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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: History

HIST20R1: Photographic Histories

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap 40 Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • A pass mark in at least ONE level 1 module in History

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To help students understand the development of photography in the 19th century and its global impact, up to the present day.
  • To consider different approaches to the study of photographic history and the implications of photography for historical and visual culture research.
  • To develop research skills for studying photography and using photographic archives.

Content

  • The module examines the history of photography from its emergence in the 1830s to the mid-20th century and beyond, using a variety of case studies and scholarly approaches. Possible themes we will cover (these are regularly updated) include photographic technology; photography and print media; photographic archives; and the use of photography in a range of fields, including anthropology, archaeology, the sciences, policing and the military, tourism and travel, race and gender, and family, self, and social identities. The module takes into account histories of colonialism and empire, alongside issues of decolonization, for instance through contemporary photographic, archival, and exhibition practices.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To acquire a knowledge of changing photographic technology from ca. 1840 to 1950.
  • To appreciate the impact of photography in a range of social practices and fields of knowledge.
  • To explain the place of photography within the 19th/early 20th-century visual environment, and the emergence of new institutions, businesses, technologies, and ways of seeing that went with it.
  • To understand different scholarly approaches to the history of photography.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Building on and developing skills gained at Level 1
  • Deepening and extending historical understanding through focused, concentrated modules
  • Developing precision, depth of understanding, and conceptual awareness.
Key Skills:
  • The ability to employ sophisticated reading skills to gather, sift, process, synthesise and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources (print, digital, material, aural, visual, audio-visual etc.)
  • The ability to communicate ideas and information orally and in writing, devise and sustain coherent and cogent arguments
  • The ability to write and think under pressure, manage time and work to deadlines
  • The ability to make effective use of information and communications technology.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Student learning is facilitated by a combination of the following teaching methods:
  • Lectures to set the foundations for further study and to provide the basis for the acquisition of subject specific knowledge. Lectures provide a broad framework which defines individual module content, introducing students to themes, debates and interpretations. In this environment, students are given the opportunity to develop skills in listening, selective note-taking and reflection.
  • Seminars to allow students to present and critically reflect upon the acquired subject-specific knowledge, methodologies and theories, and to identify and debate a range of issues and differing opinions. The seminar is the forum in which students are given the opportunity to communicate ideas, jointly exploring themes and arguments. Seminars are structured to develop understanding and designed to maximise student participation related to prior independent preparation. Seminars give students the opportunity to develop oral communication skills, encourage critical and tolerant approaches to reasoned argument and historical discussion, build the students' ability to marshal historical evidence, and facilitate the development of the ability to summarise historical arguments, think in a rapidly changing environment and communicate in a persuasive and articulate manner, whilst recognising the value of working with others and, occasionally, towards shared goals.
  • Assessment:
  • Unseen Examinations test students’ ability to work under pressure under timed conditions, to prepare for examinations and direct their own programme of revision and learning and develop key time management skills. The unseen examination gives students the opportunity to develop relevant life skills such as the ability to produce coherent, reasoned and supported arguments under pressure. Students will be examined on subject specific knowledge.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 17 16 in Term 2; 1 in Term 3 1 hour 17
Seminars 6 6 in Term 2 1 hour 6
Preparation and Reading 177
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Seen open book examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Coursework assessment consisting of a short essay (max. 2,000 words) or assignment of equivalent length 2,000 words excluding footnotes and bibliography. 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative work done in preparation for and during seminars, including oral and written work as appropriate to the module. The summative coursework will have a formative element by allowing students to develop ideas and arguments for the examination and to practice writing to similar word limits.


â–  Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University



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