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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: History of Photography in Ireland (PGHC11395)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to the advanced study of photography in Ireland. From the invention of photography in the 1830s to the present day, the medium has provided artists, journalists and amateurs with the ability to document the world around them in new ways. During this time, the uses and technologies of photography have changed considerably. Studio portraits and Kodak 'snaps' have inscribed photography as a crucial part of designating and solidifying familial relationships. Photography has also had an importance in the public sphere as a way of documenting social problems including housing shortages, rural poverty, and emigration. During the upheavals of the Northern Ireland Troubles, photographers recorded scenes of violence in order to challenge RUC brutality, while amateurs also formed photography collectives in order to fashion alternative visual representations of the province. Photography has also played a role in post-conflict (and post-Celtic Tiger) Ireland, through the interrogation of older identities and certainties.
While representations of Ireland have often been characterized as a product of Ireland's colonial relationship to Britain, an examination of the history of photography complicates this story, situating images within the context of their production, reception, and dissemination. Furthermore, a turn towards photography provides us with a new approach to Irish history, allowing us to consider questions of state power, self-expression, and commerce in Ireland.
The history of photography also raises important questions regarding our approach to the past. Should photography be seen as a social practice? A form of representation? Or should photographs be read as objects that move through networks of exchange? How have practitioners and historians understood the veracity of photographic representation? Each session will address a particular theme, problem, or interpretive issue in the history of photography, which will be discussed with reference to specialist texts and images drawn from online archives and databases.
Course description Week 1: Introduction: Course Map and Introduction to Photographic Histories
Week 2: Photographic Invention in Nineteenth Century Ireland [asynchronous forum seminar]
Week 3: Photographing the West of Ireland [synchronous forum seminar]
Week 4: British Rule and Photography in Nineteenth-Century Ireland [asynchronous forum seminar]
Week 5: Photographs and Propaganda Wars during the Irish Revolution [synchronous seminar]
Week 6: Photography Clubs and Camera Shops [asynchronous forum seminar]
Week 7: Women and Photography in Ireland [synchronous seminar]
Week 8: Tourist Imagery and Irishness [asynchronous forum seminar]
Week 9: Photographers and Images during the Northern Ireland Troubles [synchronous seminar]
Week 10: Representing Ireland since the 1990s [asynchronous forum seminar]
Week 11: Concluding Session: Changing Representations of Ireland, 1840-2000 [synchronous seminar]
Asynchronous forum discussions will be supplemented by front-loaded video lectures of 10 minutes duration introducing the topics to be discussed. In addition to this there will be a one-hour virtual office slot each week, via Skype.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 12/01/2015
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One 1000 word criticism of a photograph (20%), and one 3,000 word essay (80%). These pieces will be submitted via Learn and marked using TurnitIn. Online versions of the postgraduate essay feedback form will be employed on the course.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of some of the most important photographers and photographic movements in Britain and Ireland since the nineteenth century;
- independently identify and pursue research topics using photographs as sources;
- exhibit an understanding for different conceptual approaches for the study of photographic history;
- analyse and contextualise primary source material;
- arrive at independent, well-argued, well-documented and properly referenced conclusions in their coursework essay;
- demonstrate their skills in group discussion, collaborative exercises (such as with wikis or group essays) and oral presentations;
- demonstrate their written skills, their analytical and theoretical skills in coursework;
- demonstrate their ability to reflect on the reading & research they have undertaken and provide feedback for their peers.
Reading List
The following three books will be provided to the students, paid for from their fees:
Justin Carville, Photography and Ireland (London, 2011)
E. Flannery et al. (ed.) Ireland in Focus: Film, Photography, and Popular Culture (Syracuse, 2009)
Ciara Breathnach (ed.), Framing the West: Images of Rural Ireland 1891-1920 (Dublin, 2007)
E-books will be available through 'Cambridge Histories Online', 'Cambridge Books Online' and 'Oxford Scholarship Online'.
Barthes, Roland, Camera Lucida (1980; English trans. London, 1993)
Baylis, Gail (2012) 'Exchanging looks: Gap girls and colleens in early Irish tourist photography', Early Popular Visual Culture (2012)
Baylis, Gail and Edge, Sarah, 'The Great Famine: absence, memory and photography', Cultural Studies (2010)
Baylis, Gail, 'Metropolitan Surveillance and rural opacity: secret photography in late-nineteenth-century Ireland', History of Photography (2009)
Bourdieu, Pierre, Photography: A Middlebrow Art (London, 1996)
Carville, Justin, 'My Wallet of Photographs': Photography, Ethnography and Visual
Hegemony in John Millington Synge's the Aran Islands, Irish Journal of Anthropology (2007)
Cullen, Fintan, 'Marketing National Sentiment: Lantern Slides of Evictions in Late Nineteenth┐century Ireland' History Workshop Journal (2002)
Curtis, L. Perry, 'The Battering Ram and Irish Evictions, 1887-90 Eire-Ireland' (2007)
Edge, Sarah, 'Photographic History and the Visual Appearance of an Irish Nationalist Discourse', Victorian Literature and Culture (2004)
Graham, Colin, 'Luxury, Peace and Photography in Northern Ireland' Visual Culture in Britain (2009)
Hanna, Erika, 'Reading Irish Women┐s Lives in Photograph Albums: Dorothy Stokes and Her Camera, 1926-53', Cultural and Social History (2014)
Herron, Tom, and Lynch, John, "Like 'Ghosts who Walked Abroad': Faces of the Bloody Sunday Dead," Visual Culture in Britain (2006)
Loftus, Belinda, 'Photography, Art, and Politics: How the English make Pictures of Northern Ireland's Troubles', Circa (1983)
Rose, Gillian, 'Practising photography: an archive, a study, some photographs and a researcher' Journal of Historical Geography (2000)
Rose, Gillian, Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials (London, 2001)
Sontag, Susan, On Photography (London, 1979)
Taylor, John, War Photography: Realism in the British Press (London, 1991)
Tinkler, Penny, Using Photographs in Social and Historical Research (Manchester, 2013)
Photographs will also be available via numerous online archives, including the National Library of Ireland, Getty Images, and Magnum Online.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the past that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- ability to analyse the origins and development of current political questions
- a command of bibliographical and library- and/or IT-based online and offline research skills
- a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to question and problematize evidence; considering the relationship between evidence and interpretation
- understanding ethical dimensions of research and their relevance for human relationships today
- ability to marshal arguments lucidly, coherently and concisely, both orally and in writing
- ability to deliver a paper or a presentation in front of peer audiences
- ability to design and execute pieces of written work and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the final assessment essay of 3,000 words
KeywordsHistory Photography Ireland
Course organiserDr Erika Hanna
Tel: (0131 6)51 5215
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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