Carolin GÖRGEN

Maîtresse de conférences en civilisation américaine, Sorbonne Université
Thèmes de recherche

Photographie américaine ; histoire de l’art américain ; l’Ouest américain et la Californie


Carolin Görgen is an historian of photography and the American West. After having studied in the Netherlands, France, and the U.S., she obtained her PhD from the University Paris-Diderot and the École du Louvre in 2018. Her thesis explored the history of the California Camera Club, the largest photographer network on the West Coast around the turn of the century. Her work is rooted in extensive archival research, covering a variety of photographic objects as well as manuscripts. She is particularly interested in the exchange networks and material culture of American art c. 1900, as well as the environmental traces of artistic practice and archives. Her work has received support from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Beinecke Library at Yale, the Huntington Library, and the Amon Carter Museum. She recently obtained the research prize of the German Photographic Society and the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation.  

Publications significatives

Görgen, Carolin, and Camille Rouquet, eds. “Camera Memoria: Photographic Histories from the Margins,” Miranda: Journal of the English-speaking World, No. 25 (2022)

Görgen, Carolin. “Arnold Genthe and the California Camera Club,” in Among the Ruins: Arnold Genthe’s Photographs of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Firestorm, eds. Karin Breuer and James A. Ganz (San Francisco and Petaluma: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Cameron & Co., 2021).

Görgen, Carolin. “Californian Women Photographers in the U.S. Archival Landscape: Toward a More Inclusive History of American Photography,” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2021.

Görgen, Carolin. “Toward a ‘History of Uses’ – Photographic Dissemination in the early twentieth century American West,” in Factuality and Uses of Early Photography, eds. Tatjana Bartsch et al. Berlin and Leipzig: German Archeological Institute & Harrassowitz Verlag, 2021.

Görgen, Carolin. “Everyday Photography? Politicizing ‘vernacular’ photo albums of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906,” Interfaces – Image Text Language, no. 43 “Vernacular Ways,” 2020.

Görgen, Carolin. “‘San Francisco on a thousand plates’ – New perspectives on photo-historical research around 1900 through the lens of the California Camera Club, ” Interfaces – Image Text Language, no. 41 “Images/Memories,” 2019.                         

Görgen, Carolin. « Des cendres à la nouvelle métropole. Le California Camera Club et la reconstruction photographique de San Francisco au lendemain du tremblement de terre et de l’incendie de 1906 », Transbordeur  Photographie Histoire Société, no. 2, 2018.

Collaborations scientifiques

Membre du comité de rédaction de la revue Photographica (revue biannuelle, bilingue), sponsorisée par le Ministère de la Culture et les Éditions de la Sorbonne, depuis 2019

Co-organisatrice du séminaire “Camera Memoria” (LARCA/Université Paris Cité) avec Dr. Camille Rouquet, 2016-2019



2023 Beinecke Library, Yale University: Archibald Hanna, Jr. Fellowship in American History

2021 Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas: Davidson Family Fellowship

2019 The Huntington Library, Art Museum & Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California: Short-term fellowship

2017 Terra Foundation for American Art: Summer residency, Giverny, France

2016 Terra Foundation for American Art: Travel grant to the United States