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80027 Photographic History and Theory

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

The subject provides a contextual framing for understanding photography as a technology and visual medium for the production of images in culture. Students are introduced to models of vision since the Renaissance that have shaped, and also rendered problematic, the understanding of perception and image making. Photography as a technology and medium is introduced within this context, and also differentiated from techniques and technologies that preceded it historically. In this subject major theorists of photography are introduced, and their differing perspectives canvassed. Through an introduction to the relationships between still and moving photography, digital and analogue technologies are introduced, and different modes of image production are explained within their historical context.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the subject material and the technical history of photography, including the early photographic technologies and concepts that contributed to the history of photography.
2. Demonstrate competence in written and oral communication, including the capacity to discuss concepts, photographic technologies and their historical impacts.
3. Demonstrate competence in constructing and defending an argument.
4. Develop research and referencing skills, including use of UTS library and AV resources.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes to the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to communicate ideas effectively in a variety of ways, including oral, written and visual (C.2)
  • Ability to source, evaluate and utilise appropriate academic and professional references (R.1)
  • Ability to independently select and apply appropriate research methodologies to carry out investigative study (R.2)
  • Ability to analyse, synthesise and formulate complex ideas, arguments and rationales and use initiative to explore alternatives (R.3)
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge of photographic history and theory and to place creative practice within a contextual framework (R.4)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject also contributes to the faculty's five CAPRI Graduate Attribute Categories (see 'Graduate Attribute Development') and the following course intended learning outcomes:

C = Communication and group work

A = Attitudes and values

P = Practical and professional

R = Research and critique

I = Innovation and creativity

Ability to communicate ideas effectively in a variety of ways including oral, written and visual (C.2)

Ability to source, evaluate and utilise appropriate academic and professional references (R.1)

Ability to independently select and apply appropriate research methodologies to carry out investigative study (R.2)

Ability to analyse, synthesise and formulate complex ideas, arguments and rationales and use initiative to explore alternatives (R.3)

Ability to demonstrate knowledge of photographic history and theory and to place creative practice within a

contextual framework (R.4)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is delivered through a weekly 1 hour lecture and two hour tutorial. This subject is taught through face-to-face classes that incorporate a range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, discussions, presentations, activities and independent reading.

Lecture: Each week you will familiarise yourself with a range of different texts and audio visual material that relate to the lecture topic. These are included below in the week to week descriptions and you will need to check on your activities and preparation requirements before attending the lecture. You will then attend interactive lectures (1 hour) where you must be prepared to ask and answer questions, and briefly discuss issues in a group. It is important that you prepare for the lecture by becoming familiar with the lecture material as optimal transmission and retention of knowledge will only be achieved with a level of familiarity with the topic.

Tutorial (2 hours after the lecture): will give you the opportunity to discuss questions and work on tutorial activities on the weekly topic with your peers and tutor. You will also have an opportunity to collaborate on projects directly relevant to key ideas, and develop your skills as a researcher with assistance from your mentors. Tutorials are there to provide you with the opportunity to problem solve and work through ideas encountered in preparatory reading and research order to fully comprehend the week’s topic. Your tutors will help facilitate discussion and offer insight where needed but as students you are responsible for generating the mood and liveliness of the tutorial.

Lectures and tutorials will make use of online platforms and discussion boards.

This subject includes active and collaborative learning experiences where ongoing feedback is provided weekly in all on campus engagements such as interactive lecture sessions, studios and labs. It is therefore imperative that students prepare for attend at least 80% of all on-campus engagements specified in the program. Records of attendance will be kept.

You are expected to come to tutorials prepared. This means doing the readings, noting down questions prepared for the tutorial and being ready to discuss the topic. If you are not adequately prepared for the tutorials you will be marked as absent.

This subject involves a significant degree of reading and writing. If you are concerned about your literacy skills, you are encouraged to contact the UTS Higher Education Language and Presentation Support (HELPS) Service:

http://www.uts.edu.au/current-students/support/helps/about-helps

The assessments covered this session are designed to improve your writing and oral presentation skills.

Content (topics)

This subject introduces students to photographic history and theory.

Topics include:

  • early photographic technologies
  • photography and its relationship to modernity
  • the European avant-gardes (such as Dada, Surrealism and the Dusseldorf School)
  • photography and post-modernity
  • appropriation and more recent technological, thematic and contextual developments

The following concepts and themes are introduced:

  • Cultural construction and technological determinism
  • Image magic
  • The archive, systems of classification and the body
  • The rise of ocularcentrism and photography
  • The optical unconscious
  • Realism
  • Modernity
  • Modernism, Postmodernism.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Assessment, analysis and presentation

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

C.2, R.1, R.3 and R.4

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 35%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Presentation skills - how well you engage with your audience and take on a creative use of visual and technical supports (this doesn’t mean go crazy with powerpoint animations, it just means use your visual material or props with consideration and ensuring preparation) 25 2 C.2
The level of research that has gone into the presentation and inclusion of scholarly references in order to demonstrate you have researched as much as you can about your topic. 25 4 R.1
The structure of your presentation, such as how well you deliver the information about your topic, you will be marked on the cohesiveness of your presentation from the start to the finish. 25 3 R.3
Demonstrated understanding of the topic and an appreciation for how it fits into the history of photography - you will need to make this explicit to your audience members 25 1 R.4
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Essay

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3 and 4

This task also addresses the following course intended learning outcomes that are linked with a code to indicate one of the five CAPRI graduate attribute categories (e.g. C.1, A.3, P.4, etc.):

R.1, R.2 and R.3

Type: Essay
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 65%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Evidence of research by provision of an annotated bibliography, footnotes adequately referenced using Harvard style with no grammatical or spelling errors. Good referencing will be rewarded, poor or no referencing will be penalised. 25 4 R.1
Breadth and depth of research - this means researching, referencing and integrating primary and secondary texts into your essay, referring to scholarly journal articles, and showing adequate research of visual photographic examples 25 4 R.2
Ability to construct, develop and maintain an argument through the essay and attempt to structure the argument - evidence of an attempt to analyse the arguments 25 3 R.2
Ability to synthesise information gathered in the course, as well as a demonstrated attempt to further this knowledge by independent research 25 2 R.3
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

References

Armstrong, C. M. (1998). Scenes in a library : reading the photograph in the book, 1843-1875. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

Barrett, T. (2006). Criticizing photographs : an introduction to understanding images. New York ; Sydney, McGraw-Hill.

