If the webinars provide a litmus test and sense of the mood of the course group then I think it was true to say that we were all struggling to get to grips with critical theory in Week 9, so a further week to understand the basic theoretical grounding for our later studies has been very welcome. Having studied a social sciences degree in History I have some background and understanding of cultural critics and philosophical standpoints and the relevant theorists. However, linking this to what has been for me, up until now, a very practical pursuit of photography, is proving more complex than I had anticipated.

Having said that, I found our reading this week (the Preface from Fifty Writers on Photography Durden 2013) to be very helpful as a summary of the different perspectives and theoretical bases and a sense of their chronology. When I am presented with something I find difficult to grasp I often turn to mind mapping (as I did in Week 2 with Interdisciplinary Approaches). In this case, the thinking through of how to structure the mind map and linking the key proponents and ideas for each significant approach has helped me to clarify my thoughts.

With a significant health warning that inevitably many of the theorists and people mentioned might not sit wholly in one camp, I have tried to place them in their predominant base. I also decided not to put people in more than one “blob” or try to link them to other possible standpoints or approaches they might hold through arrows or other graphics – leaving the reader to make the links they feel appropriate.


 Durden, M (2013) Fifty Key Writers on Photography, Routledge, London

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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