HISTART 608 - Theories of Pictorial Autonomy
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing and permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students from all disciplines to photography as a visual, social, historical, and theoretical phenomenon. Through a series of case studies drawn from the history of American and European photography in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, students will be introduced to central methods of analysis as well as key issues in the study of photographs. Among the ways of analyzing and interpreting photographs that we will interrogate are formal analysis, photographic technique, semiotics, social history, critical theory, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, as well as gender and race theory. 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, and photography as a modernist and a postmodernist practice. Photography’s relationship to pornography, violence, advertising, and propaganda will also be explored. Our overarching goals in this seminar are to give students a basic understanding of the key issues and concepts in the history of photography as well as to train them to describe, analyze, and interpret photographs in a way that will allow them to use photographs in their research and scholarship.

Course Requirements:

In order to receive credit for this seminar, students must complete: (1) a 1-page research paper proposal, plus preliminary bibliography; (2) a short, 3- to 5-page paper describing, interpreting, and analyzing a photograph (this paper should become part of your final research paper); (3) a 20-minute presentation on your research; and (4) a 20-page research paper. It is also essential that students come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings.

HISTART 608 - Theories of Pictorial Autonomy
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
M 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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