Michelle L. Woodward
Photo Editor / Researcher / Writer

Beirut, Lebanon
email: michelle(at)mwoodward.com
website: www.mwoodward.com
blog: www.photobeirut.typepad.com


2000-2002: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Master of Science Degree, Comparative Media Studies Program, Thesis: "The construction of photojournalism: Visual style and branding in the Magnum Photos Agency"

1992: Washington School of Photography, Bethesda, Maryland
Professional-level classes in black-and-white and color photography

1989-90: The American University of Cairo, Egypt
Junior Year Abroad Program from UC Santa Cruz

1987-91: University of California, Santa Cruz, California
BA Degree in Anthropology, with a focus on the Middle East


October 2002 - present: Photo Editor, Middle East Report magazine, published by MERIP, Washington, D.C.

November 2012 - present: Editor of the Photography page, Jadaliyya e-zine

October 2002 – present: Picture Researcher and Independent Scholar/Writer/Photographer
Research clients have included individual academics, Palgrave Macmillan, International Labour Organization, Solidarity Center.

September 2008 - December 2009: Instructor, Odyssey Liberal Arts Program for Adults, Johns Hopkins University
Students learn to take better photos through studying photography history, techniques of composition, and methods for analyzing meaning in photographs.

September 2007 – December 2011: Instructor, The Compelling Image
An online course for advanced beginner to intermediate photographers, “Developing a Photographer’s Eye

August 2004 - September 2006: Media Coordinator, Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), Washington, D.C.

November 2002 - March 2004: Photo Researcher for Holy Land: Common Ground
A documentary film by Edward Gaffney and Alicia Dwyer. Work included two trips to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

September - December 2000: Instructor, The Media and Technology Charter High School (MATCH), Boston, MA
Co-taught ninth-graders digital video production

January 1999 - August 2000: Staff Assistant and Editor, The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, MIT, Cambridge, MA

November 1997 - August 1998: Stringer Photographer, Agence France Presse (AFP), Amman, Jordan

October 1996 - July 1997: Photo Editor Assistant, TCS Publishing Partners, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
International photo/editorial agency

September 1993 - December 1994: Photo Assistant & Office Manager, Images Only by Lauren, Moraga, CA
Professional wedding photographer

April - September 1993: Writer, editor, and researcher for Prof. Albert Aghazarian, Bir Zeit University, West Bank

March - September 1993: Photographer with Photofile, Jerusalem
Photography agency

October 1991 - December 1992: Editorial Intern & Administrative Assistant, Middle East Report magazine, Washington, D.C.

Published Writing


“After the Decisive Moment: Moving Beyond Photojournalism’s High Risk Mode,” in Film and Risk, edited by Mette Hjort (Wayne State University Press, 2012)


“Creating Memory and History: The Role of Archival Practices in Lebanon and Palestine,” Photographies (Volume 2, Issue 1) March 2009 , p. 21 – 35


"War of Opinion", Photographs and interviews with Lebanese history teachers, Vice magazine, Italy (Anno 3, Numero 6)

“Walls of Beirut,” photo essay and text, Sowar: Journalistic and Documentary Photography (#00, Vol. 1, June 2007)

Photographic Style and the Depiction of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Jerusalem Quarterly (Issue 31, Summer 2007)


"Not All Black and White," Middle East Report 240, Fall 2006. (Review of photography books about Palestine.)

"Hurting Peace, Not Hamas," TomPaine.com, April 14, 2006.

"Sharon Legacy Needs Undoing," Newspaper op-ed distributed by Minuteman Media and published in Topeka Capital-Journal (1/14/06), Garden City Telegram (1/14/06), Northwest Arkansas Times (1/15/06), and Aventura News (1/18-24/06).


“For Arab World Peace, More Voices Need Attention,” Newspaper op-ed co-authored with Waleed Hazbun for Minuteman Media. Published in Topeka Capital-Journal (Topeka, KS, 4/15/05), The Brinkley Argus (Brinkley, AR, 4/13/05), Journal of Turkish Weekly (Ankara, Turkey 5/3/05), Daily Corinthian (Corinth, MS, 4/21/05), Arts and Letters Magazine (Summer 2005).


