Photo Communication in the Czech Republic, France and the UK

JRN 483 (Undergraduate)
JRN 883 (Graduate)
Summer 2013
Howard Bossen and Darcy Greene
School of Journalism
Michigan State University

Bossen: US cell phone: 001-517-256-2101
Greene: US cell phone: 001-517-449-6977

The objectives of this course are threefold. Learn through doing: By making and critiquing photographs students will learn how to see and think photographically, critically analyze and discuss photographs, express ideas visually and master the techniques of digital photography. Learn by listening and observing: Students expand their understanding of the possibilities of photographic expression through interactive sessions with photographers, curators, gallerists, historians and editors. Learn by traveling: students will expand their understanding of history, culture and humanity through travel in Europe to large cities, small towns, rural settings and historic Neolithic and Roman sites. Students will discover how the political, cultural and social dimensions of a particular place influence the world-view of those who live in that place.

This course explores photography from a variety of perspectives including art, documentary, photojournalism, architecture and advertising, museum and curatorial practices and the history of photography. Students divide their time between making pictures, visiting galleries and museums and meeting photographers, educators and curators.

The URL for the course website is Share this with your family. Friends and families as well as faculty in the J-School may read about our experiences.

The course website contains two types of content: instructor-produced and student-produced. The instructor-produced sections will contain course materials such as the syllabus, project descriptions, program calendar, etc. The student-produced section will contain the course blog as well as reviews for the exhibitions students see at Les Rencontres Arles Photographie.

Note: Attendance and participation is expected at each scheduled session. It is your responsibility to be an active participant in our sessions. As our presenters speak you should formulate questions for them or come to the session with some questions you would like answered about their area of expertise. For example, you might ask how does one go about building a portfolio as an artist, photojournalist, architectural or advertising photographer? How does one present that portfolio? What made you decide to become a photographer, editor, publisher, etc.? How do you find a balance between your family life and your work life? Keep in mind that the only dumb question is the unasked question.

Failure to attend sessions and to actively participate in discussion with the presenters will adversely affect your total experience and your final grade. Students are expected to ask at least ONE question at each session. Each unexcused absence will lower the final grade by 0.5 on a 4.0 scale.

Blogging: 10%
Arles exhibition reviews: 5%
Prague Architectural Photography (light and shape): 15%
Arles conceptual project: 15%
Arles and Roman ruins: 5%
Paris neighborhood: 15%
Stonehenge and Lacock: 5%
London street life project: 15%
Final portfolio: 5%
Participation (Asking good questions): 10%
Total: 100%

All critique sessions are advisory. All projects can be reworked before the official end of the course. Final Portfolio of edited work is due no later than October 7, 2013 or August 23, 2013 if you are graduating at the end of the summer.

Students are expected to do their own work on all assignments. Students who cheat, fabricate or plagiarize will receive a 0.0 on the assignment and may fail this course. Plagiarism means the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results or words without giving proper credit. Article 2.3.3. of the Academic Freedom Report states that “the student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards.”  In addition, the School of Journalism adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades, and in the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades, which are included in Spartan Life: Student and Handbook and Resource Guide.

Students in this course are bound by the School of Journalism Code of Ethics and Best Practices, which may be found at

Students are expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner in the classroom. As noted in the University’s Code of Teaching Responsibility, this involves “the right of faculty members to conduct classes, and of students to participate in those classes, without interference or disruption.”  Additionally, section 2.3.5 in the “Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University” report states that, “the student’s behavior in the classroom shall be conducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned.” If a student’s behavior is so disruptive that it interferes with the teaching and learning process, the student may be required to leave the classroom and could be referred to the student judicial affair’s office for a disciplinary hearing.

Students on MSU Study Abroad programs are representing their school and themselves. They are expected to behave appropriately at all times. Inappropriate behavior, including those involving use of drugs and/or alcohol, are grounds for being terminated from the program and sent home.