24 | CCN: 25477

Freshman Seminars

How to Read a Photograph

Instructor: Michael Mascuch,

1 Units

M 12:00-1:00 PM, Dwinelle 7415

It is frequently said that 1. "a picture is worth a thousand words"; 2. "photography is a universal language"; and that 3. "seeing is believing." In this discussion-based course, we will put these cliches to the test, first by acquainting ourselves with and then by using various techniques of interpretation to explore the complex rhetoric of the photographic image. The objects of our interpretive analyses will be studied as they appear in contemporary public discourse, in such locations as the built environment, public and private institutional archives, museums, libraries, social media, print publications, etc. Weekly reading assignments will include besides written essays the study of specific photographic images situated on or near the UC Berkeley campus.

Required texts: A course reader.