British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

MA Photographic History and Practice at De Montfort

Hello everyone, 

I am new to the forum so I do hope I am posting correctly. 

I am applying for the MA at De Montfort University and would love to hear from anyone else who may have also applied to start this year. 

I would also love to hear from anyone who has previously done this course; let me know what your experience was like and if you have any advice/information for someone starting this year. 

Any advice on articles to read or books to buy would also be fantastic. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Lisa 

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Hi I'm about to embark on the second year of this MA. The course covers a wide range of topics but has an emphasis on photographic history rather than the history of photography. In other words it's less about the practical history of photography. You could read the Camera as Historian by Elizabeth Edwards, and look at a few of the photo historians like Geoffrey Batchen.

Hi Ela,

Thanks for your reply. 

The book that I am finding when I search for Camera as Historian is this: The Camera as Historian: Amateur Photographers and Historical Imagination, 1885–1918 - is that the right one? 

Can I just ask then, does the course cover much in the way of photography as an art form? For example have you ever explored Picasso's use of photography or similar themes? 

Geoffrey Batchen looks very interesting - I will start looking at some of his essay's. 

 

Hi Lisa

Yes that is the right one. Elizabeth is our professor.

Another book I would highly recommend is Steve Edwards A short history of photography. That will give you a good overview. In answer to your other question yes and no. Photo history as taught at DMU has moved away from being und the umbrella of Art History but you are given a very wide choice over what you want to research in particular so you could do this as your dissertation. The course will give you a strong academic theoretical background to photographic history, teach you the rigours of proper research and teach you how to explore, research and interpret primary and secondary sources.

What it doesn't do necessarily is teach you about the history of photography in so much as it does not really cover cameras, Dageurre, Talbot etc in depth or commercial photographic studios etc in other words the bread and butter photo dating stuff.

Oh fantastic, I will order it now. 

It really just sounds great - sort of sounds like it is somewhere in-between a taught and a research masters which is the best of both worlds really. Most other taught masters programs I looked at were very focussed on what they wanted you to research. 

Do many people on the course go on to do a phd? 

Yes I thnk they do and in my experience this course is much more academically rigorous than many of the other Masters courses. This is certainly not a course where you will pass by just turning up and writing you name correctly. I have never worked so hard in my life but it gives you a great perspective on what it takes to be an academic and when you achieve a good mark you Know it's because you have worked hard to get it.

It will give you a very solid grounding for going on to do a Phd....you will be actively encouraged to mix with phd students, contribute to research days and be able to attend talks by some of the best academic minds in photo history at the moment
You will also not be able to get away with the spelling/grammar mistakes in my previous post either, in my defence it is my iPad not me :)

Oh I am so excited about it :-)

Yes that's why I want to start reading up on things now, I am making myself a list of books and articles to read and I will get through as many as I can before the course starts. 

Ha ha :-) it's funny how all knowledge of grammar and spelling goes out the window when writing informally isn't it. 

Sorry, I have another question if you don't mind? I just wonder what referencing system you have to use? I have heard that it is Chicago style... is that right? We used MHRA all throughout my degree so I figure I should at least have a look at the Chicago style if that's what it is. 

Hi Lisa

Yes it's Chicago Style but don't worry too much as we usually have a day devoted to it anyway and once you are on the course you will have access to the physical manuals and the on line on. It is a very useful style for this discipline I find and I like the footnotes ability.

Feel free to ask me as many questions as you like. Will you be doing the course full time or part time. Whichever I'm sure I will see you in September at some point anyway but feel free to email with anything.

Hi Ela, 

That sounds great, I remember on my degree we didn't get any support with referencing at all. 

I am hoping to do it full-time but it will depend on a few things really. I live in Oxford so I am not sure if the commute is going to be too much. As I understand it the full-time option is on Tuesday and Thursday, had it been on consecutive days I could have stayed for the one night. There is obviously the option to move up there but if commuting I thing part-time might be a better option. Something I have to work out :-)

Thank you for all your help - I don't like bombarding people with questions, but I do have another question actually :-)

I noticed in one of your other posts you said you applied for the Taylor Bursary, I am also applying for it and just wondered if you have any tips for applying? 

I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone is September. 

I have just had details of a second bursary, the Wilson bursary, and details will be posted here later today. 

Lisa Martin said:

Hi Ela, 

That sounds great, I remember on my degree we didn't get any support with referencing at all. 

I am hoping to do it full-time but it will depend on a few things really. I live in Oxford so I am not sure if the commute is going to be too much. As I understand it the full-time option is on Tuesday and Thursday, had it been on consecutive days I could have stayed for the one night. There is obviously the option to move up there but if commuting I thing part-time might be a better option. Something I have to work out :-)

Thank you for all your help - I don't like bombarding people with questions, but I do have another question actually :-)

I noticed in one of your other posts you said you applied for the Taylor Bursary, I am also applying for it and just wondered if you have any tips for applying? 

I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone is September. 

Hi Michael,

Oh fantastic, thanks for letting me know.

I will look out for it.

Lisa 

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