Photography Politics - xix and xx Centuries Image Criticism


In this course unit we intend to develop image analysis, within the scope of its creation and theorization, in the perspective of its political and ideological use, in determining historical contexts, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. It is intended to carry out dialectical readings on photographic production and its interpretation and political and ideological use, in order to provide students with analytical and reflective instruments on the image.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Emília Moreira Tavares Samora Batista


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


  • BOLTON Richard (ed.) The Contest of Meaning: critical histories of photography (MIT Press; Cambridge, Mass.; London, 1989);
  • EARLE KELSEY Robin and STIMSON Blake, The Meaning of Photography (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven, Conn: London: Yale University Press; Williamstown, Mass., 2008);
  • WARNER MARIEN Mary, Photography: A Cultural History (Laurence King Publishing London, 2002);
  • RIBALTA Jorge, Public photographic spaces: exhibitions of propaganda, from Pressa to The Family of Man, 1928-55 (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Barcelona, 2008);
  • Sekulla, Alan - Photography Against the Grain: Essays and Photo Works. Michael Mack, 2016;
  • Spence Jo- La política de la fotografia in Aún No- Sobre la Reinvención del Documental y la Crítica de la Modernidad. Ensayos y Documentos (1972-1991);
  • TAGG John, The burden of representation: essays on photographies and histories (Macmillan Education; Basingstoke, 1988).   

Teaching method

Classes will take the form of a seminar and guided tours, to allow reflection and analysis of the sources.

Evaluation method

Written essay.(60%), Critical reading of sources.(20%), Oral presentation.(20%)

Subject matter

1. Visual Culture XIX century and the Invention of Photography;

2.Landscape Photography and Territory Politics;

3. Photography in Colonial Context;

4.Photographic Vanguard and Ideology;

5. Photography and War;

6. Photography and Propaganda;

7. Humanist Photography and Social Criticism;

8. Documental Photography and Social Ativism.