Module Identifier AH31810  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Mr Christopher P Webster  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Other staff Mrs Belinda J Marking  
Course delivery Lecture   10 Hours Lecture/seminars  
  Other   3 Hours Research Presentations  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3 Hours Tutorials  
  Workload Breakdown   84 Hours Study Time (General reading, Essay preparation, and Examination revision)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 5000-7000 words  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. research and compose an essay that clearly demonstrates an ability to contextualize, reflect upon, and critically appraise an aspect of art history (Aims: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)
2. formulate ideas and opinions in a substantiated and orderly manner (Aims: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)
3. analyse particular photographs in order to show an informed awareness of their possible reading (Aims: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)
4. critique specific approaches to the medium of photography and contextualise these approaches in relation to the work of lens-based artists (Aims: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)

Relation to Assessment
Outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4 are assessed through the extended essay and the class presentation where the research for the essay is presented to your peers

Brief description

The module deals with the intimate relationship between the human psyche and the photograph. It introduces concepts related to the historical image in context, and the application of the camera as a powerful tool of construction of ideas. There is a focus on the paradoxical position of photography within the struggle to affirm the spiritual in both the metaphorical allusions of artists using the camera to photographs of spirit extras by those claiming a psychic link with the afterlife.


The module should enable you to:

A. study the development of specific applications of photography from 1839 to the present
B. examine the hypothesis that western culture has used and recognises the photograph as a substitute for reality
C. encourage students to develop convictions regarding the debates surrounding photography today
D. cultivate an ability and confidence to examine and compare ways in which photography is discussed and written about
E. develop a critical apparatus and criteria to evaluate specific images
F. sharpen students powers of judgement
G. form ideas relating to the interconnectedness of visual art disciplines
H. develop a specific program of research and a research methodology
I. undertake a systematic inquiry within a prescribed framework
J. form and test hypotheses


This structure is given for guidance only:
1 Introducing the course and issues.
2 Opticks: light as a visual metaphor
3 Mirror with a memory: the Daguerreotype revisited
4 Memento Mori I: The image of death in the nineteenth century
5   Memento Mori: Conquering Mortality (Early Portraits).
5 Ghost images: The rise and use of spirit photography
6 The window of metaphors: the photograph as God
7 Photography and the body: Joel Peter Witkin a case study
8 Memento Mori II: contemporary images of death
9 UFO's, Bogies and ghosts: imaging the unreal
11 Slide review and examination of the course
12 Class research Presentations

Transferable skills

The module will assist the development of the following academic and transferable skills:

Reading Lists

Jung, C.G (1987) Flying Saucers; a modern myth of things seen in the sky Hull, OLD COLLEGE BF173.J9
Malcolm, J. (1980) Diana and Nikon Mass: David and Godine
Mitford, M. (1963) The American Way of Death London: Hutchinson
Susan Sontag (1979) On Photography London: Penguin
Warwick (1939) Experiments in psychics New York: E.P. Dutton and co
Barthes, R (1982) Camera Lucida London: Cape
Brooke, R Jung and phenomenology Old College BF173.J9.B8
B. Coe and M. Haworth-Booth (1983) A Guide to Early Photographic Processes London: Victoria and Albert Museum
Jeffery, I. (1981) Photography: A Concise History London: Thames and Hudson


This module is at CQFW Level 6