Freshman Seminar: Thinking about the strangeness of photography
Class will meet on Tuesdays from January 21 to March 3, 2020.
This seminar will introduce students to the complexity of photography as a medium and its history. We will read some of the classic texts on photography from the 19th century to the present. Rather then focusing on photography as a “high art,” we will think about what it means to put this medium in the museum. Throughout the course we will do a lot of looking and thinking about how we use and see photography in our daily lives. This seminar is open to all freshman students and should be of interest to many.
Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities at University of California, Berkeley. She was born in the Panama Canal Zone and specializes in 18th- through 20th-century French and American art and visual culture, particularly in relation to the politics of race, slavery, and colonialism. She is the author of three books: Extremities. Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (2002); Colossal. Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal. (2012); and Enduring Truths. Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance (University of Chicago Press, 2015). She has just completed her fourth book Creole. Portraying France’s Foreign Relations in the Nineteenth Century (forthcoming, Penn State University Press) and has launched a new book project provisionally entitled For Want of Color that examines the pervasive practice of hand-coloring personal photographs from the 19th century to the 1950s.