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MMEDIA 4F03 Topics:Multimedia Productions

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Robert Hamilton

Email: hamiltr@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 330

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27955


Office Hours: Thursdays, 1:30 PM – 2:30PM

Course Objectives:

This course examines photography, photographers and the impact of new media technologies on photography. The course will explore contemporary photographic in relation photography exhibitions and installations, technologies such as smart phone apps and web-based projects, communication and culture from the perspective of both commercial and artistic applications. Students will develop a critical understanding of contemporary art photography. Students will create original art works and participate within group critiques. Students will engage in a photographic practice and attend art exhibitions. Students will articulate and reflect on concepts discussed in class and further developed in their artwork and artist statements. The course will explore the work of Milton Rogovin, Vivian Maier, Saul Leiter, Garry Winogrand, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus among others.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Charlotte Cotton

ISBN 978-0-500-20418-4

Method of Assessment:

Detailed descriptions of individual assignments will be circulated in class. You are encouraged to begin working on assignments well in advance of their due dates.

Grading will be based on the general quality of the submitted work. Attendance is mandatory. The participation grade will be determined by the student’s contribution to a supportive and critical atmosphere during class. Late assignments will be penalized by 5% per day of the week (weekends included).  Extensions will be given if requested before the assignment’s due date and if the instructor considers the reason legitimate.

Sept. 28th - Project 1: 20%

Oct. 26th - Project 2: 20%

Nov. 30 - Final Project: 30%

Presentation: 20%

Participation: 10%



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Regular attendance is required to successfully achieve course outcomes. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to complete any work done in class.

All work must be submitted in class on the due date.  Do not submit assignments by email or slide them under the instructor’s door. Late assignments will only be accepted with prior consent from the instructor and/or appropriate documentation to support your inability to submit the work by the due date.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:







Sept. 7


 - Intro to class







Sept. 14

 - Student Presentations #1

 - Milton Rogovin, The Forgotten Ones doc.

 - Weegee (Arthur Fellig)

 - Lecture 1: If This is Art





Sept. 21


 - Student Presentations #2

 - Lecture 2: Once Upon A Time

 - Terry Barrett: Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to    Understanding Images






Sept. 28

 - Vivian Maier doc.

  - Student Presentations #3


 - Lecture 3: Digital Nature  



Project 1




Oct. 5

  - Student Presentations #4


 -  Lecture 4: Digital Cameras





Oct. 19

 - Saul Leiter doc.

  - Student Presentations #5


 - Lecture 5: Organizing Memories






Oct. 26

  - Everybody Street doc.

  - Student Presentations #6


 - Lecture 6: Where Do We Fit



Project 2




Nov. 2

 - Project Presentations

 - Student Presentations #7


 - Lecture 7: Panopticon







Nov. 9

 - Project Presentations

 - Student Presentations #8


 - Lecture 8: Future Visions






Nov. 16

 - Project Presentations

- Student Presentations #9


 - Review






Nov. 23

 - Project Presentations

 - Student Presentations #10


 - Student Presentations






Nov. 30

 - Project Presentations

 - Student Presentations #11



Final Project





Dec. 7

 - Results