Barthes, R. (1981). Camera lucida : reflections on photography. New York, Hill and Wang.

Batchen, G. (1997). Burning with desire : the conception of photography. Cambridge, Mass., The MIT Press.

Batchen, G. (2009). Photography degree zero : reflections on Roland Barthes's Camera lucida. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

Baudrillard, J. (1994). The art of disappearance. Brisbane, Qld., Institute of Modern Art.

Berger, J. (1972). Ways of seeing. London, Harmondsworth, British Broadcasting Corporation; Penguin.

Berger, J., J. Mohr, et al. (1982). Another way of telling. London, Writers and Readers.

Bourdieu, P. (1990). Photography, a middle-brow art. Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press.

Burgin, V. (1982). Thinking photography. London, Macmillan.

Cadava, E. (1997). Words of light : theses on the photography of history. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.

Dagognet, F. o. (1992). Etienne-Jules Marey : a passion for the trace. New York, Cambridge, Mass., Zone Books

Elkins, J. (2007). Photography theory. New York, Routledge.

Finn, D. (2000). How to look at everything. New York, Harry N. Abrams.

Flusser, V. m. (2000). Towards a philosophy of photography. London, Reaktion.

Friday, J. (2002). Aesthetics and photography. Aldershot, Ashgate.

Fried, M. (2008). Why photography matters as art as never before. New Haven, Conn. ; London, Yale University Press.

Gelder, H. v., H. Westgeest, et al. (2008). Photography between poetry and politics : the critical position of the photographic medium in contemporary art. [Leuven, Belgium] [Ithaca, N.Y.], Leuven University Press ; Distributed in North America by Cornell University Press.

Gernsheim, H. (1956). L. J. M. Daguerre : The history of the Diorama and the Daguerreotype / by Helmut and Alison Gernsheim. London Secker and Warburg,.

Gernsheim, H. (1982). The origins of photography. London, Thames and Hudson.

Green, D. (2003). Where is the photograph? Maidstone, Kent, Brighton, Photoworks ; Photoforum.

Greenleaf, A. R. (1950). Photographic optics.

Guy, N. K. (2008). The photographer's dictionary : an A to Z of technical terms explained. Crans-Pres-Celigny ; Hove, RotoVision.

Hamilton, P., R. Hargreaves, et al. (2001). The beautiful and the damned : the creation of identity in nineteenth century photography. Aldershot, Hampshire, [England] ; Burlington, VT, Lund Humphries.

Hirsch, M. (1997). Family frames : photography, narrative, and postmemory. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.

Hockney, D. (2006). Secret knowledge : rediscovering the lost techniques of the old masters. London, Thames & Hudson.

Johnston, P. A. (1997). Real fantasies : Edward Steichen's advertising photography. Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press.

Lury, C. (1998). Prosthetic culture : photography, memory and identity. London, Routledge.

Malcolm, J. (1980). Diana & Nikon : essays on the aesthetic of photography. Boston, D. R. Godine.

Maynard, P. (1997). The engine of visualization : thinking through photography. Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University Press.

Moholy-Nagy, L. s. (1987). Painting, photography, film. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press.

Newhall, B. (1949). The history of photography from 1839 to the present day. New York,, Museum of Modern Art.

Newhall, B. (1983). Latent image : the discovery of photography. Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press.

North, M. (2005). Camera works : photography and the twentieth-century word. New York, Oxford University Press.

Price, M. (1994). The photograph--a strange confined space. Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press.

Prosser, J. (2005). Light in the dark room : photography and loss. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.

Roberts, J. (1998). The art of interruption : realism, photography, and the everyday. Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Rosler, M. (2004). Decoys and disruptions : selected writings, 1975-2001. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press in association with International Center of Photography, New York.

Savedoff, B. E. (2000). Transforming images : how photography complicates the picture. Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press.

Schaaf, L. J. (1992). Out of the shadows : Herschel, Talbot & the invention of photography. New Haven, Yale University Press.

Shawcross, N. M. (1997). Roland Barthes on photography : the critical tradition in perspective. Gainesville, University Press of Florida.

Shore, S. (2007). The nature of photographs. London, Phaidon.

Sontag, S. (1977). On photography. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Squiers, C. (1990). The Critical image : essays on contemporary photography. Seattle, Bay Press.

Strauss, D. L. and J. Berger (2003). Between the eyes : essays on photography and politics. New York, Aperture.

Sugimoto, H. and T. Kellein (1995). Hiroshi Sugimoto: time exposed. London ; New York, Thames and Hudson.

Van Lier, H. and A. Rommens (2007). Philosophy of photography. Leuven, Belgium, Leuven University Press.

Wells, L. (2003). The photography reader. London, Routledge.

Wilder, K. E. (2009). Photography and science. London, Reaktion.

Zakia, R. D. (2002). Perception and imaging. Boston, MA, Focal Press.