This course studies the human, ecological, and environmental histories of the region through the lens and practice of documentary production. The class will, by basing its material in and around the Cumberland Plateau area proximal to Sewanee, consider the extent to which ‘landscape’ is shaped by culture and social activity, why ‘nature’ is subject to paradigm, and how human activity from the physical to conceptual can affect and effect what is deemed ‘natural’. The Lens, then, is understood as not just the photographic documentation of phenomena, but as an intentioned rendering of experience and understanding. The class will participate in an online community with image/text/audio reflections resulting from the aforementioned considerations, and thereby contribute to a larger narrative about landscape.
The class goals are:
To understand the relationship between the content and form of a landscape
To articulate experiences and concerns relating to place and environment through the photographic image
To establish and participate in an ongoing network that reflects on the geography of the Cumberland Plateau
The class will achieve the above by fulfilling these goals:
Establish visual literacy through studying the work of notable photographers and documentarians
Learn and consolidate technical skills in photographic, video and audio acquisition, editing and presentation
Become aware of and participate in social networks, both actual and online
Contribute to an ongoing image/text/audio archive
The class has a Community Engagement attribute and as such will require participants to hold regular meetings with community partners.