Photo of Siobhan Angus

Siobhan Angus

Assistant Professor
    Building:Richcraft Hall, Room 4203
    Department:School of Journalism and Communication


    Siobhan Angus works at the intersections of art history, media studies, and the environmental humanities. Prior to joining Carleton, Angus was the Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art at Yale University. Trained as an art historian, she holds a Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Culture from York University, where her award winning dissertation analyzed how photography and landscape painting chronicled, celebrated, and challenged the transformations enacted by extractive capitalism and settler colonialism on the Canadian Shield. Her dissertation was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal.

    Her research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society, the Council for Canadian American Relations, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, the Science History Institute, and the Paul Mellon Centre. In 2023, she was a visiting scholar at the Yale Center for British Art. Angus is a board member of the Workers Arts and Heritage Center and sits on the advisory board of the Intersecting Energy Cultures Working Group. She has worked on major exhibitions of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, and the Workers Arts and Heritage Center, among others. At the heart of her research program lies an intellectual and political commitment to environmental, economic, and social justice.


    Her book, Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography, (Duke University Press 2024) challenges the emphasis on immateriality in discourses on photography to tell a history of photography that is fundamentally material. Addressing the material links between image-making and resource extraction, the book shows how the mine is a precondition of photography, arguing, in turn, that photography begins underground. Centering histories of colonization, labor, and environmental degradation, Camera Geologica exposes the ways in which photography is enmeshed within—and enables—global extractive capitalism. Photography’s position of imbrication and complicity, the book argues, is relational and material. Exploring the materials of photography, then, is crucial as we attempt to make sense of the social, geopolitical, and economic systems that sustain our world. Reading materiality alongside representation and visual form, Camera Geologica reveals a complex picture of photography’s implication within extractive capitalism—and its potential to resist it.

    She is currently working on a new research project supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant that explores toxicity, environmental racism, and land relations in the Americas through an investigation of petrochemical refining in Cancer Alley and Chemical Valley. Tracing the material and spatial links between plantations, oil fields, and refineries, her research re-evaluates landscape studies within the context of environmental justice.

    At Carleton, Angus teaches courses in visual culture studies and the environmental humanities, with a focus on collections-based research and experiential learning.


    Angus, Siobhan. “Atomic ecology.” October 17 (Spring 2022): 103-123.

    Angus, Siobhan. “Mining the history of photography.” Capitalism and the Camera, edited by Kevin Coleman and Daniel James, 55-73. New York: Verso, 2021.

    Angus, Siobhan. “Frank Speck in N’Daki Menan: Anthropological photography in an extractive zone.” Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art 6, no. 2 (November 2020).

    Samantha Spady and Siobhan Angus. “Histories of the present: Tar sands photography and colonial cultural production.” Energy Humanities and Energy Transition: Current State and Future Directions, edited by Matúš Mišík and Nada Kujundžić, 121-148. New York: Springer, 2020.

    Angus, Siobhan. “El Dorado in the white pines: Representations of wilderness on an industrial frontier.” Radical History Review 132 (October 2018): 47-67.