The topic for C445 this semester is Photojournalism and Liberal-Democratic Public Culture. The course is designed to help you to examine the relationship between photography and liberal-democratic public culture as manifested in the United States, both historically and at the present time. As a form of political life, liberal-democracy articulates a tension between the privatized demands of individuals and the public or civic needs of communal or collective life&endash; a tension that is almost invisible during "normal" times, but which becomes especially pronounced and fractious during times of "crisis." It is the premise of this course that one of the primary, twentieth-century resources for expressing and negotiating this tension in American democratic public culture has been photojournalism The focus of this course, then, is to explore the ways in which photojournalism contributes to the production and (re)production of political norms through its capacity to shape beliefs, motivate action, and constitute identity during both periods of normalcy and crisis in the United States. We will explore these rhetorical and performative dimensions of photojournalism both topically and historically by identifying a number of recurring problems in 20th century public life that underscore key tensions in liberal-democratic public culture (e.g., the status of the individual, the role of the family, the public/private difference, the representation of war and dissent, etc.) and considering the ways in which photojournalistic practices both contribute to these problems and provide resources for engaging them. Our emphasis will be on photographs in newspapers and magazines, as well as in their remediation in digital technologies such as the World Wide Web. This emphasis reflects the assumption that "print" media continue to function as a significant component of the infrastructure of American public culture and that photography in particular plays an increasingly important role within these media in the development of political norms and models of civic identity. Of course, such photojournalistic practices cannot be divorced from the larger visual culture in which they appear, including the conventions and resources of television newscasts, commercial advertising, film, and even amateur or popular photography. The course will thus include (and in fact begin with) the study of the use of photography in everyday life in general as it underscores the relationship between rhetoric, media, and democratic public life.
TEXTSWest, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2000. Kozol, Wendy. Life's America. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1994. Photojournalism and Democratic Public Culture: A Course Reader. Available at Mr. Copy, 10th and Dunn St. COURSE ASSIGNMENTSThe course format will incorporate mini-lectures and class discussion organized around common readings that draw upon representative cases in the history of photography, photojournalism, and democratic public culture. Productive discussion, of course, cannot take place if students do not come to class prepared and willing to participate. It is thus essential that you do readings and other assignments ahead of time and are ready to engage them actively in our scheduled class meetings. Active engagement requires being ready to pose interesting, significant, and/or provocative questions and to advance arguments, analyses, and interpretations relevant to course themes and topics. While much of our attention will focus on representative historical cases of photojournalism in the 20th century, where appropriate we will also draw upon contemporary images, and students are encouraged to bring such images to class as they encounter them with the goal of developing a comparative framework for examining photojournal- istic practices and their effect on democratic public culture. The course will also emphasize both individual and collaborative (or group) learning. Individually, students will write one short essay (4-5 pp.) and a final project (7-10 pp.). There will also be three group assignments, each of which will culminate in a written abstract and outline + a 15-20 minute in-class presentation. Each group will consist of five or six persons. I will assign the first set of groups. At the end of each collaborative assignment the class will decide whether or not to retain groups for the next assignment or to reconstitute them. Detailed descriptions of each assignment will be handed out in class at the appropriate times. The weighting of assignments is as follows:
Group Project #1
Group Project #2
10%Group Projects will receive a single grade that will be assigned to each member of the group. At the end of each group project I will ask each member of the group to provide me with a written, confidential assessment of the other member's contributions to the project. If an individual makes an adequate contribution to the group project, the group project grade will not be allowed to lower the student's final course grade. If the individual contribution is inadequate, then the group project grade will always be included in the final grade. Put simply,if you make an adequate contribution to group projects the group project grade can only help your final grade in the course, it can never hurt it. ATTENDANCEI have labored over the question of whether or not to have an attendance policy in this class. My inclination is to acknowledge that you are all adults &endash; "private individuals," in the model of liberal-democracy that we will be discussing in class &endash; and that you should thus have the right to decide whether or not it is in your best interest to be in class on any given day under the assumption that your decision effects only you. The issue is complicated, however, by virtue of the fact that 35% of your grade for the semester comes from collaborative/group projects. Success on these projects will rely measurably on everyone's participation in class discussions and in-class exercises. Put simply, your individual right to attend or not attend class is mitigated here by your civic obligation to the other members of the groups with whom you will be working. In the interest of balancing rights and obligations we will thus have an attendance policy designed to encourage and reward class attendance: 10% of your grade will be based on attendance. I will begin taking attendance on a written class roll on 1/14. It is your responsibility to make sure that you sign the roll each and every day. Your attendance grade will be calculated as follows: A = 2 or less unexcused absences B = 3 unexcused absences C = 4 unexcused absences D = 5 unexcused absences F = 6 unexcused absences More than six unexcused absences will result in an additional 1/3 reduction of your final course grade per class missed (e.g., from a B to a B- or from a C- to a D+). Excused absences include university sanctioned religious holidays; documented university sanctioned events such as athletic events, conferences and the like; and medically documented health problems. Family functions, job interviews, etc. do not count as unexcused absences. For an