GERM 11
Looking at Contemporary Documentary Photography Winter 2020

Cross-listed GERM 11 / COMP 11 / ARTH 11
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

This course explores the evolution of modern documentary photography. We will start with a look back to the work of Lewis Hine, August Sander, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evan and the Magnum Agency photographers. We will then jump to mid 20th century work of Robert Frank’s The Americans, and how Frank’s singular vision deeply shaped the next generation of photographers working the American streets and landscape. Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, Bruce Davidson, Lee Freidlander, William Klein, Danny Lyon, Gary Winogrand are some of the photographers whose work we will get to know well. Discussions will include the new wave of independent and Magnum photojournalists (Phillip Jones Griffiths, Josef Koudleka, Susan Meiselas, Gilles Peress, James Nachtwey, Alex Webb, Ron Haviv and Tyler Hicks) and the wars from Vietnam to Bosnia to Iraq and Syria they cover as well as the personal visions they explore. Insight into the diverse currents of documentary photography will be covered through the work of Bill Burke, Larry Clark, Larry Fink, Nan Goldin, Emmet Gowin, Sally Mann, Mary Ellen Mark, Nicholas Nixon , Richard Misrach, Joel Sternfeld, Birney Imes, Regan Louie, Edward Burtynsky, Laura Letinsky and Simon Norfolk. Our last classes will be an exploration of social media and the proliferation of diverse voices emerging in documentary photography. The class will meet three mornings a week for two hours. Slide presentations will occupy half of the first meetings and give way to discussion of issues in documentary photography. Each student will be required to make a brief presentation to the class on a documentary topic of their choice. A final paper expanding on this documentary topic will be due at the end of the course. Students will be evaluated on their classroom presentation, general participation and their written work. A field trip to New York will let us see first hand works from the collections at MoMA, etc. Adjunct Instructor Bio: Kevin Bubriski’s fine art photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Kevin has received Guggenheim, Fulbright and NEA fellowships. Bubriski has published eleven books of photography including Nepal 1975-2011 published by Peabody Museum Press of Harvard University in 2014 and Legacy in Stone: Syria Before War in 2019 with powerhouse Books in New York.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 12
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: short paper and final project or presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: at the discretion of the instructor
Materials/Lab Fee: $74 and approximately $28 for books
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GERM 11 COMP 11 ARTH 11

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