Photography through the Lens of Magnum (IDSEM-UG 2930)

Learn the history of some of the most widely known works of journalistic and documentary photography over the last seventy years through the lens of a globally preeminent photo collective, Magnum Agency. Photographers at this collective have created iconic documentary images and helped define the field of photojournalism as we know it today, setting an influential tone for style and content. Students will examine this in a variety of topics, including the documentation of war, social justice concerns, women’s issues, and sex work. Along the way, students study the business model of this agency to grasp how its differences, from other photographic enterprises, influence the work produced. We use this agency as a lens through which to address a recent history of photography, the trajectory of visual journalism, and the place of advocacy in documentary photography. We also ask critical questions of this visual documentation, assessing power imbalances, ethical complications, and more. Our studies take us through time and around the world via the medium of photography. Specific photographers we may explore include: Robert Capa, Susan Meiselas, Jonas Bendiksen, Nanna Heitmann, Bieke Depoorter, and Eli Reed. Readings include theory, journalistic accounts, history, and other critical literature. Naturally, we spend a lot of time looking at photos, and may have the opportunity to meet some of these photographers. Students visit NYC galleries, write academic papers, and produce a photo project.

Interdisciplinary Seminars (Undergraduate)
2 credits – 7 Weeks

Sections (Fall 2024)

IDSEM-UG 2930-000 (17099)
09/03/2024 – 10/22/2024 Fri
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Morning)
at Washington Square
Instructed by Walsh, Lauren