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

Dates: any time

Duration: 21 hours

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 out of 181 ratings (see top rating courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: University of London at Coursera

Cost:

  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

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

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.

Instructors

 

 

 

 

Programme

WEEK 1: 3 hours to complete

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

Introduction
Use of Images
Manipulation
The Image in Politics
Advertising
Reportage (Reporting the News)
Optional Extra Material – other forms of images – Guernica
The Camera Never Lies – Course Information
Aims and Objective
The Use of Images
Manipulation
The Image in Politics
Advertising
Reportage
Optional Extra Information – Guernica

WEEK 2: 3 hours to complete

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.

Introduction part
Hitler
The Boer War
The Civil Rights Movement
Vietnam
The Blitz
Optional Extra Material – The London Riots 2011
Adolf Hitler
The Boer War
The US Civil Rights Movement
Vietnam
The Blitz
Optional Extra Reading – The London Riots 2011

WEEK 3: 3 hours to complete

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

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union under Stalin
The Image as Propaganda
Falsification
Optional Extra Material – Films with historical themes
Optional Extra Material: Film – The Damned United
Optional Extra Material: Film – In the Name of the Father
Optional Extra Material: Final Thoughts
The Soviet and Stalin Lectures
Falsification
Optional Extra Material: Films with historical themes

WEEK 4: 6 hours to complete

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.

Death of Margaret Thatcher
Black Hawk Down
The Day of the Ranger: Aftermath
Black Hawk Down and 9/11 Media Reportage
Black Hawk Down – The Website
The Image1
UN and the USA in Somalia: Historical Context
The Somalian Civil War: Historical Context
Optional Extra Material – Interview with Niko: Real-Time Editorial Decision – The Boston Marathon Bombing
Optional Extra Material – Image in the Context of Gender Studies
Introduction Information – Photojournalism, Authenticity and Matters of Public Acceptability: The Battle of Mogadishu
Death of Margaret Thatcher – Information
Black Hawk Down – Information
The Day of the Ranger: Aftermath – Information
Media Reportage – Images and information
Black Hawk Down: The Website – Information
The Image – Information
Interview – Information
The UN and the USA in Somalia: Historical Context
The Somalian Civil War: Historical Context – Information
Optional Extra Reading: Interview with Niko: Real-Time Editorial Decision: The Boston Marathon Bombing

WEEK 5: 4 hours to complete

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.

Introduction
Background to the Battle
Loss of Life
Importance of Iwo Jima
Did you pose that?
The Photos
The ‘Gung-Ho’ Shot
The 7th War Bond Drive
The Stamp and After
Ending the Pacific War
Interview – Reflections on Iwo Jima
Background to the Battle
Loss of Life – Information
Importance of Iwo Jima – Information
The Photos and 5.6 ‘Did you pose that?’
The ‘Gung-Ho’ shot; and Interpretation of the Main Image – Information Reading
The 7th War Bond Drive – Information
The Stamp and After – Information
Ending the Pacific War – Information

WEEK 6: 3 hours to complete

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?

Approach to study
Flags of Our Fathers: The Book and Film as Public History
Letters from Iwo Jima
Academic critiques
An Honourable Suicide
Interview with Julio Etchart: America’s Other 9/11
Final Thoughts (MOOC wrap up)
Flags of Our Fathers: The Book and Film as Public History – Information