November 2020

TEACHING PORTFOLIO

Teaching Philosophy; Sample Syllabi; List of Courses Taught; Student Work

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TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

© Jared Ragland, 2020

Of the many truths revealed and reinforced through the recent COVID-19 pandemic and protests for racial justice, I have been daily reminded of the power of photography to bear witness, connect community, and critically speak truth to power. As the world finds itself in the midst of great change, so too has the medium of photography been resituated within an uncertain, yet exciting, present. Through the shaping of fabricated and found images, deconstructing hierarchies between canonical and vernacular photographs, and engaging with traditional and emergent technologies, artists are employing a wide range of strategies to critically engage with the dilating character of globalized visual culture. My pedagogical approach enables students to consider the intellectual, aesthetic, and practical implications of this pivotal moment through a dynamic curriculum that actively addresses these issues and connects them to the broader cultural and political conditions shaping our time.

In my classroom, students are challenged to master the craft of image making, approach the reading and understanding of pictures with proper historical and contextual knowledge, and understand the power of photographs to document, reveal, criticize and provoke change. By establishing a firm foundation in current and historical methodologies and teaching within an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment where students have access to safe, clean facilities outfitted with up-to-date, professional equipment, I provide a platform from which students learn to take risks, develop their voice, and redefine the photographic medium in their own way.

While I encourage my students to pursue the act of making as a way of thinking, I believe that artistic development does not solely occur as a result of making itself. To reach beyond traditional studio classroom models, I regularly incorporate experiential and service learning coursework through single and long-term creative assignments. This immersive fieldwork and community-based research motivates students to consider their role as thoughtfully engaged citizens as they develop partnerships outside the classroom that yield multi-dimensional, mutually beneficial outcomes based on shared vision and tangible benefits. By acknowledging specific student and community needs, fostering student-community collaboration, and promoting application of theory to “real world” practice, experiential and service learning strategies provide learning outcomes where students analyze, synthesize, and apply key concepts, knowledge, and research methods in new contexts; develop effective oral, written, and visual communication skills; and cultivate empathy, independent reasoning, and decision making skills.

Deep learning and transformational growth is further fostered by combining studio assignments and class presentations with museum visits and multimedia resources, and I draw from a variety of literary and academic texts while regularly providing cross-disciplinary reading assignments in literature, poetry, science, history and journalism. Students are connected to contemporary practitioners through visiting artist programs, online conversations, workshops, and internships to prompt dialogue that reaches beyond the classroom and spurs professional development opportunities.

Carefully structured critical reflection intentionally connects students’ creative work with course content, and is facilitated through ongoing conversations, critical writing assignments, and studio critique. Through these methods, students test the strengths and limitations of their work, integrate new experiences against existing knowledge, and analyze and articulate their discoveries in open, constructive dialogue.

Ultimately, the object of this dialogue is a creative exchange marked by the success John Henry Newman describes in The Idea of a University: a kind of higher learning that does not cherish “talent, genius, or knowledge, for [her] own sake, but for the sake of her children…with the object of training them to fill their respective posts in life better, and of making them more intelligent, capable, active members of society.”1

1 John Henry Newman. The Idea of a University. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1907.


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SAMPLE SYLLABI


Champion Image: Socially-Engaged Visual Storytelling 
University of South Florida Judy Genshaft Honors College2020
Download: IDH 4950_005_Ragland.pdf
Description: The Champion Image is a visual arts-based interdisciplinary course committed to scholarly engagement, creative collaboration, and compassionate conversation through documentary photography and interdisciplinary visual studies. The class will focus on the critical understanding and crafting of photographic images – particularly those that involve individual citizens and communities and consider local social, economic, and ecological issues. Within the context of a variety disciplinary approaches (eg: social sciences, urban planning, healthcare, history, etc.), students will investigate historical antecedents, contemporary practices, and strategies of critical interpretation of socially-conscious photographic works and develop their own visual research projects in collaboration with community partners and local stakeholders located within Tampa, Florida’s University Area neighborhood. While largely documentary in approach, the class may also consider found and constructed images, look at fine art and vernacular photographs, and engage with art historical precedents, emergent technologies, and social media applications. The course will be taught in collaboration with IDH 3400-013 Fostering a Compassionate City: Systems Thinking for Social Change, and IDH 4950-004 Compassionate Cities: An Emerging Social Development, with which students will collaborate in a semester long, community-engaged project that incorporates systems thinking, qualitative ethnography, and visual methods.

