Véra Léon is a PhD-student in the departement of Educational Sciences, Social and Human Sciences Sorbonne Faculty, Paris Descartes University. Her main supervisor is Professor Rebecca Rogers (Paris Descartes University) and her co-supervisor is Assistant Professor Christian Joschke (Paris Nanterre University). Véra holds a MA in History from the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) de Lyon and a MA in Photography and Contemporary Art from University Paris 8 - Saint Denis, France.
She chose to visit the School Education because of its widely recognized cross-disciplinary contribution to critical studies on visual sources in the history of education. Véra worked with Professor Ian Grosvenor who is a leading scholar in the visual history of education. She presented her work in the DOMUS seminar and also had inspiring conversations with Professors Jane Martin and Ruth Watts, Lecturers Sarah Aiston, Marion Bowl and Siân Roberts..
Research within the School of Education
Véra's research has entailed a historical analysis of photography schools and training in France and Europe between the forties and the seventies. She has explored how discourses about photographic training have been affected by the development of vocational training in the post war period, and how both self-taught photographers and artistic elites resisted it. Through interrogating French, British and European journals, books and archives covering the entire period, Véra has also examined how the idea of visual training (of the ‘eyes’) has been reinforced: first, by the professional photographers' unions and companies seeking to distinguish themselves from amateurs and second, during the seventies, with amateurs fostering the idea of visual literacy.
Véra is interested in the intersections of photography and education, history of vocational training, social and gender history, and methodologies in the history of education among others.
Presentations and publications
She has attended academic conferences and PhD-courses in France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Brazil and Argentina.
Her main publications are:
2018 Véra LÉON, « Clichés de photographes. L’invisible mixité des formations professionnelles », Images du travail. Travail des images, n° 6 (forthcoming).
2018 Véra LÉON, « Devenir photographe dans les années 1960, une histoire de genre et de classe ? », in Sylvie OCTOBRE et Frédérique PATUREAU (dir.), Sexe et genre des mondes
culturels. Publics, artistes, intermédiaires, Lyon, ENS Editions (forthcoming).
2018 Véra LÉON, « L’exposition Bons baisers des colonies: une bouffée d’oxygène aux Rencontres d’Arles », in P. Blanchard, Ch. Taraud et alii (dir.), Sexe et colonies, Paris (forthcoming).
2017 [Special Issue] Eliane DE LARMINAT, Véra LÉON, Alice MORIN, Anaïs MAUUARIN (dir.), « (Re)politicizing Discourses on Photography », Image and Narrative, vol. 18, n° 2.
She organized a couple of international scientific events, such as "Inequalities in artistic training" in February and October 2018 [with M. BUSCATTO, M. CORDIER, J. LALLIER, M. PROVANSAL] or (Re)politicizing Discourses on Photography [avec E. DE LARMINAT, A. MAUUARIN et A. MORIN]