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ARTH 267 Aspects of the History of Photography

  • Mondays, 2:45 - 5:15pm
  • EV 1.605
  • Instructor: Dr. Reilley Bishop-Stall

Through a series of semi-chronological and thematic lectures, photography is approached in this course as simultaneously an art form, a social practice and a political tool – a technology as relevant to science, medicine and journalism as it is to art, advertising and popular culture. Perhaps more than any other artistic medium, photography is employed as frequently by amateurs as professionals and is an integral element of contemporary life. This course is by no means comprehensive, but is intended to introduce students to key themes, figures and movements in the history of photography, as well as attending to less familiar and often overlooked photographers and photographic events. The history pf photography is often portrayed as a history of European innovation and image making that relegates non-white, non-European participants, practitioners and audiences to the periphery of the narrative. With significant emphasis on Canadian and American contexts, this course endeavours to diversify the narrative, centralize often-obscured stories, and examine not only the history of photography, but also the way that history has been told. Above all, this course is designed to help students think critically about photography as a powerful tool that has served and continues to serve a variety of purposes from colonization to commemoration, from science to advertising, from propaganda to resistance and from dispossession to empowerment.

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