Film, Images & Historical Interpretation in the 20th Century: The Camera Never Lies

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About this course: This course is a short taster on the topic of the use of Images, Film, and their use in historical interpretation in the 20th century. It is primarily provided for those who have a general interest in history that draws on photojournalism as primary evidence, and films based on historical events. Once you have completed this course we hope you will be equipped to: Appreciate the significance of photographs as historical evidence in the twentieth century. Understand the limitations of the medium, and how we can attribute meaning to these individual records of 'one moment in time' while taking into account the circumstances in which any particular image was taken. Under…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course is a short taster on the topic of the use of Images, Film, and their use in historical interpretation in the 20th century. It is primarily provided for those who have a general interest in history that draws on photojournalism as primary evidence, and films based on historical events. Once you have completed this course we hope you will be equipped to: Appreciate the significance of photographs as historical evidence in the twentieth century. Understand the limitations of the medium, and how we can attribute meaning to these individual records of 'one moment in time' while taking into account the circumstances in which any particular image was taken. Understand how individuals and institutions have looked to manipulate images to their own ends – through alteration and/or censorship – and what that meant to contemporary interpretation, as well as subsequent historical interpretation. Put individual images into a wider context, and in particular with reference to history written, or portrayed, beyond academia: public history. Do be aware that part of the contents of this course regard images and depiction of war. Real wars and real images.

Created by:  University of London, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Taught by:  Dr Emmett Sullivan, Senior Tutor

    History Department, Royal Holloway, University of London
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.2 stars Average User Rating 4.2See what learners said Coursework

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University of London The University of London is a federal University which includes 17 world leading Colleges. Our International Programmes were founded in 1858 and have enriched the lives of thousands of students, delivering high quality University of London degrees wherever our students are across the globe. Our alumni include 7 Nobel Prize winners. Today, we are a global leader in distance and flexible study, offering degree programmes to over 50,000 students in over 180 countries. To find out more about studying for one of our degrees where you are, search for 'London International'. Royal Holloway, University of London

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Introduction
We will explore the issues associated with the use of images as a source for historical research and consider a number of examples where image manipulation has been uncovered


7 videos, 8 readings expand


  1. Reading: The Camera Never Lies - Course Information
  2. Reading: Aims and Objectives
  3. Video: Introduction
  4. Video: Use of Images
  5. Reading: The Use of Images
  6. Video: Manipulation
  7. Reading: Manipulation
  8. Video: The Image in Politics
  9. Reading: The Image in Politics
  10. Video: Advertising
  11. Reading: Advertising
  12. Video: Reportage (Reporting the News)
  13. Reading: Reportage
  14. Discussion Prompt: Week 1 - Reflective Task
  15. Video: Optional Extra Material - other forms of images - Guernica
  16. Reading: Optional Extra Information - Guernica

Graded: Week 1 Quiz

WEEK 2


Images and History in the Twentieth Century
We will review a number of cases studies where images have either shaped our opinion of events or have been suppressed from the public at the time, to avoid adverse or negative reaction.


8 videos, 6 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction part 1
  2. Video: Hitler
  3. Reading: Adolf Hitler
  4. Video: The Boer War
  5. Reading: The Boer War
  6. Video: The Civil Rights Movement
  7. Reading: The US Civil Rights Movement
  8. Video: Vietnam
  9. Reading: Vietnam
  10. Discussion Prompt: Week 2: Reflective Task 1
  11. Video: The Blitz part 1
  12. Video: The Blitz part 2
  13. Reading: The Blitz
  14. Discussion Prompt: Week 2: Reflective Task 2
  15. Video: Optional Extra Material - The London Riots 2011
  16. Reading: Optional Extra Reading - The London Riots 2011

Graded: Week 2 Quiz

WEEK 3


The Air-Brushing of History: Stalin and Falsification
The cause célèbre' of historical manipulation - Joseph Stalin. The 'air brushing' of historical records, and in this case the literal airbrushing of Soviet images in the 1930s and 1940s


