Fall 2016: New School Year, New Syllabi <3 / by adriana monsalve

School is back in session staring Tuesday.  I'll be teaching Photo 1, Photo II, and a new class - Adobe for Publication.  I LOVE PHOTO II.  I love it so much in fact, that I change the syllabus every semester.  Story telling is vast and ever changing, so I change it cuz I feel like there is so much to cover.  I teach Photo II as a highly content based course.  Photography will always be technical and you really never stop honing in on those skills.. but I am much more interested in the content side of things.. not so much how you're shooting it, but more, what you are shooting and why? 

Storyline over everything is key.  This is how I know I am a journalist before a photographer.. Cuz I'm much more interested in the subject matter / the story line / why your shooting this, as opposed to how lovely / beautiful / technically sound the product is.  Of course a technically sound project is probably gonna communicate the content and idea better.  They work together, they are both necessary and essential to being a visual communicator.  But, everybody has to start somewhere and I believe the sooner you start thinking about how to tell stories the better off you will be.  Because, honestly, if your constantly shooting - the whole technically sound thing - is gonna happen for you - I promise.  But; understanding how to create stories, how to see stories, how to find them, how to follow a narrative... that takes a completely different kind of learning.  And that's not a learning that can happen with just doing something a certain amount of times - i mean sure that helps ! - but thinking in narratives and story lines is something you have to be confronted with.  It takes a large amount of critical thinking and problem solving.  This is what I am introducing in PHOTO II.  The more time I spend with my students, showing them the new and ever evolving forms of story telling.. the more amazed I am with the work they produce.  They're undergrad students.. and some of them are really killin the game.  I learn so much from the way they tell stories. Storytelling is my favorite thing.. I can talk about it forever and i've dedicated the past 5yrs of my life to it.  So obviously, this is my favorite class.  

This semester, I am really excited about the subject matter.  This will be my 3rd time teaching PHOTO II.  3 and numbers that have pairings of 3 in them are my favorite digits.  So I'm pretty sure this class is gonna be ridiculous in growth, challenge, and product.  So much fun.

The focus for this semester is: A STUDY OF CENTERING THE 'OTHER' THROUGH REPRESENTATIONS OF BLACKNESS.  I know; it's a lot and it's heavy.  If storytelling is my favorite thing, then race and identity is my favorite subject to tell stories about.  There is a lot of jargon just in the title:

• Centering
• Other
• Representation
• Blackness

These are not common terms for the majority of the Laredo community.  If they aren't woke before this class, I hope and pray they will be a lot closer 4 months from now.  And woke encompasses a lot of things, so I'll just say - woke to race.  The major tool I am using in this course is the camera as a tool for representation.  We will only be looking at storytelling / content / subject matter / and photographers that put the black experience at forefront and center of the story.. Content that revolves around the seeing of blackness from the first visual story tellers to the avant garde of today, and how that story pertains to ours as Latinos / as minority groups who intersect on many things.  This class is largely about seeing where they live - the border / the margin / the edges -  as central to the American story and placing themselves and their environment as fundamental representations of the narrative.  

So yeah, I know it's a lot.  But I push my students cuz I push myself and I know they can do it.  

I love making syllabi because it's challenging to put together ideas and content for growth over a period of time but also because the process is partly a collab effort that i do with my homie and sister: Caterina Ragg.  She takes my word documents and images, and turns them into something beautiful ^_^

i love a good collab.. #godblessthecollab
They're a masterpiece, really..
am i right ?

*click on the images to see them bigger

If you have any questions about the content or otherwise, ask me!

Here is the syllabus for a new class that has never been taught at TAMIU: ADOBE FOR PUBLICATION.  I'm really excited about this too.  If Storytelling is my favorite thing ..it all comes together and actually becomes a story when you put it into formation.  Be it a website, or a book / zine / layout.  When images and words intersect - some sort of platform for layout is born.  And a lot of that is what is going to be happening in this class.  It's about learning how to use adobe software for publication purposes.  Zines are my 3rd favorite thing... So you know the final is gonna be lit.

If you have any questions about the content or otherwise, ask me!
or just take my class ^_^

happy week ya'll !
next week i'll show a story again..
sorry to break up da flow, i just love my syllabi.