Teaching

Ryerson University:

School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Winter 2018

Theories of Photography – Contemporary Topics, Lecture course open to all.

As critical and theoretical developments increasingly affect the uses of, and attitudes towards, contemporary photography, an understanding of photographic theory provides a useful basis for interpreting both photographs and writings. This course will examine topics in photographic interpretation and critical methods, with a particular emphasis on texts and issues from contemporary literature on the visual arts.

Collaboration: Photography, History, Curation, Exhibition, Seminar course open to all.

Building around the exhibition Collaboration at the Ryerson Image Centre, this course will consider the gallery space as an active site to explore issues about the history and theory of exhibiting photography. “Collaboration” ‑on display at the RIC from 24 January to 8 April, 2018 ‑ is an alternative pedagogical and curatorial research project led by Wendy Ewald, Susan Meiselas, Ariella Azoulay, Laura Wexler, Leigh Raiford and others. As a group of prominent photographers, curators, and theorists who are engaged with feminist, pro-labour, and anti-oppression struggles in their work, these thinkers are using the exhibition as a space to challenge  the traditional approach to organizing, telling, and exhibiting the history of photography. This will be a dynamic class that challenges students to think about how history, curation, and exhibition shapes the viewer’s experience of photography. Taking advantage of our privileged access to the gallery space, classes will focus on the study of ideas that this group of scholars and artists have put forward in their “discursive” exhibition to ask: how can the history of photography be more inclusive? Students will work in groups throughout the term, using conversations with gallery-goers and visiting experts as tools to create their own alternative histories of photography modeled on the exhibition form.

History of Photography II, Photography Studies Program, 3rd year course.

This course provides a chronological overview of developments in analogue and digital photography from the 1970s to the present. The course treats photography broadly as a cultural activity with emphasis on its historical, documentary, and social value as well as its own aesthetic developments during this period. Attention is given to the relationship of photography to other media and to the development of photographic theory.

Fall 2017

History of Photography, Photography Studies Program, 2nd year course.

This course provides a chronological overview of developments in analogue photography from 1839 through to 1970. The medium of photography will be situated in its various contexts, including social conditions, political shifts, aesthetic concerns, and technological developments. Key figures and important works will be shown and discussed alongside major trends. Matters of influence – the relationship between photography and mass media, or photography and film – will be examined in light of public and private image-making. The course treats photography broadly as a cultural activity with emphasis on its historical, documentary, and social value as well as its own aesthetic developments during this period. Attention is given to the relationship of photography to other media and to the development of photographic theory.

History of Photography II, Film and Photography Preservation and Collection Management Graduate Program, M2 course.

This course aims to teach students about aspects of the history and theory of photography through the material and visual analysis of photographic objects. Based on access to the Art Gallery of Ontario’s collection of photography, we will consider the photographic object in terms of their history of production, use, value, and collectability. Through in depth engagement with weekly readings, this seminar will teach students to consider diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to writing and researching the history of photography.

Advanced Topics in the History of Documentary, Documentary Media Graduate Program, M2 course.

How has environmental documentary media, both in still or moving image, responded to the challenges of communicating political, social, and cultural concerns in the 21st century? The aim of this course is to help student practitioners to develop a strong theoretical grounding in contemporary environmental documentary, which will allow them to critically and practically engage with one of the most prominent forms of documentary media today. Through in depth engagement with a wide variety of interdisciplinary course readings, artworks, discussions and presentations, students will gain a wide sense of the discourse around documentary media praxis through the subject of the environment. We will interrogate how aesthetics, politics, form, presentation, and circulation play an important role in shaping the understanding of documentary media.

Queen’s University:

Landscape/Environment in Art and Visual Culture

Department of Art History and Art Conservation, Winter Term, 2016

First glimpsed in the background of portraits, landscape later emerged as a genre in its own right. Artistic and cultural engagement with the land has been shaped by the changing understandings of our surrounding environment, influenced by instrumentalist, ecological, and philosophical ideas about humanity’s place in nature. By looking at the major developments in the history of landscape, and by reading the important writings of scholars that have shaped and reflected these changes, we will approach the challenge of ‘landscape/environment in art and visual culture’ with critical reappraisal.

Concordia University:

Studies in Contemporary Photographic Arts: Theory and Practice

Department of Art History, Winter Term, 2013.

Through the reading of key primary texts influential to the development of contemporary photography, this course examines the inter-relationship of theory and practice in the medium.  In class discussions and lectures, students were encouraged to debate and reflect on the shifts in photographic meaning, production, and intention during the 20th and into the 21st century and to develop their own understand of the ethical, aesthetic, and conceptual role of the medium in our contemporary world.

Studies in Contemporary Photographic Arts

Co-instructors Elizabeth Cavaliere and Karla McManus, Department of Art History, Winter Term, 2012.

Through readings of key primary texts in the development of photography and the viewing of contemporary photographs, this course examines the influence of various theoretical frameworks on photographic production and the inter-relationship of theory and practice.

Aspects of the History of Photography

Department of Art History, Fall Term, 2011.

In a series of thematic lectures that draw on the history of photography from its invention in the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, this course tells the larger story of photography’s development, highlighting the impact of technological, theoretical, aesthetic, and vernacular developments in the medium.

Landscape and Environment in Art

Department of Art History, Winter Term, 2011.

This course traces the trajectory of landscape art in the Western art tradition as a cultural and aesthetic practice, with a particular focus on the theoretical and conceptual interpretations of landscape as both a subject and a medium through which humans have expressed their relationship to space and place. In the second half of the course, emphasis is placed on the cultural and scientific development of environmental and ecological ideas and their impact on art-making.

 Assistant Teaching:

Montreal: Evolution of a City through Architecture and Urbanism, Dr. Jean Bélisle, Summer Term, 2010, eConcordia, Concordia University Online Learning, Montreal.

Perspectives of Art History. Dr. Kristina Huneault, Fall and Winter Terms, September 2009 to April 2010, Department of Art History, Concordia University, Montreal.

History of Architecture: Renaissance to Present. Dr. Katie Cholette, Winter Term, 2009, Department of Art History, Carleton University, Ottawa.

History of Photography. Dr. Randy Innes, Fall Term, 2008, Department of Art History, Carleton University, Ottawa.

Women, Art and Society. Professor Cindy Stelmackowich, Winter Term, 2008, Department of Art History, Carleton University, Ottawa.

Visual Art and Popular Culture. Professor Julia Pine, Fall Term, 2007, Department of Art History, Carleton University, Ottawa.

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