10 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Reading: Introduction
  3. Video: The Soviet Union
  4. Video: Soviet Union under Stalin
  5. Reading: The Soviet and Stalin Lectures
  6. Video: The Image as Propaganda
  7. Video: Falsification
  8. Reading: Falsification
  9. Discussion Prompt: Week 3: Reflective Task
  10. Video: Conclusion
  11. Discussion Prompt: Conclusion - Reflective Task
  12. Video: Optional Extra Material - Films with historical themes
  13. Video: Optional Extra Material: Film - The Damned United
  14. Video: Optional Extra Material: Film - In the Name of the Father
  15. Video: Optional Extra Material: Final Thoughts
  16. Reading: Optional Extra Material: Films with historical themes

Graded: Week 3 Quiz

WEEK 4


Photojournalism, Authenticity and Matters of Public Acceptability: The Battle of Mogadishu
With respect to Reportage and the use of images as a evidential record, should we condemn Stalin in the last 20th and early 21th century? We use an example from 1993 to illustrate this point.


12 videos, 11 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Reading: Introduction Information - Photojournalism, Authenticity and Matters of Public Acceptability: The Battle of Mogadishu
  3. Video: Death of Margaret Thatcher
  4. Reading: Death of Margaret Thatcher - Information
  5. Discussion Prompt: Week 4: Reflective Task 1
  6. Video: Black Hawk Down
  7. Reading: Black Hawk Down – Information
  8. Video: The Day of the Ranger: Aftermath
  9. Reading: The Day of the Ranger: Aftermath - Information
  10. Video: Black Hawk Down and 9/11 Media Reportage
  11. Reading: Media Reportage - Images and information
  12. Video: Black Hawk Down - The Website
  13. Reading: Black Hawk Down: The Website - Information
  14. Discussion Prompt: Reflective Task
  15. Video: The Image
  16. Reading: The Image - Information
  17. Video: Interview
  18. Reading: Interview - Information
  19. Video: UN and the USA in Somalia: Historical Context
  20. Reading: The UN and the USA in Somalia: Historical Context
  21. Video: The Somalian Civil War: Historical Context
  22. Reading: The Somalian Civil War: Historical Context - Information
  23. Discussion Prompt: Week 4: Reflective Task 2
  24. Video: Optional Extra Material - Interview with Niko: Real-Time Editorial Decision – The Boston Marathon Bombing
  25. Reading: Optional Extra Reading: Interview with Niko: Real-Time Editorial Decision: The Boston Marathon Bombing - Information
  26. Video: Optional Extra Material - Image in the Context of Gender Studies

Graded: Week 4: Peer Assessment
Graded: Week 4 Quiz

WEEK 5


The Power of the Image: Mount Suribachi, 1945
The photograph of the raising of the flag at Mt. Suribachi was a Pulitzer Prize winning image, and the base of the film 'The Flag of our Fathers'. We will explore the use of the still and the motion picture to influence our opinion.


11 videos, 8 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: Background to the Battle
  3. Reading: Background to the Battle
  4. Video: Loss of Life
  5. Reading: Loss of Life - Information
  6. Video: Importance of Iwo Jima
  7. Reading: Importance of Iwo Jima - Information
  8. Video: Did you pose that?
  9. Reading: The Photos and 5.6 'Did you pose that?'
  10. Video: The Photos
  11. Video: The 'Gung-Ho' Shot
  12. Reading: The 'Gung-Ho' shot; and Interpretation of the Main Image - Information Reading
  13. Video: The 7th War Bond Drive
  14. Reading: The 7th War Bond Drive - Information
  15. Discussion Prompt: Week 5: Reflective Task 1
  16. Video: The Stamp and After
  17. Reading: The Stamp and After - Information
  18. Video: Ending the Pacific War
  19. Reading: Ending the Pacific War - Information
  20. Video: Interview - Reflections on Iwo Jima
  21. Discussion Prompt: Week 5: Reflective Task 2

Graded: Week 5 Quiz

WEEK 6


From Page to Screen: Film as Public History
What is 'Public History'? How do photographs and films with an historical theme shape our awareness of historical events and our memories?


8 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Week 6 reading part 1- Reading
  2. Video: Introduction
  3. Video: Approach to study
  4. Reading: Flags of Our Fathers: The Book and Film as Public History - Information
  5. Video: Flags of Our Fathers: The Book and Film as Public History
  6. Video: Letters from Iwo Jima
  7. Video: Academic critiques
  8. Video: An Honourable Suicide
  9. Video: Interview with Julio Etchart: America's Other 9/11
  10. Video: Final Thoughts (MOOC wrap up)

Graded: Week 6 Peer Assessment
Graded: Week 6 Quiz
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