30485 - Theory and Practice of Photography (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Claudio Marra

  • Credits 12

  • SSD L-ART/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Course Timetable from Jan 30, 2019 to May 17, 2019

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes


Course contents


This course will deal with short monographic articulations, some fundamental links between the historical relationship between photography and visual arts. From the dialectical representation/presentation, to the question of authors, from the various forms of language that emerged between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to relations with other arts, to the problems of discipline historiography. Special attention will be paid to the novelties and problems emerging with the advent of the digital system. In addition to the lectures held by the teacher, this course requires active participation of students (see entry: Texts for attending students)

Readings/Bibliography

Syllabus for Not attending Students

A) Students who have not taken the examination of History of Photography at the University of Bologna in the three-year degree:

1) F. Muzzarelli, L'invenzione del fotografico, Torino, Einaudi, 2014.

2) C. Marra, Fotografia e pittura nel Novecento (e oltre), Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2012.

3) C. Marra, Fotografia e arti visive, Roma, Carocci, 2014.

4) C. Marra, L'immagine infedele, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2006.

B) Students who, at the three-year undergraduate degree, took the Examination of History of Photography at the University of Bologna:

1) C. Marra, Fotografia e arti visive, Roma, Carocci, 2014.

2) C. Marra, L'immagine infedele, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2006.

3) WARNING: the examination for these students, it will still contain 4 questions related to the text:

C. Marra, Fotografia e pittura nel Novecento (e oltre), Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2012.

4) Design and creation of a catalog on the following theme: The Memory Poetics. The catalog can be constructed on a single author (as if it was a personal show) or on multiple authors (as if it was a collective exhibition). The project is completely free in the choices of development and organization

The catalog should, however, include:

A) Title

B) Critical text (maximum 4000 characters including spaces). The text should include within it a minimum of two citations, with notes, from books.

C) Images (with reference caption)

Shape, size and layout of the catalog are free. It is not important to exceed the number of pages or even the format. It is preferable to submit a small but accurated work both in the layout and in the overall graphic aspect. It will be assessed directly during the examination (the project shall not be submitted before the examination), considering the originality of the project, the contents of the critical text, the graphic aspect, and the overall executive care.

The catalog may be graded as follows: 0 sufficient, 1 good, 2 excellent.

Syllabus for attending Students

For the attending students, it applies the same syllabus (texts) and the same distinctions as the origin (Examination of the History of Photography supported by the DAMS of the University of Bologna) for non-attending students. However, the lecture program will have a special development. In addition to the traditional lectures on the recommended texts, enriched with a specific bibliography, there will be small thematic seminars and activities involving direct and active participation of students with a useful evaluation for the exam. In practice, by actively participating in these activities, students may get additional 'points' that will contribute to the final grade.

Attending students will be graded as follows: result of the written test + evaluation of the catalog (for those who are required to do it) + evaluation of the quality of the participation in the lectures attested by the 'score' acquired.


Teaching methods

Lectures with Power Point supporting materials

Assessment methods


The examination will be in a written form using a multiple-choice computerized test (each question will contain 4 answers already given, among which students shall choose the right one). The test consists of 20 questions. Each correct answer corresponds to 1.5 points. There is no penalty for wrong answers. The time available for the test is 40 minutes. The result will be given immediately after the end of the test. The test consists of historical questions on the main events of the subject of the test texts (e.g. 'In which year was x movement founded?'). There may be, moreover, various questions of 'understanding the text,' which are, for example, excerpts from the test texts, of which students are asked for the meaning (e.g.: 'Which statement can be correctly derived from the following song?'). Significant space will be also given to declarations of poetics and critical reflections in the texts for which students are required to recognize the author (e.g. 'Who is the author of the following statement?').

As outlined above, beyond the result of the test, the final grade will be determined by other scores obtained by students (evaluation of the catalog for students who have already taken the Examination of the History of Photography at the ' University of Bologna and evaluation of 'points' acquired by attending students)


Teaching tools

Power Point with projection of images and texts

Office hours

See the website of Claudio Marra