AHT2440 - Photography: History and theory - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Art, Design and Architecture

Organisational Unit

Department of Fine Arts


Dr Daniel Palmer

Not offered in 2017


This unit was formerly coded TAD2440


This unit will offer a history of photography from its invention in the mid-nineteenth century through to the present. It will also offer a survey of the various attempts to theorise the new medium of photography. The unit will conclude with a detailed consideration of the new "digital" era we are now living in, in which not only is "photography" the dominant artistic medium and technique but the whole world becomes in effect "photographic". Today it is arguable that "photography' in the form of the digital not only determines the making of images but also their circulation and reception.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will have developed:

  1. A broad knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of photography;
  2. Critical skills that enable them to analyse a broad range of photographic texts and contexts;
  3. An understanding of the critical and theoretical debates related to photography in society;
  4. An understanding of two different modes of reproduction: the analogue and the digital;
  5. An understanding of the ways in which technologies of reproduction change modes of representation.


Assignment 1,500 words (40%)

Research essay 2,500 words (60%)

Workload requirements

12 hours per week including 3 contact hours and 9 hours of independent study or equivalent

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


12 credit points at first year level in Art history and theory, or Theory of Art and Design, Visual Culture or permission from Unit Coordinator.


VSA2440, VSA3440, CLS2440, CLS3440, TAD3440, AHT3440