Photography and Truth >> Content Detail



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Photographs in anthropology serve many purposes: as primary data, illustrations of words in a book, documentation for disappearing cultures, evidence of fieldwork, material objects for museum exhibitions, and even works of art. Topics include: the relationships between subject and treatment of image, between art and photography and ethnographic documentation, the role of a museum photograph and its caption, the social practice of "taking pictures" and a case study of photographing women in the Middle East and North Africa.

Required Texts

Amazon logo Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977. ISBN: 9780374226268.

Amazon logo ———. Regarding the Pain of Others. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. ISBN: 9780374248581.

Amazon logo Alloula, Malek. The Colonial Harem. Minnesota, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1986. ISBN: 9780816613847.

Amazon logo Berger, John, and Jean Mohr. Ways of Seeing. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1990. ISBN: 9780140135152.

Amazon logo Newhall, Beaumont. The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present. Bulfinch; 5 edition, 1982. ISBN: 9780870703812.

Course Requirements

  1. All required readings and films: You must complete the assigned readings before the class and come to class prepared to discuss.
  2. Required attendance at class meetings.
  3. One exam, midterm - open book, 2 parts - essay and definitions.
  4. Assignments: 4 short response papers, one final paper/photography project.


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