Today I graduated with a Master of Arts in Photographic History from the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. This one-year course is dedicated to the study and research of the history of photography and photographic practice and allows participants to examine different approaches to photographic history, including cultural history, history of science and visual studies. It aims to enhance skills in scholarly research based on primary materials in photographic history.
- I embraced the materiality of photographs and learned to view them both as images and as objects with object histories.
- Comprehended the key methodologies, themes, debates and problems in photographic history and practice.
- Synthesized theoretical models with primary source material and wrote histories directly from them.
- Handled in the appropriate manner, worked with and identified a range of historical materials and objects.
- Planned a hypothetical photography exhibition addressing the practicalities of displaying the chosen photographs (i.e. venue, audience), as well as ethics and copyright issues. Additionally, created an exhibition model and an exhibition catalog.
- Learned to identify and critically evaluate key factors designers take into consideration in museum and exhibition design.
- Explored digital humanities by digitizing historical source materials. Developed an image accession numbering policy and metadata profiles for each image. Using Filemaker, built a database able to find, filter and analyze inputted data.
- Developed and curated an online exhibition using WordPress, after performing user trials to evaluate its design.
- Realized projects and gave presentations both singly and collaboratively.
- Acquired writing skills in various styles employing different citation styles and pitching that writing for different audiences.
- Produced independent work in a research context. This required a great deal of self-motivation and time-management.
HOPP5008 History of Photography, Images and Practice
HOPP5009 Research Methods
HOPP5010 Photography Resources in a Digital Age
HOPP5011 Theory and Photography
HOPP5012 Photographic Ethnographies
MADI5206 Museum and Exhibition Design
Title: Instagram won’t #FreeTheNipple: a case study on the practice of photography on Social Network Sites. Advisor: Professor Kelley Wilder.
I was one of four postgraduates nominated by my tutors to be awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Student Award.
PHRC Seminars and Conferences
June 20 – 21, 2016: Annual Conference – Photography: Between History and Anthropology
February 16, 2016: Paul Fox – Personal Wartime Photography in Egypt, 1898—1918
January 19, 2016: Professor Clare Harris – Rethinking Studio Photography in the Hill Stations of British India
November 10, 2015: Dr Lucie Ryzova – The Social Lives of Photographs in Revolutionary Egypt
October 20, 2015: Dr Sudeshna Guha – Visual Histories, Archaeological Constructs and the ‘Indian’ Pasts
The course changed forever the way I look at photographs and understand photography. I am grateful for my tutors Professor Kelley Wilder, Dr Gil Pasternak and Professor Stephen Brown, as well as all my wonderful colleagues. I will miss them and my life in Leicester, and wish everyone the best!
*Featured photograph. Renieri, Danae. De Montfort University. July, 2016.