Topics in Photography and U.S. History
History of Social Documentary Photography
The course will examine the history of documentary photography in the U.S., from the post-Civil War era through the present. Focusing on work by Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Dorthea Lange, Robert Frank, and several contemporary photographers, we will attempt to become familiar with the basic contours of the documentary ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcanonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and with the shifting meanings of the term ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œdocumentaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â itself. We will approach the photographs both as formal texts in an evolving photographic tradition, and as documents of cultural history--that is, as texts that are densely interwoven with the social, economic, political and cultural dimensions of the period in which they were viewed and made.