Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-121
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Janice M. Yu (Section 01)
This introductory course will explore historical developments in the medium of black and white photography from its inception in the mid-nineteenth century to the present moment. We will look at this trajectory to examine how photography has been utilized to materialize thoughts on race as well as intervene in racial politics. How is it that a picture can prompt someone to participate in racist ideology? Conversely, how does a photograph become instrumental to social justice? Responding to these questions requires not just an historical study of black and white photography but also a critical inquiry into the formal qualities of this medium and its capacity to enact material change. Together, we will think about and complicate the truth value of photography by performing analyses of historical documents, anthropological portraits, and works by photographers such as Arthur P. Bedou, Seydou Keïta, Carrie Mae Weems, and Dawoud Bey. Students will develop visual literacy skills through close looking as well as research skills needed for the analysis of historical documents and artistic works. Assessment will be based on weekly responses to readings, discussion participation, and either a written or creative final project.
Fall Semester. Professor Janice Yu.
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Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Requiring visual analysis, weekly readings and discussions, final paper or creative project