Histories of Photography (Session A)
Since its emergence in the 1800s, photography has influenced how we present and view ourselves and our world. This course explores photography as a medium, including image manipulation techniques and distribution. Throughout, we pay attention to the medium’s entanglement with painting, motion pictures, science, and politics. We begin with the camera obscura and follow photographic technology development to the present day. We will focus on pivotal moments in photography including the advent of color photography and the digital shift, paying careful consideration to how photographic technology explicates our conceptions of race, gender, and class.
Throughout the course, students will develop their ability to read images as visual texts and write about their observations using formal analysis as a foundation. They will also be able to contextualize the history of photography in the broader frames of modernity and post-modernism. Through the writings of critics including Barthes, Sontag, and Crimp, students will consider their own relationships to images as well as the medium’s impact on culture and politics. The coursework will consist of weekly short reading assignments (1–2 pages), online written peer-discussions, and an online final exam.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) or (C) and Chronological period (III), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.
**This course will be online.