American Studies (AMST)

AMSTĀ 444C - Picturing America: The Arts & Social Change

Credits: 4

How has the camera shaped the way we see ourselves, and the world around us? How are photographers and writers--sometimes self-consciously and sometimes unwittingly affected by the definitions of what it means to be an American? What does something American look like? In this class, we'll try to answer that question in all its complexity by looking at both photographic and written documents, from the late nineteenth century, when photography was a relatively new technology, to the present. How can we "read" a photograph? What kinds of ethical and aesthetic concerns are involved in recording "reality?" What is the relationship between art and social concerns? How do photographs tell stories, and with what consequences?.

Attributes: FinePerformingArts(Discovery); Inquiry (Discovery); Writing Intensive Course