BLS 345: Photography: Contexts and Illusions

This course analyzes the uses and abuses of photography in science, art, commercial culture, documentary, journalism and the other media, and personal collections to examine how photography inevitably crosses, merges, and confuses genres of visual culture. The course will examine intersections of photography with social constructions of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disability and investigate how photography reflects and creates human experience, identity, and notions of self and other. Course activities will include critical readings, exchanges with classmates in online forums, displaying and discussing photographs with discussion groups, essay exams, and a final photography project.


  • Wells, Liz. Photography: A Critical Introduction, 4th ed. Routledge, 2009. ISBN 9780415460873
  • Wells, Liz, ed. The Photography Reader. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 041524661X