absence to count as "excused" you must notify me in writing and prior to the class that you intend to miss (e-mail will work best for this). GRADINGAll grading will be conducted on the standard A to F scale. A grade in the "A" range indicates work that is "outstanding" relative to basic course requirements; work in the "B" range is significantly above basic course requirements, though it may not be outstanding in any or every regard; work in the "C" range meets the basic course requirements in every respect; work in the "D" range fails to meet the basic requirements but is minimally deserving of credit; "F" work indicates a failure to meet the basic requirements of the course, typically by failing to complete assignments or by violating fundamental, University rules and regulations concerning plagiarism (or cheating on exams). Ignorance of the rules and regulations regarding plagiarism and student conduct is not considered a defense against indiscretions. Be sure to read the Student Code of Ethics. If you have questions about plagiarism be sure to ask. OFFICE HOURSI am available to meet with students to discuss substantive matters growing out of class meetings, readings, essay assignments, etc., or to discuss the development and direction of your education in general. My offices hours are listed at the top of the syllabus. I will generally be in my office most of the day on MWF. I am generally not available on Tuesdays or Thursdays. If you need to see me at other times, make an appointment. Please do no feel shy about asking for an appointment if you need one. My home phone is 317-535-0719, but please do not call me there before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 PM. The easiest way to contact me is via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). COURSE CALENDARNOTE: Reading materials marked with an asterisk (*) can be found in the course reader available at Mr. Copy, 10th and Dunn St. 1/07 Introduction to Photojournalism and Liberal-Democratic Public Culture 1/09 The Problem of Liberal-Democratic Public Culture &endash; Individualism vs. CollectivismRead: Putnam, Robert. "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital," Journal of Democracy 6 (1995):65-78. (Available on-line at: http://muse.jhu.edu/demo/journal_of_democracy/v006/putnam.html)1/14 The Discourse of Liberal-Democracy and the Problem of MemoryRead: Bellah, Robert, et al., Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. Berkeley, CA: U of California P., 1985. 3-26, 142-63.*1/16 Photography and the Democratization of Public Culture&endash; The Birth of the Kodak Moment Read: West, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, ix-73. 1/21 No Class &endash; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 1/23 Photography and Memory &endash; The Family in Public Culture Read: West, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, 74-108. *** Essay on Individual Family Photograph Due In-Class 1/28 Photography and Memory &endash; Female Fashion Read: West, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, 109-135 1/30 Photography and Memory &endash; Death and War Read: West, Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia, 136-208. 2/04 Group Report #1 &endash; Kodak Moments in the Public Media 2/06 Group Report #1 &endash; Kodak Moments in the Public Media 2/11 From Photography in "Everyday Life" to Photojournalism in American "Life" Read: Kozol, Wendy. Life's America. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1994. 1-50. 2/13 Nationalism and the American Family Read: Kozol, Wendy. Life's America. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1994. 51-95. 2/18 Interlude I: Reading The Image Read: Kress, Gunther and Theo van Leeuwen. Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge, 1996. 119-157, 181-229.* 2/20 Interlude II: Reading The Image &endash; In Class Project 2/25 Visualizing the Public as Private Read: Kozol, Wendy. Life's America. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1994. 97-138. 2/27 Viewing Social Change Through the Gaze of Liberal-Democracy Read: Kozol, Wendy. Life's America. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1994. 139-188. 3/04 Group Report #2 3/06 Group Report #2 3/11 No Class &endash; Spring Break 3/13 No Class &endash; Spring Break 3/18 The Iconic Photograph and Liberal-Democratic Public Culture Read: Hariman, Robert and John Louis Lucaites, "Introduction," Icons of Liberal Democracy, unpub. ms. (This will be distributed as an e-mail attachment prior to Spring Break) 3/20 Representing/Constituting War and Dissent in Liberal-Democracy &endash; Cases Studies in Iconicity Read: Griffin, Michael. "The Great War Photographs: Constructing Myths of History and Photojournalism," in Picturing the Past: Media, History & Photography. Ed. Bonnie Brennen and Hanno Hardt. Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1999. 122-57. Fussell, Paul. "The War in Black and White," The Boy Scout Handbook and Other Observations. New York: Harper and Row, 1982. 230-44. (This will be distributed in class and/or on-line). 3/25 Representing/Constituting the Body in War and Dissent Read: Taylor, John. Body Horror: Photojournalism, Catastrophe and War. New York: NYU P, 1998. 129-56.* 3/27 Representing/Constituting War: America's "Greatest Generation" and the "The Good War"; or "Generation X" Comes of Age Read: Lucaites, John Louis and Robert Hariman, "Performing Civic Identity: The Iconic Photograph of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima," unpub. ms., 1-43. (This will be distributed as an e-mail attachment following spring break). Rich Marin, "Raising A Flag For Generation W.W. II," New York Times, April 23, 2001. (Will be distributed in-class.) Carlson, Margaret. "Buying As A Patriotic Duty." Time, October 8, 2001.* 4/01 Representing/Constituting War Continued: "The Bad" War Read: Hariman, Robert and John Louis Lucaites, "Accidental Napalm," unpub. Ms. 4/03 Representing/Constituting War Continued: From "The Bad War" to "Virtual" War Read: Franklin, H. Bruce, Vietnam and Other Fantasies. Amherst, MA: U of MASS P, 2000. 5-24. Taylor, John. "The Body Vanishes in the Gulf War." Body Horror: Photojournalism, Catastrophe, and War. New York: NYU P, 1998, 157-88. 4/08 Representing/Constituting Dissent in Liberal-Democratic Public Culture Read: Hariman, Robert and John Louis Lucaites. "Dissent and Emotional Management in a Liberal-Democratic Society: The Kent State Iconic Photograph," Rhetoric Society Quarterly 31 (2001): 5-21. 4/10 Representing/Constituting Dissent in a Global Public Culture Read: Perlmutter, David D. "The Consensus of Outrage: Tiananmen, 1989," Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Icons of Outrage in International Crises. Westport, CT: Praeger, 61-90. 4/15 Group Report #3 4/17 Group Report #3 4/22 Democratic Public Culture in an Age of Digital Remediation Read: Martin Lister, "Photography in the Age of Electronic Imaging," Photography A Critical Introduction, 2nd ed., ed. Liz Wells. New York: Routledge, 1997. 303-48. 4/24 Course Wrap-up and Evaluations; Discussion of Final Projects *** Final Project Due In-Class Return to John Lucaites Home Page