Jens Ruchatz

Jens Ruchatz is professor of media studies at Philipps-University Marburg. Since 2016 he’s acted as deputy speaker of the research unit Journalliteratur, in which he leads sub-project 5 »A Media-Oriented Comparison of Fragment Migration: Photographs in Periodicals and Books in the Twentieth Century«. His research interests include history and theory of photography, periodical and serial forms in media, culinary media, history of the interview, media reflection.

My Research


Photographic Migrations. Negotiating the Distinction of Periodical and Book

As inherently reproducible images, photographs are prone to be re-used over and over again, arranged in ever-changing constellations, as Geoffrey Batchen has recently pointed out. This paper intends to show how the uses and re-uses of photographs migrating from periodicals to books does rely on specific conceptions of the media involved, which are played out in the specific ways the layout, writing-image relations and materialities are handled. The use of photographic images is one way in which the journal and the book alike produce and display their particular mediality.

To illustrate and explore this proposition, this paper will examine a few instances in which a particular photo is observed as it ›migrates‹ from periodical to book. These examples are expressly chosen for their diversity, and will range from the re-publication of photojournalistic coverage in James H. Hare’s A Photographic Record of the Russo-Japanese War (1905) to the transformation of Horst P. Horst’s portraits and fashion pictures from Vogue magazine into Photographs of a Decade (1944). The thematic diversity aims at demonstrating that the interest in media distinction holds across different topics and times. The historical range serves to make the point that the media get more distinct as the co-evolve by adapting and developing their layout patterns.

Recent Publications

Vincent Fröhlich/Jens Ruchatz, »Interrupting Pictures. Separating and Connecting Images in Illustrated Magazines – A Typology«, in: Nora Ramtke et al. (eds.), Interrupted Readings – Follow on Readings, Hannover: Wehrhahn 2021 (in print).

Jens Ruchatz, »Künstler von der Kamera interviewt. Serielle Konstellationen in der Zeitschrift und das fotografische Porträt im Zeitalter der Celebrity«, in: Annalena Brandt/Franz Hefele/Hanna Lehner/Ulrich Pfisterer (Hg.), Pantheon und Boulevard. Künstler in Porträtserien des 19. Jahrhunderts. Druckgrafik und Fotografie, Passau: Dietmar Klinger 2021 [=Veröffentlichungen des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte in München, Bd. 55], S. 133-168.

Jens Ruchatz, »Arbeit am Fragment. Fototheoretische Systematisierungen und die Zeitschriftenseite als Fragmentkonstellation«, in: Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft, 46. Bd., 2020, S. 213-249.

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