Photographic Essay

The photographic essay represents a significant, independent project that more or less replaces the “traditional” term paper. While less writing is required, the conceptual content and the room for original expression will provide an opportunity for a rich learning experience that links the main themes of the course with your own experiences. The photographic essay should consist of at least six entries, each consisting of:


(i)            A photograph that is somehow connected to one or more themes of the class,


(ii)          A quote from one of the readings or some other academic source, and


(iii)         An original discussion averaging about 150-200 words.


The author, location, and approximate date taken should also be included directly below each photograph. The purpose of the caption is to describe what is in the photograph and what it shows about one of the main themes of the course. In some cases the connection between the academic quote and the rest of the entry will be obvious, but if not, the caption can be used to make the connection apparent. At least five of the photographs should be taken by you (preferably during this course), but other photographs may be used, provided that they can be adequately described and referenced. The photographic essay should also include a 500-750 word narrative that summarizes your approach and explains common ideas and connections among the photographs and discusses the story they tell. It can come in the form of an introduction, epilogue, or some combination. More explanation about the purpose and expectations of this assignment will be provided in class. If you do not have access to a camera, please see me as soon as possible. The photographic essay will be due June 17, the day of our last class meeting.


As part of the photographic essay grade, you will be asked to provide a short justification of your project. I must approve your chosen topic no later than 29 May.







GEOG 2300 Guidelines for Photo-Essay



1)   Choose approximately 6-7 pictures which help to illustrate an element of the course material (Space, Place and Identity) – these should preferably be pictures you have taken (some other material may be used if you are doing a comparative project, e.g. historical versus the present)


2)   Your paper must have:


  1. An introduction that addresses the focus of your photo-essay – i.e. why you have chosen this topic; these images; and this subject matter.  You must also include a discussion of what elements of cultural geography you will be exploring.


  1. Make sure to have some order or organization to your images – remember that they should tell a story or make a case


  1. For each picture, please include a quote from the course material (i.e. readings or lectures) or an academic article and a discussion of: what is being shown; why it is significant; how it fits into your overall case-study; what elements of cultural geography are being revealed; etc. Your discussions should be about 150-200(max) words (0.5 page single-spaced)


  1. Finally, a short conclusion that readdresses your case-study in light of the general issues raised in the introduction.


  1. References! APA style! Make sure to reference all supporting academic literature.


  1. Including a map of your study area might be useful, but is not always needed (especially if your images come from different places).”



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