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ART H 400 A: Art History And Criticism

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Re-Reading American Photographs

Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm
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Juliet Sperling
Juliet Sperling

Syllabus Description:

ART H 400 A / ART H 509: Re-Reading American Photographs


Walker Evans, License Photo Studio, 1934. Gelatin silver print, Minneapolis Institute of Art. 

Photography was invented in Europe, but its history was written in the United States. Not long after its emergence in 1839, critics claimed photography as a particularly American medium whose development was intertwined with the growth of the nation itself. This seminar-style, discussion-based course surveys new scholarship working to untangle the history of US photography from these ideologies of nationalism, imperialism, and exceptionalism. Focusing on the medium’s first century (1839-1939), we will employ a range of new critical and methodological perspectives to re-read some of photo history’s most iconic images. Discussions will center on themes including transnationalism, circulation, materiality, cross-cultural encounter and settler colonialism, movement, and migration.

Catalog Description: 
Courses on special topics, frequently by visiting faculty, which cannot be offered on a continuing basis. Consult art history office for subjects offered.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
November 9, 2020 - 12:16pm