VAFA196 History of Photography

Department of The Arts: Arts Department Archive

I. Course Number and Title
VAFA196 History of Photography Course No Longer Offered
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information

Museum trip is mandatory.

This course meets the General Education requirement for Arts/Humanities.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This survey course covers the history of photography from its invention in 1839 to the present day. Specific artists, movements, and technical histories will be explored, together with some of the relationships between photography and aesthetics, culture, and social history.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. recognize the major periods and styles of photography from its introduction to the present day;
    2. describe photographic images using appropriate art historical vocabulary (i.e., perform a formal analysis);
    3. identify and explain the subject matter of a photograph;
    4. interpret the possible meaning of a photograph within an appropriate and arguable context (e.g., historical, religious, political, economic, social, racial, gender roles, etc.) [Arts/Humanities]; and
    5. apply research skills using library resources and/or scholarly Internet sites.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    Students learn in class and through museum visits an introductory level of the history of photography from 1839 to the present, including key technical innovations, the practical and artistic explorations of the medium, the evolution of various formal movements (e.g., Pictorialism and Modernism), the creation of social and journalistic documents, and critical/theoretical issues raised and explored in photography. They will learn basic terminology used in the study of visual art forms and apply this vocabulary to photography. Students will examine photography as a reflection of its cultural origin and will explore how photographic images can be interpreted in the content of history, religion, politics, economics, social hierarchies, race relations, gender roles, etc. As appropriate, they will examine how photography has affected and/or reflected aspects of American culture.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    1. required exams that include essay questions
    2. required museum paper with proper use and citation of research materials
    3. optional quizzes
    4. optional writing assignments
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Learning materials may include, but are not limited to: slides, video, digital media, audio, lectures, and demonstrations. Departmentally-selected textbook. See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 1/2010; Revised 02/2011; New Core 8/2015