Graduate Admissions

Photography MFA

PLEASE NOTE: These are samples only. Course offerings are subject to change and not all courses are offered each term or each year. Be sure to check the online course catalog and the current class schedule for details about pre-requisites, terms offered, class fees, etc.).

Body, Space and Image
This course presents an intensive survey of contemporary performance, site, and installation art from an anthropological point of view. Specifically, the course focuses on artist's works that were constructed to be experienced through photographic and video documentation. Students will be given workshops on sound, digital photography, and video editing. Course expectations and requirements will be adjusted accordingly for undergraduates and graduates.
23-5210, 3 credits

History of Photography Seminar
Each semester the History of Photography Seminar will focus on a special topic related to recent trends in photographic and/or critical histories and theories of photography. Over the course of the semester we will analyze this topic's ideological, representational, technological, historical, and aesthetic ramifications for photography. Class time will involve some short lectures and exhibition viewings but will mostly consist of discussions of reading and looking assignments. Course expectations and requirements will be adjusted accordingly for undergraduates and graduates.
23-5705, 3 credits

Photographing History/ Florence Photographic Workshop
This course offers an opportunity for Photography students to work in a totally different environment and gives them exposure to a global and historical context not available to them in Chicago. It demands that students negotiate a set of foreign perspectives and to reconcile the often conflicting issues between Renaissance Humanism and contemporary touristic consumerism.
23-5777, 3 credits

Digital Imaging*
This course introduces the photographer to computer tools that manipulate and enhance photographic images. These tools allow students to input B&W and color photographs, negatives and positives, graphics and video into Photoshop, the industry standard for digital manipulation. Photoshop allows students to retouch and enhance these varied inputs in order to create high quality digital outputs. Output devices include film recorders, inkjet and sublimation printers. Assignments and the final project are designed to help master basic techniques of image editing in order to expand the photographer's horizons.
23-6200, 3 credits

Contemporary Painting & Sculpture*
A seminar/practicum style course that will survey the major concepts and methods of 20th Century art theory and criticism from the early formalism of Roger Fry and Clive Bell to the mid-century late Modernist theories of Clement Greenberg as well as other art-historical points of view such as stylistic analysis, iconography, structuralism and semiotics, and the social history of art. The more contemporary critical positions of postmodernism will also be discussed. These will include poststructuralist attitudes and responses to late 20th Century art: deconstructionalist, feminist, neo-Marxist, and psychoanalytic critical methodologies. The course will cover a broad area of visual production that includes traditional fine art (painting/sculpture), as well as photography, performance/installation, video, and even areas of "pop" culture, i.e. advertisements, rock videos, commercial television and film, etc.
23-6650, 3 credits

Issues in the History of Photography
This interpretive analysis of significant impulses in photography is structured as a discussion-oriented seminar. Using the most significant writings by photographers and photo-historians, debates over the artistic, documentary, scientific, and commercial capabilities and potentialities of photography will be studied within their relevant social, cultural, and political context.
23-6655, 3 credits

Introduction to Critical Thinking: Photography*
The purpose of this course is to prepare first semester graduate students for the analytical and creative thinking and writing that are a part of the contemporary photographic art world. Students are introduced to graduate level research methods and become acquainted with cultural theories that currently influence the study of photography. Readings rooted in semiotics, Marxism, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, and post-colonialism address how we understand our particular field of study and our culture. This course stresses the critical skills needed to think and write effectively, with the immediate purpose of preparing students for the papers that will be produced in other graduate level courses and for the Master's thesis.
23-6660, 3 credits

*Prerequisite Required