Skip to main content


Corinna Wagner - Inaugural Lecture - 27th November

Ode to the Road: Travels with Ghosts

Corinna Wagner - Inaugural Lecture - Ode to the Road: Travels with Ghosts

Event details


In the last century, generations of post-war writers and photographers took to the road, on foot and in automobiles, in North America and elsewhere. On their travels, they documented instances of ordinariness, which now appear as something quite different: a visual and literary archive of slow violence. Contemporary photographers and writers, including myself, have taken to the road to revisit these sites to ‘trace the arc.’ In this lecture, we will explore before-and-after photographs and writing that make visible private ruin and public losses, including that of wild spaces. We will consider, too, how past imposes on present in the form of gothic returns, ‘ghost images’ and ‘zombie waste.’ What do dispatches from the road tell us about where we are now?

Corinna Wagner is a photographer, writer, and Professor of Visual and Literary Arts at the University of Exeter. Her publications and exhibitions explore such subjects as the body, literature and art, the history and practice of photography, ruins and abandonment, emerging and declining natural and built environments.


Queens Building LT1