It seems to me that those of us who write about photography -- as reviewers, critics, historians, theorists, biographers, bibliographers, technical writers, and so on -- have too little contact with each other. In part, I think this is because writing remains a solitary craft, practiced normally in private, so writers at work sit at their desks and computer stations, invisible to the public. And, unlike those in other branches of our "craft and sullen art," we've identified no watering holes for those with our specialty in our field anywhere that I know of.
For that reason, among others, in the late 1970s I organized several conferences on photo criticism here on the east coast. One of those took place at the Visual Studies Workshop in 1977, and as one upshot of it the VSW assembled and distributed a small directory of photo critics. A first of its kind, it listed several dozen people then writing about the medium from a variety of standpoints. I found it heartening to see that by then I had some not inconsiderable company; and the directory helped me get in touch with some of my colleagues.
Nothing like it has appeared since, to the best of my knowledge. You can find brief listings of writers on photography in both the USA Photography Guide (Nazraeli Press) and the European Photography Guide (European Photography), and some more in the Photo Diary published sporadically by Flash Art. But there's no readily available directory of writers on photography around the world. Also, there's no easy way to get yourself listed in such a directory, so that others can find you.
So we're going to create here, as part of this Photography Criticism CyberArchive, a registry for writers on photography. The best way to do so, it seems, is to set up what this Photography Criticism CyberArchive presents as Authors' Pages: a space for each registrant to present a brief biographical sketch, a bibliography of his or her pertinent writings, a portrait of him- or herself, and whatever contact information the writer wishes to provide. (For a sample Author's Page, click here.) This Photography Writers' registry is accessible to anyone -- that is, one need not subscribe to this Photography Criticism CyberArchive in order to visit it.
We will create such a page automatically for any writer who becomes a contributor to the Photography Criticism CyberArchive. We will do the same for any other writer who presents us with the material just indicated, placing that in the same group of listings. If you'd like to become a registrant, please email your questions or send the material indicated above (in digital form only) to us. The contact info:
You need not be a full-time working writer to list yourself in this registry -- teachers, scholars, and other part-time or occasional contributors to the literature are welcome to add themselves to the list.
/s/ A. D. Coleman