• Class Number 4586
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kate Warren
    • Dr Kate Warren
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

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, Australian photography, documentary photography, digital and computational photography, and contemporary photography in a global context. 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:

  1. describe in detail the major developments in art photography from the nineteenth century up to the present;
  2. provide in-depth knowledge of different socio-political contexts for the developments in photography;
  3. demonstrate an advanced 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; and
  5. confidently participate in and lead critical discussions about histories, theories, and practices of photography.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

All required readings and resources will be made available through the course's Wattle site.

Suggested readings:

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

Other key books will be place on 2-hour loan at the Art and Music Library

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal feedback to whole class, groups, individuals

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Content Warnings

The following warnings identify content and, where possible, specific weeks as known at the time of publication. However, these examples are not necessarily restricted to the identified weeks, and may be discussed at other times across the semester.

Some weeks will contain photographs, images and/or recordings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have died (including Week 4).

Some weeks will include discussions of materials of an adult nature (including Week 10), and images of war and conflict (including Week 6).

If students have any questions about the course and its content, please content the course convener.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to the Course
2 The Inventions of Photography
3 Early Australian Photography and Pictorialism
4 Photography, Colonialism and First Nations' Perspectives
5 Modernisms and the Avant-Garde Assessment Task 1 Due, 25 March 2021
6 Photography, Documentary, Conflict
7 Collecting, Exhibiting and Curating Photography - Part 1
8 Collecting, Exhibiting and Curating Photography - Part 2
9 Conceptual Photography
10 Postmodernism and the Gaze Assessment Task 2 Due, 16 May 2021
11 Contemporary Photography and Contemporary Art
12 Networked & Computational Photography; Photography Tomorrow
13 First week of Examination Period Assessment Tasks 3 and 4 Due, 6 June 2021

Tutorial Registration

Students must register for one of the available tutorial times via Wattle. The tutorial schedule will include options for on campus (subject to COVID restrictions) and online classes (via Zoom). 

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Written Analysis Exercise (1250 words) 15 % 25/03/2021 11/04/2021 2,3,4
Research Essay (3000 words) 45 % 16/05/2021 30/05/2021 1,2,3,4
Take-Home Test (1500 words) 25 % 06/06/2021 01/07/2021 2,3,4
Reflective Exercise (750 words) 5 % 06/06/2021 08/06/2021 2,3,4
Participation 10 % * * 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are required to actively participate in tutorial discussions, and demonstrate that they have read and engaged with the weekly set readings and lecture content. Participation is worth 10% of the final grade.


This course does not involve a formal examination, but it does include a take-home test at the end of semester.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 25/03/2021
Return of Assessment: 11/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Written Analysis Exercise (1250 words)

Your task is to choose a photograph, or a photography-inspired artwork, from the online collection of the National Gallery of Australia, and write a focused visual analysis of that work. You should choose an artwork/image that allows you to analyse it in relation to one of the key themes encountered in the course so far. This may include, but is not limited to: the relationships/distinctions between photography and art; key terms and ideas such as indexicality and latency; photography, reality and truth; photography's implications in colonialism; materiality and visuality of photography.

You will be assessed on your ability to visually analyse the object, your ability to situate it in relevant historical and theoretical contexts, your capacity to demonstrate targeted research and your ability to organise that research into a well-structured and argued written submission.

The goal of this assessment task is for students to develop core skills of research and analysis relevant to this course in a focused and targeted way. These are the skills that you will continue to apply in your Research Essay, and your feedback will focus on areas of strength and improvement.

The online collection of the NGA can be searched via the link below. Through the “Advanced Search” function, you can filter and limit your search to media (i.e. “Photographs”). However, there may be relevant artworks in other media and areas of the collection as well.


Word limit: 1250 words

Value: 15%

Presentation requirements: Submit via upload to Wattle. 12-point font, double spaced, using Chicago style referencing (footnotes and bibliography)

Assessment Rubric: An Assessment Rubric will be available on the ARTH2050/ARTH6050 Wattle Site

Due Date: 25 March 2021, 11.59pm

Estimated Return Date: 11 April 2021

Assessment Task 2

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 16/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Essay (3000 words)

This Research Essay tests your ability to complete academic research, and to organise that research into compelling and independent scholarly arguments. You will develop your own essay question (in consultation with your tutor) and write a thoroughly-researched essay that presents a clear argument in response to the question.

This task requires you to apply fundamental skills in art historical analysis and writing, and to consider any specific requirements and challenges when researching and analysing photography and its histories and theories. Your essay will directly and purposefully address an original question and construct an argument in relation to artworks, based on observation, research, analysis, argumentation and evidence. An effective essay will develop an informed and focussed argument, supported by convincing evidence, understanding of socio-political context, robust research sources and formal academic support (quotations, footnotes, citations, illustrations, bibliography).


