History and Theory of Photography
Instructor: Kolya Rice
Office: Art 302
Office Hours: by Zoom appointment
Is it possible today to imagine a world without photography? Photographs inform and impact so many aspects of our lives, we know—but how, specifically? This course is a survey of photography from its beginnings in the early 19th century to the digital imaging of today. Online video lectures, course readings and discussion forums will address photography’s multiple histories and theorizations: as an artistic medium, as a social text, as a technological adventure, and as a cultural practice. Key photographers, cultural movements and recurring themes will be explored with close attention to the social and cultural contexts in which photographs were produced, circulated and consumed. Further, we will explore critical approaches to, and complex theories concerning the operations and impact of photography, emphasizing a consideration of how photographic media impacts each of us, today.
The course is "asynchronous," meaning participants will work through sequences of materials and assignments organized in weekly “modules” on Canvas according to their own individual schedules with a great degree of flexibility.
Course content will be delivered through a series of Panopto video lectures and coordinated readings. Online discussion forums, reflective papers on readings, online quizzes and assignments have been designed to engage students with course topics, foster creative and critical thinking, allow dialogue concerning the stakes involved in visual representations, and allow instructor assessment and evaluation of participants’ progress.
1. Robert Hirsch, Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography, 3rd edition (2017)
2. Electronic reserve (ER) readings of special topics articles on Canvas.
3 quizzes: 15% each (45% of overall grade)
Each quiz will require students to write short answers and longer essays on topics covered in the Panopto lectures and readings. These are open notes quizzes—you may return to the lectures and readings when composing your answers. Each quiz will only cover the topics for that 3 week section of the course. In other words, they are not comprehensive. These quizzes will be graded on a 100 point scale.
Summary/reflective essays on reading assignments (35%)
To ensure that participants have on strong comprehension of key ideas from course readings, and to allow me to offer feedback, each week students will write summary/reflective essays on the readings. I will provide you with two “guides” to help you compose these informal essays. First, you will get a specific, if general prompt for each weekly summary/reflective reading. Second, you can refer to the reading guides, or even answer the questions provided in them for that week as you compose your essays. These essays will be graded on a 10 point scale.
Participation in weekly discussion forums (20%)
The topics of this course lend themselves to rich discussion and manifold perspectives. Candidly, this is often difficult to achieve in an online course. My hope is that you will engage with each other, respectfully and thoughtfully in the weekly online discussion forums. Each week I will provide you with specific topics, ideas and issues raised in the lectures and reading. Each student will be required to make one post in the discussion forum before the end of the day on Wednesdays. Once you have posted, you will be able to see others students’ posts. You are required to respond to at least one of these posts from another student by the end of the day on Fridays. You are welcome and encouraged to post/respond as many times as you desire. Your posts/responses will be graded on a 10 point scale.
VeriCite anti-plagairism software:
Notice: The University has a license agreement with VeriCite, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources and work submitted by previous students of this course. I will use the service in this class; all assignments and quizzes you submit will be checked by VeriCite. The VeriCite Report will indicate the amount of original text in your work and whether all material that you quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source is appropriately referenced. All instances of intentional plagiarism will result in zero credit on the assignment, and a report of indicating academic dishonesty to the School of Art and the University of Washington. For further information, visit: https://itconnect.uw.edu/learn/tools/canvas/canvas-help-for-instructors/assignments-grading/vericite/plagiarism-faqs/