HISTART 210-001

History of Photography

AH Aud. D
MW 10-11:30am
4 Credit Lecture

Photography has grown up with modern life. Making sense of its history requires an understanding of its broad social functions, its integration with everyday experience, and its complex relationships to the history of art and the history of modernity. This course surveys the history of photography from its public debut in 1839 to the present day, and introduces students to the tools needed to interpret its varied uses and meanings.

Photography comprises a wide range of technologies and cultural practices. The cultural significance of photographs has historically been centered in their persuasiveness as records, yet the medium has also served, from its inception, as a vehicle for fictions and fantasies. Tracing photography's evolution as an art form while attending to its operation within fields like science, politics, sociology, journalism and medicine, we will open the persuasive nature of the photograph to closer scrutiny. Students will learn to analyze photographs as pictures, to incorporate visual analysis within historical argument, and to approach the diversity of photographic production from a broad historical perspective.

Textbooks/Other Materials: none, readings on Canvas

Course Requirements: Attendance at Lecture and Section; class discussion; reading responses; midterm and take-home exams; visual analysis paper

Intended Audience: undergraduates

Class Format: Lecture and Discussion Sections

Estimated Cost of Materials: 0-$50

HISTART Distribution Requirements: D. Europe and the US, 4. Modern and Contemporary

This course fulfils the LSA Humanities Distribution requirement