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Description: Since the introduction of the "Kodak" in 1888, the family photograph has become the family's primary instrument of self-knowledge and representation-the means by which family memory is continued and perpetuated. Such pictures tend to follow rigid conventions which seem to consolidate and perpetuate dominant familial myths and ideologies, supporting a self-representation of the family as stable and happy, static and monolithic. InThe Familial Gaze, 22 experts-some themselves photographers, while others are writers, critics, theorists and filmmakers-scrutinize family photographs to reveal their power to shape our personal memories and self-conceptions, and expose the cultural impact of private images. But these writers also show the often surprising and imaginative resistance of such photographs to social and aesthetic conventions. This startlingly original book reveals family photography to be a truly compelling and new field of inquiry. The result is a pathbreaking exploration of the centrality of the photographic image in contemporary visual aesthetics, and an analysis that will now stand at the forefront of contemporary cultural theory. CONTRIBUTORS: Elizabeth Abel, Mieke Bal, Dick Blau, Ann Burlein, Albert Chong, Jane Gallop, Anne Higonnet, Marianne Hirsch, Annette Kuhn, Joanne Leonard, Andrea Liss, Deborah McDowell, Nancy Miller, Lorie Novak, Valerie Smith, Art Spiegelman, Leo Spitzer, Marita Sturken, Larry Sultan, Ernst van Alphen, Laura Wexler, Deborah Willis