HIST 303 Fall 2012 From Analog to Digital: Historical Photography in Africa (D)

Cross Listed as ARTH229
As a technology and practice, photography evolved alongside Europe's colonization of Africa. Nevertheless, the image and its archiving were critical facets of the continent's histories of liberation and post-independence. This survey course introduces students to the historical development of photography in Africa and the historical usages of photographs in the late-nineteenth century to recent times. The course begins by considering the photography of the royal courts in North Africa and Christian missionaries in West Africa, before shifting to the role of photography in the making of independent African nations and their liberation struggles after World War II. The course concludes by considering the commoditization of African photography at international biennales and its function for single-party regimes that continue to rule across Sub-Saharan Africa. Key themes include photography's role in shaping historical knowledge and representation of Africa and its people, the appropriation of image making into African creative practices and daily life, the politics of exhibition and archiving, and the ethics of seeing war and social injustice. Students will cultivate their skills in visual analysis through historical contextualization and by frequently engaging with the photographic collections available at the WCMA and Clark Art Museum.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on reading responses, a mid-term exam, and a final paper
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Art History, History, and Africana Studies majors
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ARTH; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
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Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 1358
HIST303-01(F) LEC Historical Photgrphy in Africa (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Drew A. Thompson
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Lawrence 003 1358
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