Imperfect Utopias: Photography and the American Dream in Triumph and Failure - Fall 2020

Imperfect Utopias: Photography and the American Dream in Triumph and Failure - Fall 2020

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Jon Feinstein
DAY / TIME Thursday 6-9pm (Pacific Time) | September 24 - December 3, 2020*
*No class on Thursday, November 26 - Thanksgiving Break
TUITION $825 | Payment & Refund Policy
FORMAT Online; this will be hosted as a live, interactive online course utilizing the Zoom platform along with Google Drive for sharing files.
LEVEL Intermediate
PREREQS Photography I: B&W or Digital
CREDITS 3 – Fulfills Elective requirement for Certificate Program

The "American Dream" – the spirit which drives the United States and its history – embodies a promise to reward equality, happiness, security, and upward mobility to those willing to work hard. For many Americans, this ethos articulates possibility and triumph. A utopian idea of strength, possibility, and success. Yet for others, it represents a mirage – something thwarted by generations of systemic obstacles. This course, in conjunction with the fall exhibition hosted in PCNW's main gallery, will examine how photographers throughout history articulate and illustrate this complex dichotomy. We will look at photographers from a range of approaches, periods, perspectives, cultures, and ideological backgrounds (conservative and progressive) alongside supplemental readings geared to encourage weekly discussions. Students will also work on their own photographic series related to the idea of "The American Dream," to be discussed and critiqued each week. Students should anticipate spending approximately one hour each week on readings, and several hours working on their own projects.


Image © John Henry, Untitled #33, Jersey City, NJ 2018 from the series "Stranger Fruit" (included in PCNW's Fall Exhibition, Examining the American Dream)

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