• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Art History
  • Areas of interest Art History, Digital Arts, Visual Arts, Creative Arts, Arts

This course will focus on the histories, theories and practices of photography from its beginnings to the present day. Its aim is to examine photography in relation to other visual art forms, to consider the challenges photography poses to histories of art, and to contextualise the medium in broader socio-political terms. Topics to be covered will include: the origins of photography and its impact, art photography movements, documentary photography, social and ethical issues, digital photography, Australian photography, and contemporary photography in a global context. The course also includes a session on historical and contemporary photographic techniques and processes. There is a strong focus throughout on object-based analysis with several classes being held at national cultural institutions in Canberra.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. Describe the major developments in art photography from the nineteenth century up to the present.

2. Provide different socio-political contexts for the developments in photography.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of histories and theories of photography and its qualities as a particular artistic medium.

4. Research and access information on photography and organise your research into compelling and intelligent arguments.

5. Speak about histories, theories of photography and practices of photography.

Indicative Assessment

1200 word written exercise, 20%  (LO 4)

10 minute oral presentation, 10% (LO 2, 3, 4, 5)

1000 word written paper, 20% (LO 2, 3, 4)

Research essay 2500 words, 40% (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)

Participation, 10% (LO 1, 2, 3, 4,5)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 35 hours of contact: lectures and tutorials, delivered intensively over 5 days (9am-5pm); and b) 95 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ARTH6050

Preliminary Reading

Batchen, Geoffrey. Burning with desire: the conception of photography, 1997

Ennis, Helen. Photography and Australia, 2007

 Warner, Mary Marien. Photography: A cultural history, 4th ed., 2014

All course readings will be available on the Wattle course site.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9635 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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