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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Creating Life: The Work of Alfred Eisenstaedt

Photojournalism provides a window through which the average person can experience the world beyond their center of existence. This is especially true before the rise of television, when magazines like Life consciously endeavored to shape the American identity by the stories and photographs they chose to include in their magazine. One of Life’s key photographers was Alfred Eisenstaedt, sometimes called the Father of Photojournalism. This presentation examines Eisenstaedt’s work in the context of Life magazine to understand his role in photojournalism and the role of photojournalism itself, asking questions such as: Is photojournalism an objective window on the world or a more subjective interpretation of it? And what are some of the ethical issues associated with photojournalism, particularly as practiced by Eisenstaedt? The paper samples Eisenstaedt’s photographs from his tenure at Life and extensively examines them as symbols of their time, of Life’s ethos, and Eisenstaedt’s own aesthetic sense.

Presenter: Heidi Bruening (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 216 Holmes
Time: 9 am (Session I)