Course Title: Cultures of Photography

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cultures of Photography

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


340H Art


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Ray Cook

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1483

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 06:03:015

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email for an appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will consider a broad range of professional, artistic, and social photo practice seeking insights into their cultural functions.

In Cultures of Photography, you will not just look at practitioners isolated from their contexts. You are expected to place them in lineages - think of them in relation to a conversation they conduct with their audience - relate them to the history in which they operate. You will think of practice in relation to the topics that drive them.

You will use this course to cultivate an understanding of historical and theoretical contexts of those practitioners, images and/or issues in photo discourse that inspire or interest you. This will give you critical skills to strengthen your own work.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Employ critical, cultural discourses and technical knowledge of contemporary photographic practices and emerging technologies to achieve sophisticated visual outcomes

  • Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on your discipline in both local and international contexts

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the current theoretical contexts of a range of photographic cultures.

  2. Examine and engage in debates around the production of photographic artefacts.

  3. Critically discuss contemporary photographic practice from the perspectives of politics, culture and economics.

  4. Frame and present your practice within the broader cultural context.


Overview of Learning Activities

The course will be presented through a variety of activities including workshops, experimentation, lectures, critical analysis, discussion, practice, presentation and reflection.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.


A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.


The RMIT Library has extensive resources for photography students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Mapping Exercise: (20%)  CLOs: 1, 4

Assessment Task 2: The Pitch (presentation) (30%) CLOs: 1, 2, 3

Assessment Task 3:  The Essay (50%) CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4


Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.