AHT3440 - 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 TAD3440


The unit traces the history of international and Australian photography from the medium's invention to the 21st century. The unit will investigate the concept of analogue reproduction, especially photography's promise to represent the 'real' world, and consider practices in which the real is consistently manipulated. Photography will be considered across a range of disciplines: art, ethnographic and anthropological photographs; documentary photography; and the use of photography by the legal and medical system. Finally, the unit will address the changes in the production and circulation of images evident in digital modes of reproduction.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will have developed:

  1. A broad knowledge of the history of international and Australian photography;
  2. Critical skills that enable them to identify and analyse a broad range of photographs 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 second year level in Art history and theory, or Theory of Art and Design, Visual Culture or permission from Unit Coordinator.


VSA2440, VSA3440, CLS2440, CLS3440, TAD2440, TAD3440, AHT2440