Geoffrey Batchen's work as a teacher, writer and curator focuses on the history of photography. He is particularly interested in the way that photography mediates every other aspect of modern life, whether we're talking about sex or war, atoms or planets, commerce or art. This makes photography a particularly challenging phenomenon to study and a lot of Geoff's work addresses the methodological challenge that this study poses for art history. Besides being an expert in the general theory and historiography of photography, Geoff has helped to pioneer the study of vernacular photography (photographs not intended as art, such as snapshots, commercial photos, and objects like photographic jewellery).
Geoff has published extensively, in eighteen languages to date. He is the author of Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography (1997, with subsequent translations into Spanish, Korean and Japanese), Each Wild Idea: Writing, Photography, History (2001), Forget Me Not: Photography and Remembrance (2004), William Henry Fox Talbot (2008), What of Shoes: Van Gogh and Art History (2009, in German and English), and Suspending Time: Life, Photography, Death (2010, in Japanese and English). He has also edited an anthology of essays titled Photography Degree Zero: Reflections on Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida(2009).
Over the past twenty-five years, Geoff has also been involved in the international art world as a curator and editor. He has, for example, worked on exhibitions in Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and the United States and edited academic journals in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. He has given public lectures all over the world and taught in a number of tertiary institutions in Australia and the US, including the University of California San Diego, the University of New Mexico and the Doctoral Program in Art History at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.