The Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography, 1860-1910 by Stephen SheehiThe Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography, 1860-1910 by Stephen Sheehi

The Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography, 1860-1910

byStephen Sheehi

Hardcover | April 12, 2016

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The birth of photography coincided with the expansion of European imperialism in the Middle East, and some of the medium's earliest images are Orientalist pictures taken by Europeans in such places as Cairo and Jerusalem-photographs that have long shaped and distorted the Western visual imagination of the region. But the Middle East had many of its own photographers, collectors, and patrons. In this book, Stephen Sheehi presents a groundbreaking new account of early photography in the Arab world.

The Arab Imago concentrates primarily on studio portraits by Arab and Armenian photographers in the late Ottoman Empire. Examining previously known studios such as Abdullah Frères, Pascal Sébah, Garabed Krikorian, and Khalil Raad, the book also provides the first account of other pioneers such as Georges and Louis Saboungi, the Kova Brothers, Muhammad Sadiq Bey, and Ibrahim Rif'at Pasha-as well as the first detailed look at early photographs of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. In addition, the book explores indigenous photography manuals and albums, newspapers, scientific journals, and fiction.

Featuring extensive previously unpublished images, The Arab Imago shows how native photography played an essential role in the creation of modern Arab societies in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon before the First World War. At the same time, the book overturns Eurocentric and Orientalist understandings of indigenous photography and challenges previous histories of the medium.

Stephen Sheehi is the Sultan Qaboos bin Said Chair of Middle East Studies at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of Foundations of Modern Arab Identity and Islamophobia: The Ideological Campaign against Muslims.
Title:The Arab Imago: A Social History of Portrait Photography, 1860-1910Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.01 inPublished:April 12, 2016Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691151326

ISBN - 13:9780691151328

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Table of Contents

Contents ix

Acknowledgments xi

Note on Translations and Transliterations xv

INTRODUCTION Proem toIndigenistaPhotography xvii


1 An Empire of Photographs: Abdullah Frères and theOsmanlilikIdeology 1

2 The Arab Imago: Jurji Saboungi and theNahdahImage-Screen 27

3 The Carte de Visite: The Sociability of New Men and Women 53

4 Writing Photography: Technomateriality and theVerum Factum75


5 Portrait Paths: The Sociability of the Photographic Portrait 103

6 Stabilizing Portraits, Stabilizing Modernity 121

7 The Latent and the Afterimage 141

8 The Mirror of Two Sanctuaries and Three Photographers 163

EPILOGUE On the Cusp of Arab Ottoman Photography 193

Notes 204

Index 218

Illustration Credits 221

Editorial Reviews

"The Arab Imago successfully presents us with an alternative history of photography in the Arab world during the late Ottoman Empire. This original and informative book will be an important source for scholars and students of photography and Middle Eastern modernity."-Issam Nassar, Illinois State University, author of European Portrayals of Jerusalem