C445

Media, Culture and Politics:

Photojournalism

and Democratic Public Culture

MW 11:15-12:30

Mottier 124


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.
   
   
TEXTS
West, 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 ASSIGNMENTS
The 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:
   

Individual Essay

15%

Final Project

40%

Group Project #1

10%

Group Project #2

10%

Group Project

15%

Attendance

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.
   
   
ATTENDANCE
I 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).
   
GRADING
   
All 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 HOURS
	
	I 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 (lucaites@indiana.edu).
   
   
COURSE CALENDAR
   
NOTE:  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.
	 Collectivism
      
Read: 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 Memory
   
Read: 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