Summer Conference 2016


The theme for the 2016 APHE conference is focused around where and how photographic higher education is situated, and more broadly its reach and purpose in the 21st Century. We wish to examine and question how the study of photography fits into the overall journey of students, from school to the workplace. Such journeys do not always follow a linear chronology – the paths students take, much as they might like them to, do not always lead where they expect. The multiple entanglements emerging, from hesitant beginnings, detours, cul-de-sacs and apparent arrivals, map out individual experiences. These are then overlaid onto sometimes-rigid institutional forms and structures. In this context we acknowledge the many changes that have taken place in relation to employment opportunities in the creative sector during recent years, and ask how education can respond.





Liz Wells

Speaking on Wednesday 29th June

Liz Wells writes and lectures on photographic practices. She edited Photography: A Critical Introduction (2015 5th ed.) and The Photography Reader (2003, new edition due 2017); she is also co-editor for photographies, Routledge journals. Publications on landscape include Land Matters: Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity (2011).

Recent exhibitions as curator include: Light Touch, Baltimore Washington International Airport (2014); Futureland Now – John Kippin, Chris Wainwright (Laing Gallery, Newcastle, 2012/2013), Sense of Place: European Landscape Photography (BOZAR, Brussels, 2012), and Landscapes of Exploration, British art from Antarctica (2012/2013/2015).

She is Professor in Photographic Culture, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Plymouth University, UK, and co-convenes the research group for Land/Water and the Visual Arts. She is a visiting professor, Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster, and also an elected member of the Board of Directors, Society for Photographic Education.


Michael Mack

Speaking Thursday 30th July

Michael Mack is one of the most respected and influential gures in the contemporary art world. In 1995 he began working with Gerhard Steidl, the renowned printer and publisher, and as Managing Director he played a pivotal role in building Steidl into a highly successful global brand, publishing the work of many of the world’s leading photographic artists, including Robert Frank, William Eggleston, Ed Ruscha, Roni Horn, Jeff Wall, Robert Adams, Lee Friedlander, Mary Ellen Mark, Paul Graham, Thomas Demand and Alec Soth.

In 2010 Michael established MACK, which is now one of the leading photographic publishers in the world. MACK is noted not only for the consistent high quality and adventurous nature of its book projects, but also for its investment in the artistic process and a commitment to pursuing an uncompromising approach to the demands of the artist’s work. The list includes not only monographs and artist books – with the likes of Paul Graham, Thomas Struth, Tacita Dean, Roe Ethridge, Masahisa Fukase, Wendy Ewald, Thomas Demand, Alec Soth, Bertien Van Manen, Guido Guidi, Rosalind Solomon, Nigel Shafran, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin – but also a growing range of books of the writings of visual artists – Luigi Ghirri, Joan Fontcuberta and Allan Sekula to date. MACK is also focussed on the support of emerging artists, with every season including work by unknown artists. In 2011 Michael established the First Book Award which has helped to launch the careers of numerous young photographers.

Michael’s work with artists has been internationally recognised, and has resulted in many awards including a D&AD Silver Award, the Kraszna Kraus Award, the Arles Author Book Award and the Deutsche Börse Prize. In 2011 Plymouth University was delighted to bestow upon Michael an Honorary Doctorate, in recognition of his contribution to the world of publishing, and we are delighted to continue this relationship with his contribution at this year’s APHE conference.


Shahidul Alam

Speaking Friday 1st July

A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry at London University before switching to photography. Returning to his hometown Dhaka in 1984, he documented the democratic struggle to remove General Ershad. A former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the award winning Drik agency, Bangladesh Photographic Institute, Chobi Mela festival, Majority World agency and Pathshala, the South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the nest schools of photography in the world.

Shahidul’s work has been shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern London and Museum of Contemporary Arts Tehran. He has been a guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery, National Art Gallery Malaysia, Musee de Quai Branly and Brussels Biennale. His numerous photo- graphic awards include Mother Jones, Howard Chapnick Grant, Open Society Institute Audience Engagement Grant and Shilpakala Award, the highest honour given to Bangladeshi artists.

A speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, museums in all continents, as well as TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam has been a jury member in prestigious international contests, including World Press Photo, which he chaired and Prix Pictet, chaired by Ko Anan. Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, Alam is a visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society and Eugene Smith Fund.

Event Details



Wednesday 29th June
Plymouth University
Thursday 30th June
Plymouth College of Art
Friday 1st July
Plymouth University

Ticket Pricing

  • £50 – Institution/per member

  • £50 – Individual member

  • £80 -Non-member
    (includes 1 years free membership)

  • £10 – Full-time student



Plymouth University
School of Art and Media
Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Plymouth College of Art
Tavistock Place





Plymouth University

5:00pm: Registration. Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky


Introductory Talk. Sian Davey – Looking for Alice Recipient of the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture 2016

6:15pmDrinks reception and MA exhibition. Scott Building (top floor)


Plymouth College of Art

9:00am:Registration. PCA Foyer 9-30: Welcome. Lecture Theatre
10:00am: Keynote: Professor Liz Wells. Plymouth University: Agency and meditations: on visual literacy, criticality and photo education
11:00am: Coffee
11:30am: Papers • Andy Golding – Photographic distinctions, literacy and education • Peter Smith – Photography theories and photography education: an historical perspective • David McMahon – as our Photographic Education
1:00pm: Lunch + Tours of Plymouth College of Art
2:15pm: Papers Arrabella Plouviez and Carol McKay – NEPN and the Northern Centre of Photography: a model for photography in HE Heidi Morstang – The Sea and Me: a collaborative arts/ science project exploring marine environmental awareness and communication through photography
3:15pm Tea
3:45pm The APHIES: The 2nd Annual Awards for Teaching in Photography – PechaKucha Style Presentations.
Conference dinner: Ferries will depart from Mayflower Steps at 7pm and 7-30pm for 8-15pm sitting at Le Bistrot Pierre, New Cooperage, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, PL1 3RP Return ferry at 11pm


Plymouth University

9:00am: Registration Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building
9:30am: Provocations: Alternative education models:
• School of Punktum – Ed Thompson and Lewis Bush • Open College of the Arts – Jesse Alexander
11:00am Keynote Speaker: Michael Mack MACK Publishing. Introduced by Professor David Chandler
12:30pm Lunch + APHE AGM (for members)
2:00pm Keynote Speaker Shahidul Alam Pathshala South Asian Media Institute – Classes under the mango tree: building stars on a shoestring budget
3:00pm Finish