This class will combine classic critical essays in the history of photography with close analyses of particular artists’ work. Readings from Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Deborah Willis, Peggy Phelan, Hilton Als, and Fred Ritchin (among others) will guide our approach to fundamental issues in the conjunction of photography and performance. While our main emphasis will be on photographic portraiture and performances such as fashion shoots and selfies, we will also look at how photography performs in a diverse range of settings from criminal trials to sports events. As photography moves from high art to documentary evidence, to a node in an information network to a practice of everyday life, how does it help and hinder the political and philosophical belief in a singular self and a “once in a life-time event”? We will be discussing the photographs of: Matthew Brady, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, Sherry Levine, Diane Arbus, Lorna Simpson, Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems, Andy Warhol, Emily Mann, Richard Avedon, Francesca Woodman, Ansel Adams, and Gordon Parks, among others.