Problems in Modern Art: Contemporary Photography
210 Tappan Hall
Th 10:00-1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

This seminar will examine contemporary art photography since the late 1970s. Focusing on approximately three photographers per session, its aim is to introduce students to the main issues, movements, institutions, and concepts that attended art photography over the past thirty years. We will examine our subjects in terms of formal, technical, and conceptual issues, artistic development, and engagement with society and history. Although theory and methodology are not the main foci of this seminar, we will investigate a number of the theoretical and methodological issues that either influenced contemporary photographic practices or emerged as a result of their development. Key issues that shall be examined include the photograph as a document; the photograph as art; the photograph as icon, index, and symbol; photography and the archive; photography as a modernist and a postmodernist practice; photography and identity; photography and realism; and photography and spectatorship. In order to receive credit for this seminar, students must complete: (1) a 1-page research paper proposal (due in class at the end of our fourth session); (2) a 30-minute presentation on your research; and (3) a 20-to-25-page research paper. It is also essential that students come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings.