British photographic history

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Online Course: MOMA Seeing Through Photographs

The Museum of Modern Art has launched Seeing Through Photographs, its first massive open online course (MOOC) for a general audience, available on Coursera. Using works from MoMA’s expansive collection as a point of departure, the course encourages participants to look critically at photographs through the diverse ideas, approaches, and technologies that inform their making. Seeing Through Photographs can be found at

Led by Sarah Meister, Curator, Department of Photography, the course introduces learners to first hand perspectives and ideas from artists and scholars about what a photograph is and the many ways in which photography has been used throughout history and into the present day: as a means of personal artistic expression; a tool for science and exploration; a method for documenting people, places, and events; a way of telling stories and recording histories; and a mode of communication and critique in our increasingly visual culture.

The themes for the 6 sessions are: Introduction to Seeing Through Photographs, One Subject, Many Perspectives, Documentary Photography, Pictures of People, Constructing Narratives and Challenging Histories, and Ocean of Images: Photography and Contemporary Culture. Each session has a quiz, and the course has a final project at the end.

The course is free and can be started at any time and completed at the student's own speed. 

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