Art history

Album to Algorithm: Photography in Context

Module code: V4037
Level 6
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Workshop
Assessment modes: Dissertation, Presentation

The module provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the place of photography in American and Western European culture from the medium's invention in the 1830s to the present. It pays particular attention to the relationship between photography as art and its applications within mass culture. We consider the different contexts in which photographs are encountered and how these affect issues of status and meaning, along with the impact of technological changes upon the production and dissemination of photographic images. We also examine how historic photographic traditions have been extended and disrupted by more recent practices.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate detailed and coherent critical evaluation of specific visual culture relating to this subject and understanding of the significance of this theme to wider thematic debates in art history.
  • Undertake sustained independent written research and develop in-depth argument taking into account a variety of scholarly perspectives.
  • Synthesize complex scholarly information and independent research coherently in the form of oral presentation.
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of some of the differing approaches of current art-historical scholarship about this subject and how specific examples relate to the overall issues of the topic.