Images of the Environment

This research seminar will focus on producing thick descriptions of key photographs that shaped our understandings of various environmental crises post-December 7th, 1972. The photographed crises include flora and fauna habitat loss, soil erosion, urban sprawl, fires, flooding, desertification of land, industrial and agricultural pollution, and countless interrelated phenomena that contribute to the alarming degradation of our biosphere. Through compositional analysis, examination of the image-making instruments, circumstances that led to the photograph, subsequent venues of dissemination, and biographic characterizations of the primary authors, this research seminar seeks to understand how such images shaped the public’s awareness of, response to, and discourse on topics of environmental crises. The outcome of the seminar will be a booklet comprising a series of essays and graphic image analyses produced by students over the course of the semester.