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The invention of photography forever changed how we interact with images. This lecture will explore how and why various photographic inventions emerged in the mid-nineteenth century and what earlier practices of sharing, manipulating, narrating, and representing in photographs have in common with our own twenty-first century obsession with digital images.


Pepper Stetler is Associate Professor of Art and Architecture History and Associate Director of the Miami University Humanities Center. Professor Stetler has published numerous articles on the history of photography and has contributed to catalogs for exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is currently curating the first museum-scale exhibition of the work of Cincinnati-based photographer Nancy Ford Cones (1869-1962), which will be on display at the Taft Museum of Art in the fall of 2022. In 2016 she received the College of Creative Arts Crossan Hayes Curry Distinguished Educator award.

Objects that Changed the World is a new collaboration between the Miami University Humanities Center and the Alumni Association. Featuring Miami’s nationally recognized faculty in the humanities, each lecture is inspired by an object of such prevalence today it might be easily overlooked and develops original insights and novel lessons about the object in question. We invite all alumni to reconnect with faculty and to show their support for the Humanities Center’s mission to advocate for the central place of the humanities in both the university and wider society. 

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