Experiential (Intro) Photography
University of Alabama at Birmingham • 2018
Download: Ragland-Intro-Syllabus.pdf
Description: This course is designed as an introduction to photographic strategies employed by both contemporary photographic artists as well as their historical antecedents. The class will develop a conversation that considers the aesthetic and conceptual implications of current lens-based practices while connecting them to the broader cultural and political conditions shaping our time. Specifically, students will develop creative/critical photographic language, gain an understanding and appreciation for light, and learn techniques in exposure and camera control, film processing, and darkroom printing in concert with digital imaging methods. 

Special Topics: Camera-less
University of Alabama at Birmingham • 2016
Download: Ragland-Cameraless-Syllabus.pdf
Description: Photography is in the midst of an uncertain, yet exciting, present. Through the shaping of found and constructed images, compressing histories of both canonical and vernacular photographs, and engaging with emergent technologies and social media applications, contemporary artists are critically engaging with the dilating character of globalized visual culture and expanding the possibilities for what a photograph might be. By exploring specific strategies employed by contemporary artists during this pivotal moment – including appropriation, collage, curation, construction, manipulation, surveillance, and mapping – this course will develop a conversation that considers the aesthetic and conceptual implications of current lens-based practices while connecting them to the broader cultural and political conditions shaping our time. 


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COURSES TAUGHT


*developed course/wrote syllabus

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA JUDY GENSHAFT HONORS COLLEGE, 2019–20
Visiting Distinguished Professor
The Champion Image: Socially-Engaged Visual Storytelling*
The Compassionate Image: Socially-Engaged Visual Storytelling (taught in collaboration with Fostering a Compassionate City: Systems Thinking for Social Change & Compassionate Cities: An Emerging Social Development classes)*
The Art of Politics: Photography, Propaganda, and Politics*
Looking Beyond Florida Man and Sunsets: Florida and the South in Photographs*

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM, 2013–18
Adjunct Faculty
BFA Exhibition
BA Capstone: Contemporary Art Practices
Special Topics: Camera-less*
Special Topics: Stories from the Line – Documenting Poverty (cross-listed with Department of History, Media Studies)*
Special Topics: Photography in the South*
Special Topics: Neighborhood Studies (cross-listed with Department of History)*
Intermediate Photography*
Experiential Photography*
Beginning Photography*
4-D Design Foundations*

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA, 2016
Master of Arts Graduate Thesis Committee
Student: Celestia Morgan

DUKE UNIVERSITY, 2015
Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts Graduate Thesis Committee
Student: Aaron Canipe

CORCORAN COLLEGE OF ART + DESIGN, 2007–13
Adjunct Faculty
Studio Photojournalism Core IV Senior Thesis*
Studio Fine Art Photography Core IV Senior Thesis
Studio Photojournalism Core III*
Studio Fine Art Photography Core III*
Light Studies & Optical Culture
Focus on Photojournalism Pre-college*

LAGRANGE COLLEGE, 2004–05
Adjunct Faculty
Documentary Photography*
Basic Photography*
2D Design
Western Humanities II*

TULANE UNIVERSITY, 2002–03
Instructor of Record
Foundations of Art: Photography*


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STUDENT WORK



Aaron Canipe, selections from the series Plateau
Pigment prints, 20x24” each
MFA Thesis Project
Duke University • Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts Graduate Thesis Committee • 2015
aaroncanipe.com




Celestia Morgan, selections from the series Redline
Pigment prints, various sizes
MA Thesis Project
University of Alabama • Master of Arts Thesis Committee • 2016
celestiamorgan.com




