Ways of Seeing: Introduction to the History of Photography

Spring & Fall 2020, 2021, 2022

Image from Ways of Seeing: Introduction to the History of Photography
Course Details

California State University San Marcos, CA
Department of Art, Media, and Design, School of Arts

This course will address the evolution of the photographic medium as the primary conveyor of visual culture. We will examine the multiple histories of photography from its invention through its artistic, cultural, anthropological, political and social applications. During the semester, we will pay critical attention to photography’s manipulations within the contexts of entertainment, advertising,government, politics, science, journalism and documentaries, everyday life and vernacular practices, and in modern and postmodern art. Additionally, in this course, you will become familiar with the pictorial language of the photographic image as well as the technological development of the medium. Areas of concentration will center on the evolution of photographic images, process, delivery, and meaning.Innovations in photography since its inception in the early nineteenth century have motivated significant changes in the way we represent and interpret our world and our position in it. Photographic technology provided the foundation for the digital and social media that now dominate our everyday lives. We live in a photographically generated culture and are constantly surrounded by and defined through the photographic image. We will carefully explore our relationship with the proliferation of media imagery today. In the process, we will develop a more critical vocabulary for approaching and scrutinizing photographic imagery.