Photographic Portraiture: The Practice of Representation

This course will examine the practical and theoretical issues of photographic portraiture. Photography’s pervasiveness has described and defined notions of identity, race, and gender. We will explore the history of the photographic portraiture as well as work of contemporary artists working in a post-modern age where representation and identity are deconstructed. Students will learn technical skills such as large format camera use, studio lighting, and printing. Assignments will explore conceptual strategies, and students will exhibit their work for periodic critique.

Sample reading list:
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
ed. Michel Frizot, Ethnography of Difference from New History of Photography
Andy Grudnberg, Crisis of the Real
James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
Malcolm Gladwell, The Naked Face

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students will lead and facilitate discussions for each lecture and be responsible for research and writing three response papers to the visiting artists and/or Museum exhibitions. These papers should relate the artists’ work to class lectures, readings, and discussions. Students will write succinct artist statements for their projects. The focus of the students’ endeavors will be three photographic projects culminating in a final portfolio.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
VIS 212 or VIS 213.




Wednesday, 1:30 - 4:20 p.m.


Jeff Whetstone