"Between Orientalist Clichés and Images of Modernization: Photographic Practice in the Late Ottoman Era," History of Photography, Winter 2003, Vol. 27, No. 4.


Review of photography books on Palestine published in Middle East Report 194/195, May-June/July-August 1995.



"Stylistic Developments in the Photojournalism of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Yale University, invited by the Yale Arab Students Association, October 20.

"Historicizing Humanitarian Photography: The Case of Magnum Photos' Visual Style," presented at the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies conference "Humanising Photography," Durham University, UK, September 26.

Particpant in "Fear of Images? Roundtable on Political Science and the Evasion of Visual Culture" at American Political Science Association annual conference, Toronto, Canada, September 3.


“Indigenous Photography of the Middle East and Contemporary Uses of the Archive,” presented at Global Photographies conference, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Ireland, June 27.


"Trends in Photographic Style and the Depiction of Israeli- Palestinian Conflicts, 1948-2004," presented at University of Maryland politics lecture series, May 11. Invited by Prof. Jillian Schwedler.


"Trends in Photographic Style and the Depiction of Israeli- Palestinian Conflicts, 1948-2004," presented at Middle East Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, November.

"Portraits of Community and Identity in Ottoman Photography," presented at Ege University 9th Annual Cultural Studies International Symposium, Izmir, Turkey, May 7.

"Style and Politics in the Construction of Photojournalism," lecture to "Understanding Politics 1" at Goucher College, Towson, MD, April 29. Invited by Prof. Jane Bennett.

"Between Orientalist Tropes and Images of Modernization: Photographing the Ottoman Empire," presented at Society for Photographic Education annual conference, Newport, Rhode Island, March 26.


"Between Orientalist Tropes and Images of Modernization: Photographic Practice in the Late Ottoman Era," paper presented at Middle East Studies Association Conference, Washington, D.C., November.


"Competing Discourses on Photography as a Social Practice: The Situation of Amateurs and Women, 1880 - 1910," guest lecture for the class "Photography and Truth" taught by Susan Slyomovics, MIT.

Photographic Exhibits / Awards

2009: Photos of Beirut exhibited in group show, "Je Ne Sais Quoi," Sub Basement Studios, Baltimore, MD, May - June.

2008: Participated in group show, “Looking Now,” Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, March 16 - June 8.

2005: Photography exhibit of abandoned industry, Baltimore Gallery, January 14 - February 10.

2004: Exhibited in group shows at the Creative Alliance, Baltimore and Maryland Art Place, Baltimore.

2002: Photography exhibit "Cemetery Portraits: A Documentary Project" at the Photographic Resource Center, Members Project Room, Boston University.

1999: Awarded Special Commendation in Portrait Category for the photograph "Boys Take a Break on the Street Called Straight, Damascus, Syria", in the annual juried exhibition at The Arthur Griffin Center for Photographic Art, Winchester, MA.

1998: Photography exhibit of images of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, at the Middle East Studies Association Conference, Chicago.

1997: Photography exhibit of images of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, in Rialto Cinema Cafe, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

1990: Photography exhibit of images of Egypt and Turkey at Cowell Coffee Shop, UC Santa Cruz.

Published Photography

(in addition to agency work, not a comprehensive list, portfolio available for review)

Rough Guides, London, UK: Cover and inside photos in guidebooks to Jordan, Syria, Israel/West Bank, and New England

Middle East Report magazine (MERIP), Washington, DC

Boston Review, Cambridge, MA

Islam: Art and Architecture (Tandem Verlag, 2006)

Sowar: Journalistic and Documentary Photography magazine (Beirut, Lebanon)

Vice magazine, Italy

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs magazine, Washington, DC

Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Covers and inside photos in books on Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon in the Landreeks series

Tyche Tours travel brochure, Amman, Jordan

Hayat Pharmaceutical Company 1999 calendars, Amman, Jordan

The Website of King Hussein of Jordan

Jordan Diary 2000, published by the International Press Office of the Royal Hashemite Court, Amman, Jordan