Art History: Photography and Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida
You are to read closely Roland Barthes’s key book Camera Lucida and explore its ideas and terms as a basis
for an interpretation of one photograph by a photographer associated with the “New York School.”
Your essay should include:
1. A main thesis statement.
2. a formal analysis of the photograph and give specific and prolonged attention to Barthes’ ideas explaining
them to your reader.
3. What are Barthes’ key claims about photography?
4. What crucial insights of the text seem important to highlight and understand?
5. How might terms that Barthes uses like the photographic “studium” and “punctum” impact your reading of
6. Are there other terms or passages in Barthes’ book that help clarify the photograph you are reading?
7. How might Barthes describe the photograph’s relation to time? Memory? Desire? Loss?