Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Thinking Photography? Post-Modernism, Anti-Modernism and the Politics of Identity
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay, 2000 words  Essay (with list ‘Works Cited’ comprising 10 secondary sources related to/relevant for the critical essay)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Seen examiniation  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resit essay  Essay (with list ‘Works Cited’ comprising 10 secondary sources related to/relevant for the critical essay)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resit exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1) study the development of specific applications of photography from around 1945 to the present

2) develop convictions regarding the debates surrounding contemporary photographic practice

3) cultivate an ability and confidence to examine and compare ways in which photography is discussed and written about

4) develop a critical apparatus to evaluate specific images

6) form ideas relating to the interconnectedness of visual art disciplines

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, self-portraiture, ethnicity and gender. It closes with the advent of digital photography. The period is examined in relation to changes in critical thinking and the applications of specific theories to the photographic form.


1) Introducing the course: Structure, content, delivery, assessment, queries. Reading Photography 1: Modes in Photography.

2) Reading Photography 2: Light Readings - Characteristics of the Photographic Image and Critical Positions

3) Case study: Diane Arbus; Case study: Martin Parr

4) New Land(scapes) for Old - New Topographics; Landscape as a Mirror and Window

5) Exhibition Visit

6) National Library of Wales: Modern Collections

7) Case study: South Africa 1949-1994: Photography, Politics, Race

8) Documentary Photography in the School of Art Museum collections.

9)The Post-Modern Self: Identity and the Camera; Gender and ‘Identity Politics’ in Photography.

10) Ghosts and Shadows: the Numinous in Contemporary Practice .

11) Media and Cyber Culture.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
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