Documentation of the student curated exhibition, Inherited Scars: A Meditation on the Southern Gothic
Birmingham Museum of Art, April 2 – August 9, 2015
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Photography in the South • 2015
https://www.artsbma.org/exhibition/inherited-scars-a-meditation-on-the-southern-gothic/




Brittney Truitt, selections from the series Highway 31
Pigment prints, 24x30” each
BFA Thesis Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • BFA Exhibition • 2015




Devin Lunsford, selections from the series Waiting for Something That’s Not Coming
Pigment prints, 6x6” each
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Photography in the South • 2015
devinlunsford.com




Ty Harris, stills from Hymns of Youth
Video, 3 minutes
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Photography in the South • 2015




Christianna Traynor, selections from the series Marshall County
Pigment prints, 6x9” each
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Photography in the South • 2015




Aubrey Venkler, selections from the series Lines and Boundaries
Archival pigment prints, 16x20” each
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Neighborhood Studies • 2018




Evan Franklin, selections from the series 41st St N
Archival pigment prints, 12x16” each
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Neighborhood Studies • 2018




Macy J. Moon, selections from Day 5 - November 27, 2018, from the series Walking Archive
Digital images published to online archive website, https://macyjanemoon.cargo.site/Walking-Archive-About
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Neighborhood Studies • 2018




Selection of student artist books and zines accessioned into the Birmingham Museum of Art Hanson Library Artist Book Collection
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Camera-less • 2016
https://uab.edu/news/self-published-artist-books-and-zines-made-by-uab-students-now-part-of-birmingham-museum-of-art-collection




Daniel Senko, selections from the artist book, Taking Portraits
Rephotographed photobook dust jacket portraits, various sizes
Course Final Zine Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Camera-less • 2016




Jacob Lawley
Google street view screen capture typology
Mapping Assignment
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Camera-less • 2016




Devin Lunsford, selections from the series, Done Lost Too Much
Pigment prints documenting recovering methamphetamine cooks, made in collaboration with UAB Department of Criminology student Natalie Matos, 16x24” each
Course Final Project
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Special Topics: Stories from the Line – Documenting Poverty • 2015
devinlunsford.com




Cole Martin
Silver gelatin prints, 6x6” each
Self-portrait Assignment
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Experiential Photography • 2018




Destany Faye Miller
Silver gelatin prints, 6x9” each
Course Final Project, visualizing effects of opioid addiction and incarceration between the artist and her mother
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Experiential (Intro) Photography • 2018




Megan Hammonds
Toned silver gelatin prints, various sizes
Sequencing and Narrative Assignment
University of Alabama at Birmingham • Intermediate Photography • 2015




Eric Gregory Powell, selections from the series Route 1
Pigment prints, 16x20” each
BFA Thesis Project
Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University • Studio Photojournalism Core IV Senior Thesis • 2007




Jessica Kolscielniak, selections from the series Weighted Decisions
Pigment prints, 16x24” each
BFA Thesis Project
Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University • Studio Photojournalism Core IV Senior Thesis • 2007
jessicakoscielniak.com




Sara J. Winston, selections from the series Chronicles
C-prints, 8x8” each
Sequencing and Narrative Assignment
Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University • Studio Fine Art Photography Core III • 2010
sarajwinston.com




John Edmonds, Male Studies
C-prints, 10x10” each
Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University • Studio Fine Art Photography Core III • 2010
johnedmonds.studio




Justine Tobiasz, selections from the series Strike, Gently
Gum bichromate prints with blood, 16x20” each
Sequencing and Narrative Assignment
Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University • Studio Fine Art Photography Core III • 2008
justinetobiasz.info




Nick Popovici, Gang One (top) United We Stand (bottom left); Disease One (bottom center); At What Cost (bottom right)
Mixed media collages, 24x36” each
BFA Thesis Project
Corcoran College of Art + Design • Studio Fine Art Photography Core IV Senior Thesis • 2008




William Knipscher, installation view of The Children
Artist-made beeswax and charcoal crayon rubbing from photo-polymer plates in handmade wood frames, 48x60” each
BFA Thesis Project
Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, George Washington University • Studio Fine Art Photography Core IV Senior Thesis • 2009
williamknipscher.com


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