Instructor: Professor Rebecca Butterfield
This course will offer
a history of photography in the United States and Europe from 1839 to the present.
We will look at photography in relation to social and cultural contexts and
to theories about the function of images. Some of the major issues we will explore
are: photography's affect on portraiture, high art, popular culture, pornography
and social documentation; the uses to which photography has been put by professional
and amateur anthropologists, explorers, politicians and scientists, and the
rise of photojournalism and advertising. We will consider photography in the
context of continuing debates concerning the nature of reality and truth, photography's
status as art or document, subjectivity versus objectivity, and issues regarding
originality, authenticity and power. Our weekly session will generally include
discussion of the reading assignments as well as lectures.