Course Syllabus

History of Photography in Europe: Technology, Culture, Art

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Semester & Location: 

Summer 2022, Session 3 - DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 4 credits

Study Tours:


Major Disciplines:

History, Art History, Media Studies, Photography

Faculty Member:

Vendela Grundell Gachoud - (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Director:

Andreas Brøgger

Academic Support:

Time & Place:

Monday-Friday, Room 1E-509 - see schedule in Files folder


Course Description

This course investigates the impact of photography on culture, art, and society from the first photographic images recorded in Europe around 1840 and up until today. We explore the role of photography beyond mainstream cultural accounts, integrating a diversity of disciplines from history to journalism, law, medicine, and science. Through hands-on exercises, field studies and meetings with professionals, we zoom in on the interplay of seeing and learning, investigating photography’s role in shaping societies, memories, and identities.

Learning Objectives

LO1: General overview. Grasping the historical development and societal effect of technologies, practices and concepts comprising the photographic apparatus.

LO2: In-depth knowledge. Understanding the interplay between the photographic apparatus, memory and identity formation.

LO3: Methodological practice. Analyzing the rhetoric of the photographic image in relation to its historical development and societal effect and presenting the analysis in independent written and oral formats.

LO4: Experiential process. Exploring Stockholm from the perspective of the course, engaging in field studies and other course activities that support the personal learning process within and outside the DIS classroom.


Vendela Grundell Gachoud is a teacher, researcher and art professional working in international interdisciplinary settings since 1998. Focus on the history and theory of photography, especially in relation to seeing and being in digital society. PhD in Art History 2016, MA in Aesthetical Disciplines 2011, and BA in Cultural Studies 2007, all at Stockholm University. With DIS since 2016. 


Excerpts from the following books:

Behdad, Ali, and Luke Gartlan, eds., (2013) Photography's Orientalism: New essays on Colonial Representation. Getty Publications. [224 p.]

Karlsson Rixon, Annica (2016) Queer community through photographic acts: three entrances to an artistic research project approaching LGBTQIA Russia. Stockholm: Art and Theory. [207 p.].

Ruchel-Stockmans, Katarzyna (2015) Images Performing History: Photography and Representations of the Past in European Art after 1989. Leuven: Leuven University Press. [304 p.]. 

Wells, Liz, ed., (2021) Photography: A Critical Introduction. London and New York: Routledge. [464 p.]

Changes and additions may occur.

Field Studies

Visits to three cultural institutions in Stockholm focusing on photography - Stockholm City Museum, Moderna Museet and Fotografiska - as well as city exploration in the onsite seminar Photography in action.

Study Tour

Study tour to London, July 19-23. Visits to museums, archives and galleries focusing on photography - Tate Britain, Victoria & Albert Museum, Atlas Gallery, Hamiltons Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery and The Photographers Gallery - as well as city exploration in the onsite seminar Photography in action.

The objective of the study tour is to achieve the course’s learning objectives regarding general overview, in-depth knowledge, methodological practice and experiential process in the context of the city of London, British photography and the role of Great Britain in the history of photography.




In-class exam 1


In-class exam 2


In-class exam 3


Oral presentation


Study Tour Reflections


Final Paper




Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due