Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE History of Photography

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit is comprised of a historical survey of the technical and aesthetic developments of the art of photography. The main areas of concentration are the beginnings of the medium, its inventors, the development of analogue photographic equipment, the various styles of the creative masters, the aesthetic themes and the subjects focused on, the social impact of photography throughout its historical timeline, and also the transition from analogue to digital and its impact on the medium, the practitioners and their audiences.

The study-unit, delivered in a lecture format, will introduce the student to the most important nodes in photographic procedures throughout history, through theoretical as well as an individual practical component, and is aimed to make student participation a role of substance and significance.

The study-unit will promote active discussion and student participation.

Study-Unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are:
- To explore a series of themes that emerge from the understanding of photography as the basic unit of visual communication in an age of continuously changing technologies.
- To inform students on the development of the current image-hungry society through the photographic medium.
- To bridge the gap between the aesthetic, the philosophical and the technological approaches to the photographic image.
- To open new avenues for the critical interrogation of the roles of images in contemporary culture.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Acquire in depth knowledge on the history of photography.
- Gain a profound understanding of its main technological advances as well as its main contributors.
- Understand photography's main aesthetics of repetition, reproduction and copy.
- Acknowledge the various uses and applications of photography.
- Identify and prompt the various protagonists and movements.
- Comprehend the hyper-growth of digital imagery as an eloquent and profound expression of computational culture.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be:
- Able to understand and communicate the language of photography with third parties such as galleries, museums and other art institutions.
- Able to access photographic archives, research centres, exhibitions, talks and events.
- Prepared for further graduate studies in the field.
- Able to address opportunities of involvement in curating and organizing photographic events and exhibitions.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

Frizot, M., Albert, P., Harding, C., (1998), A New History of Photography. Konemann.

Supplementary Readings:

Newhall, B., (1982), The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

Tausk, P., (1980), Photography in the 20th Century. Focal Press.

Clarke, G., (1997), The Photograph. Oxford University Press.

Berger, J., (2013), Understanding a Photograph. Aperture.

Sontag, S., (2001), On Photography. Picador.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%
Project SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Patrick Fenech

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.