Canadians and their Pasts: The Future of Museums as Sources of Knowledge, workshop organized by the Canadian Museums Association, Ottawa, 14-15 November 2011.
- "Notes on the Writing of 'A Short History of Photography, 1900-2000," Symposium: 20th-Century Visual Arts in Canada, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, 10 May 2011.
- "A Cold War Tourist and His Camera," co-presented with John Langford, Cold War Confidential, symposium organized by the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, February 4, 2011.
- Présidente de séance, "Médiatisation," Colloque international: Imaginaires du présent. Photographie, politique et poétique de l'actualité, organisé par Figura, centre de recherche sur le texte et l'imaginaire, Université du Québec à Montréal, 22-23 octobre 2010.
- Session facilitator, "Telling Stories/Storytelling," Canadian Historical Association, Congress 2010, Concordia University, June 1, 2010.
- Moderator, "Reza. Reveal: A Witness to Pain." Human Rights Day, President's Conference Series, Human Rights: Denounce, Reveal, and Declare." Congress 2010, Concordia University, May 28, 2010.
- Discussant, Curating Difficult Knowledge, conference organized by the Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence (CEREV), Concordia University, April 16-18, 2009.
- American Photographic Landscape," lectures delivered in French and English to docents of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal / Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in preparation for the exhibition Grandeur nature. Peinture et photographies américains et canadiens de 1860 to 1918 / Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscapes 1860-1918, February 9, 2009.
- "What Use is Photography?" paper presented at Images of Society: Variable Trajectories, McCord Museum, September 20, 2007.
- "The Assembled Self: A Photographic Memoir of Girlhood," paper presented at Picturing Her: Images of Girlhood, McCord Museum, December 1, 2005.
- "Image & Imagination," organizer of two-day international symposium for Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, in collaboration with the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Speakers: Geoffrey Batchen, Raymond Bellour, Fae Brauer, Michel Campeau, Francine Dagenais, Louise Déry, Peggy Gale, Martyn Jolly, Holly King, Vincent Lavoie, Kirsty Robertson, Carolee Schneemann, and Michael Snow, 2005.
- "Michael Snow's Biographie: Relocating the Walking Woman," paper presented at The Sixties: Style and Substance, McCord Museum, November 6, 2003.
- "The Task of the Spectator in the New Era of the Aura," National Gallery of Canada/Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, paper presented at the Confluence symposium, February 1, 2003.
- "Remembering to Tell: Orality and Photographic Albums," paper for a conference, "Locating Memory: Photographic Acts," Institute for Cultural Research, Lancaster University, May 2001; revised version given as a guest lecture in the series, "Traces," at McGill University, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, November 1, 2001; revised version given at The Light Symposium, Memorial University, September 27, 2002.
- "Visual Prompts, or Tell me, what does a documentary photograph look like?" presentation at symposium, "Le Souci du document," CV Photo/Vox/Université du Québec à Montréal, September 18, 1999; expanded version delivered at Emily Carr College of Art and Design, November 17, 1999.
- "The Photographic Landscape in Reprise" and "What is Nationhood?" at "Changing Views of the Landscape: 2," conference organized by Photo 98, The Year of Photography and the Electronic Image, llkley, Yorkshire, September 1998.
- "The Current State of Canadian Art Historical Research, Pressing Needs, and Possible Solutions," Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, Concordia University, 20 April 2011.
- "A Cold War Tourist and His Camera," with John Langford, Speaking of Photography, organized by the Department of Art History, Concordia University, March 15, 2011.
- A public conversation with Greg Staats to inaugurate his solo exhibition condolence, Articule, Montreal, 14 January, 2011.
- "Regarding the Photographs of Others," seminar, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, Concordia University, April 2, 2009.
- "What Use Is Photography?" New/Photography lecture series, Art Gallery of Alberta, November 30, 2006.
- "Image and Imagination: Encounters with the Photographic Work of Tracey Moffatt," in the series "The Defiant Imagination," co-organized by the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, November 16, 2005.
- "Unstilled Lives: Destiny Deacon and Evergon," curator's talk, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, September 29, 2005.
- "'Illusionist Ruptures in the Decorum:' Michael Snow in the Moment of Pre-Authorization," Concordia University, Department of Art History, March 23, 2004.
Preoccupations: Photographic Explorations of the Grey Nuns Mother House. Curator for 12 commissioned photographic works expressing the creative potential of the Grey Nuns complex. FoFA Gallery. 8 October - November 8, 2009.
Unmasking: Arthur Renwick, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas. Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris. Co-curator, with Sherry Farrell Racette, exhibition of contemporary photographic and videographic works by First Nations artists, complementing Photoquai. 22 September, 2009 - mid-January, 2010.
Photoquai. Biennale des images du monde. 'Co-commissaire' in consultation with Sherry Farrell Racette, on participation of First Nations photographic artists in exhibition organized by the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. 22 September, 2009 - 22 November, 2009
Image & Imagination, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal 2005. Artistic director of the biennale, a program of 29 exhibitions (solo ro thematic) organized in collaboration with host institutions. Curator of 19 of those exhibitions, responsible for all aspects of research, selection, interpretation, and installation. Those exhibitions included Michael Snow: Windows, Galerie de l'UQAM; Lynne Marsh: Crater, Cinémathèque québécoise; Tracey Moffatt, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Unstilled Lives: Destiny Deacon and Evergon, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University; Neverlands: Monique Genton, Toni Hafkenscheid, Martin Parr and Mike Yuhasz, Maison de la Culture Frontenac; After Alice: Angela Grossmann and Polixeni Papapetrou, Maison de la culture Plateau-Mont-Royal; and others installed in various locations in Montreal.