ARTH6050 students must write their own essay question, and you need to develop this in consultation with your tutor. Your tutor must approve your essay question in writing (i.e. via email) before you submit your essay.

You may not write about the same artwork/photograph/artist that you wrote about in Assessment Task 1.

Word limit: 3000 words

Value: 45%

Presentation requirements: Submit via upload to Wattle. 12-point font, double spaced, using Chicago style referencing (footnotes and bibliography)

Assessment Rubric: An Assessment Rubric will be available on the ARTH2050/ARTH6050 Wattle Site

Due Date: 16 May 2021, 11.59pm

Estimated Return Date: 30 May 2021

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 06/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Take-Home Test (1500 words)

The goals of this Take-Home Test are for students to:

1). Identify and reflect on key artworks, photographs, themes and topics that we have encountered across the semester;

2). To make independent links and connections between different artworks, photographs, themes and topics, and;

3). To use these links and connections to creatively and independently respond to a set task.

This is not a research exercise, and does not require you to conduct large amounts of independent research. The focus is for you to draw upon key ideas and examples already encountered in the course. If, however, you do quote from another source, or if you rely specifically on the ideas in another text, then you should provide footnotes and a bibliography to indicate this (Chicago Notes-Bibliography style). You should include copies of any artworks and photographs discussed, with full caption and artwork details.

You are strongly encouraged to refer to Assessment Task 4: Reflective Exercise when you complete your Take-Home Test. In your Reflective Exercise you will have already started to make some connections between different artworks, and this should be helpful as you respond to the set task.

The full instructions and set task will be released to students by 9am on Thursday 3 June, and students will have until 11:59pm on Sunday 6 June to complete and submit their tests. Tests will be submitted as MS Word or PDF documents (1000 words, max) through Turnitin.

As this is a take-home test there will be no extensions given, and late submissions will not be accepted. If you have circumstances beyond your control that prevent you from submitting this test before the due date, you must speak with your tutor in advance.

Word limit: 1500 words

Value: 25%

Presentation requirements: Submit via upload to Wattle. 12-point font, double spaced, using Chicago style referencing (footnotes and bibliography)

Due Date: 6 June 2021, 11.59pm. Late submissions not accepted.

Estimated Return Date: Tests are not returned. Grades and brief comments will be made available with the release of final semester results.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 06/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 08/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Reflective Exercise (750 words)

This task asks that you reflect on what you have learned across the semester, and identify artworks, photographs and topics of interest and relevance for the course.

Each week, you should choose at least one artwork or photograph that you have encountered that week which you have found interesting, challenging, or thought-provoking. You should accompany this work with a brief description of why you chose that example (3-4 sentences), and what it makes you think about. You are encouraged to use this task to identify connections and links across the different weeks and different topics and examples that we discuss in the course. By developing these connections, this task will also be a useful reference for Assessment Task 3: Take-Home Test.

Students are strongly encouraged to use the Padlet software to complete this assessment task. Each student enrolled in the course will be provided with a free Padlet account, and full details and instructions will be provided on Wattle.

This assessment task is not graded. All students who successfully submit this task to the above requirements will receive full marks (worth 5% of your final grade).

Word limit: 750 words

Value: 5%

Presentation requirements: Students are strongly encouraged to use Padlet for this task, however other submission formats will be accepted (e.g. Word, PowerPoint, PDF)

Due Date: 6 June 2021, 11.59pm. Late submissions not accepted.

Estimated Return Date: 8 June 2021

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5


Students are required to actively participate in tutorial discussions, and demonstrate that they have read and engaged with the weekly set readings and lecture content. Participation is worth 10% of the final grade.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Students are required to use Chicago Notes & Bibliography Style for this course. See the links below for important information:


Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations and tests.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Grades and feedback on assignments will be returned to students via Wattle

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of individual assignments is not available for this course. A student achieving a final course result of N45%-N49% must be offered supplementary assessment, which must be conducted according to the procedures described in the Assessment Rules. 


Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Kate Warren
(02) 6125 8960

Research Interests

Photography, film, video, lens-based media; Art historiography; Contemporary art (Australian and international); Arts criticism and writing; Visual culture; Digital and media art; Art curatorship.

Dr Kate Warren

Thursday By Appointment
Thursday By Appointment
Dr Kate Warren
(02) 6125 8960

Research Interests

Dr Kate Warren

Thursday By Appointment
Thursday By Appointment

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