Required Reading: 

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1. Analyze and give a close reading to at least two of the images below using this week’s readings as a reference point. As always, be sure to cite specific examples from the text to back up your claims. Things to think about: Who is represented, who is not? What about angle, framing, composition, lines, color, printing techniques, tone, space, foreground and background, texture? What is their overall argument? What is the larger context here?

2. Please post a question you would like to discuss for this week’s readings in class.

Image 1: The Miner’s Lamentation 


Image 2: Malakoff Diggings, Nevada County, California (Courtesy of Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley


Image 3: Malakoff Diggings. North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Co. Process of separating the ore from earth. [California.] Watkins’ Pacific Coast. (Courtesy of Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley). 


Image 4: Head of Auburn Ravine, 1852. Cased photographs selected from the collections of the California History Section of the California State Library



Image 5: In Auburn Ravine, 1852. (California State Library) 



Image 6: Six miners with rocker, wheel barrows, picks, shovels and gold pans. Men stopping work to pose at mining site. Two display gold pans, one carries buckets balanced from a bar across his shoulders. Several rockers or “cradles” are also displayed. (1850). (Courtesy of Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley) 



Image 7: Nisenan Indian With Arrows (1850-1860) Daguerreotype (From the Braun Research Library, Autry National Center; 1346.G.1)




Want to learn more? Check out these resources: 

  • Sandweiss, Martha, Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004).
Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton University (2018-) and President of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. She is the co-founder and C.E.O. of U.S. History Scene and an Executive Advisor to the documentary series "Reconstruction: America After the Civil War" (now streaming PBS, 2019).

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