Course Title:  01:082:382  Nineteenth-Century Photography

Academic Credits:  3 credits

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites:   None

Core Curriculum: None

Course Description:

Overview of the social, cultural, and art history of photography from circa 1839 to 1900.

The French author Roland Barthes described the emergence of photography in the early nineteenth century as an "anthropological revolution in man's history," a "truly unprecedented type of consciousness." This lecture class aims to examine this proposition by tracing the history of photographic ‘consciousness’ in the nineteenth century as it develops within a number of specific arenas, from the medium’s conception in the late 18th century through to debates in the early 20th century about photography’s relationship to artistic and social issues. The class’s structure will allow for a good deal of back and forth discussion with the professor and among the students. Taken as a whole, the class will look at photography as a cultural phenomenon as much as an art form, critically studying the various arenas that this new medium helped to foster and redefine.

Learning Goals:

  • Throughout the course we will also ask what makes photographic images so compelling.
  • What we expect to see in them and what, if anything, distinguishes a photographic “document” from a photographic artwork.
  • By the course’s close, students should have formed an opinion on these matters and should be able to support this opinion with materials discussed throughout the semester.
  • Most importantly, we will have fun forming and sharing these judgments.

Required and Recommended Course Materials:

All of the assigned readings are available on the course’s Sakai website.


Midterm and final will be given




Students are expected to attend all classes.



Fall 2022 - Professor Andrés Zervigón

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current.  For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.