ARTH 217
Photography and Modernity in the United States, 1880-1950 Fall 2009
Division I
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Class Details

This seminar examines both the ascendance of modernism as the prevalent style for artistic photography and the broader role the medium played in the transformation of American society. During the years covered, photographers reflected the complicated cultural responses to rapid industrialization and urbanization, booming economies and the devastating bust that followed, to the desire for a national style, and finally World War and its aftermath. The class will have the opportunity to carefully examine photographs ranging from hand-crafted prints made at the turn of the century, created to reassert the human touch, to glossy black and white images from later decades whose makers openly celebrated their mechanical medium. Special attention will be given to photography’s dissemination through reproduction in books, magazines, and newspapers. Threading through the course will be the career of Edward Steichen who will be the subject of a one-person show at the college museum and whose career spanned most of the period under consideration.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 1536
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly discussion of assigned readings, two short essays (3 pages each); one longer research paper (10-12 pages)
Prerequisites: ArtH 101 and 102 or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Art History, American Studies and English majors
Distributions: Division I

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