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2020 SAS summer courses will take place remotely. For undergraduates, please check Penn InTouch for updated summer course information. For graduate and professional students, please consult your schools and programs. Summer study abroad remains cancelled.

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MLA Seminar: A Global History of Early Photography: A Global History of Early Photography

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Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
ARTH 505 942
Primary Program: 
Course Description: 

The MLA seminar serves as an introduction on the graduate level to the objects, themes, and methods of the history of art, including visual and material culture broadly construed. Potentially covering any region and period, as well as the manifold approaches to the study of the arts, the seminar will introduce students to careful visual analysis and visual thinking, as well as training in rigorous academic writing and conceptualization. Topics will vary from semester to semester depending on instructor's expertise.For the Summer 2020 semester, the topic will be: A Global History of Early Photography. After the simultaneous invention of photography in France and England,  photographic processes were rapidly introduced and adopted across the world.   Photography’s spread was fueled by war, exploration and commercial enterprise.   Different cultures around the world embraced the new medium in socially and technologically distinct ways.    In this course we will trace photography’s history in all five continents, from its conception to the beginning of the twentieth century.  This course will consist of lectures, discussions, visits to photo archives at the PennMuseum and PMA, and hands-on demonstrations of photochemical processes.

Programs for every

type of student


Study online,

all summer long


Summer is the best season

to be a Penn student


Penn Summer

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326

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