Topics in East Asian Studies: "Photography, History, and Intermediality in East Asia" 204

In this seminar we will explore the history and practice of photography across China, Taiwan, and Japan. We will explore the advent of photography in East Asia in the nineteenth century and its entanglement with histories of colonial encounter; studio portraiture and vernacular photography; modernist and documentary photography in the interwar years; and the photography of war and revolution. We will familiarize ourselves with some of the most significant photographers and photographic movements to have emerged in the post-war, post-Mao, and post-Chiang periods, with particular attention to the way in which contemporary photographers have grappled with historical legacies of war, political violence, and environmental destruction. We will be attentive throughout to the questions of photography's intertwinement with print culture and literary writing. Each week's meeting will pair close analysis of photographs with discussions of essays by historians, critics, and practitioners on the technics, aesthetics, and ethics of photographic practice. Given the cross-regional framework for the course, all assigned readings will be in English; but students are required to conduct further research in Chinese or Japanese language materials.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or the approval of the instructor.