Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Thinking Photography
Academic Year
Semester 2
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Seen examiniation  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Seen examiniation  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Explain the development of photographic practices from around 1945 to the present

Assess specialised debates in secondary literature

Compare and evaluate alternative critical approaches to the photographic form

Apply relevant critical frameworks to analyse and interpret specific photographs and the history of photography

Brief description

This module examines the development of applications of photography to fine art from 1945 to present. It encapsulates the changes in imaging associated with the notion of ‘identity’ through genres such as landscape, documentary, portraiture, self-portraiture, and the domestic interior. The period is examined in relation to changes in critical thinking and the applications of specific theories to the photographic form.


To introduce students to the key developments in fine art photography from 1945 to present, the practices of individual photographers, and the critical tools needed to understand their practice in context.


Week-by-week we will examine the the most important artists, contexts, institutions, and ideas associated with the application of photography to fine art from 1945 to present.

In 6 1-hour lectures, we will explore the key genres of fine art photography in our period (landscape, documentary, portraiture, self-portraiture, domestic interior), focusing on how photographers working in these genres addressed the critical problem of 'identity'.

In 3 2-hour seminars, we will examine the new ways of thinking about photographs and the photographic form that emerged in our period through close reading of seminal texts of photography theory.

In 4 2-hour workshops, we will investigate the practices of individual photographers in detail, using their work as a case study of broader trends and ideas. As an indication you will encounter the work of photographers such as Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sally Mann, Jeff Wall, Martin Parr, Carrie Mae Weems, and Andreas Gursky. These workshops will include investigating examples from the collection of the School of Art and National Library of Wales.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written communication skills
Improving own Learning and Performance Written, critical, IS, and research skills further developed.
Information Technology Writing in an academic context using computer.
Personal Development and Career planning Professional presentation of research and annotated bibliography using MLA style documentation.
Problem solving Contextualizing historical precedent in the history of photography (e.g. visual, cultural, media, conceptual effects of the medium).
Research skills Researching through the use of library resources (National Library, Hugh Owen) as well electronic resources (e.g. the internet), object studies (School of Art collections, NLW collections of photographs.
Subject Specific Skills Being introduced to the specifics of photographic influences on political, social and cultural functions.
Team work Seminar discussion groups and debate.


This module is at CQFW Level 5