ARTH 205(F) History of Photography

Although based on a set of distinct technical processes, since its disclosure to the world in 1839, photography has remained a contested field of study. In this introduction to the history of photography from its earliest manifestations until the present, we will consider what makes photography's history disputed by exploring the different and at times conflicting contexts in which photographers have lived and worked and in which their images have been used and have come to acquire meaning. These include, among others, the art world, science, entertainment, the print media, advertising, portraiture, and the government. The aim of this course is not to be comprehensive but rather to facilitate a broad, chronological understanding of the major movements and ideas, the influential practitioners and critics, and the important social, intellectual, and technological developments that have impacted the production and reception of photography both within its historical moment and today. Format: lecture/discussion. Requirements: class discussion, a midterm, a final, and two short papers. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 40.