Presentation on theme: "Techniques for analysing images in VCE History"— Presentation transcript:
1Techniques for analysing images in VCE History Steve ThompsonWestbourne Grammar SchoolIf you would like a copy of this Powerpoint, please me and I’ll get one to you somehow
2Format for this presentation… Pros and cons of using imagesThe COMA process that I useAnalysing images from three revolutionsDifferent sources of imagesImages in the examSample image-based questions in the exam and possible responsesTime to share
4What are the pros and cons of using images in Revolutions?
5The pros…They are primary evidence and offer a direct connection with the context studiedThey appeal to students who are less confident with text, eg. archaic languageAnalysing images utilises different skills and lateral thinkingThey offer scope for a broad range of individual and group tasks in class settingsThere are cross-curricular advantages, eg. study of issues in VCE English
6The cons…Their primary nature can often be a short-coming in terms of the info they presentStudents struggle with the concepts of symbolism, satire and lampooneryStudents often focus on the literal rather than the implied meanings of a sourceStudents do not know historical symbolsStudents struggle to make links between points of analysis and prior knowledge
7What process can be used? COMA ContentOriginMotiveAudience
8Content…Content is all about the literal material inside the image… what does the student ‘see’?Who or what is in the image?What is it / are they doing?Who do you think it might represent?What symbols do you see?What events are being represented?
9Origin…Origin involves thinking about where the image came from – both when and whomWhen was the image made? Any clues?Any events you can reference?Any places shown or implied in the image?Any words? What are they? Language?Who might have created the image? What individual or group? Why might this be?
10Motive…Motive is about identifying an image’s ideas and trying to evaluate its functionWhat point-of-view is being expressed?What’s the tone: Serious? Critical? Satire?What does the creator want the viewer to think and/or to feel?How valid is this perspective, based on what you know?
11Audience…Audience is about trying to evaluate who the image was aimed atWho might have been the target audience?What is a member of this audience presumed to know before seeing the imageHow successful was the image in conveying its ideas or assessments?
12Let’s follow this process through three different images from three different revolutions…
13Apotheosis of Washington Content:Washington in centre wearing robes, a shroud?arms outstretched, allowing himself to be carriedlight from heaven beams down on himtombstone, “sacred to the memory of Washington”, etc.angels lift him up to heavengrieving Lady Libertygrieving Indianthree grieving nuns? women?eagle, American shieldliberty cap and polearmour, sword, bundle rodsmedallion
14Apotheosis of Washington Origin:obviously pro-Washingtonstrong religious overtonesuses many American symbols, so…probably American in originrelates to Washington’s death so circa 1799Motive:grieves Washingtonelevates to almost god-like statuscreates myth about the revolution and its leadersperpetuates religious idealsnationalist in tone, celebrates America’s virtuesshows country as united in its grief
15Apotheosis of Washington Audience:America after the revolution, still divided and in need of unity and commonalitysome Americans sceptical about whether the revolution has fulfilled its aims?viewer is presumed to know Washington and the many symbols presenttone is not subtlehistoriographical analysis of Washington may not correspond with ideas presented in the image
16Political pornography Content:giant penis in centrebeing ridden by a member of the Second Estate, perhaps a military officerpenis has legs and is in the form of an ostrichprobably a play on Marie-Antoinette’s nationality (Austrian)could there be a link to Louis’ problems (phimosis)?l’Autrichienne (the Austrian bitch)she is affectionate towards the giant penis and/or its rider, perhaps symbolises a lover?Cupid / Eros is above, a sign of their love
17Political pornography Origin:during the 1780s when Marie-Antoinette’s popularity was lowmeant for public although is quite intricate, so perhaps more for salons than mobsperhaps bourgeois in originMotive:to denigrate Marie-Antoinette and portray her as unfaithful, promiscuous, lavisciousanti-Austrian overtonescritical of excesses of royalty and nobility, a la Dangerous Liaisons
18Political pornography Audience:intended for people wanting satire and amusement as much as political commentaudience probably already discontented with Marie-Antoinette, eg. political activity, Affair of the Necklacemore satirical than angry so perhaps early to mid 1780show valid were these criticisms of Marie-Antoinette?
19Comrade Lenin cleans the world… Content:Lenin with a broom atop the globeboth his actions and the caption suggest he his cleaning the worldLenin wearing a suit and a boiler cap… dress that is respectable but has links to the proletariattwo kings or tsars represented (crowns, ermine furs, medals)priest represented at bottom left (robes, headwear)capitalist represented at bottom (suit, top hat, bag of wealth, obese)the broom is red, the colour of communismLenin seems to be smiling… he is enjoying the taskthe three classes being ‘cleaned’ are flailing and going reluctantly
21Comrade Lenin cleans the world… Audience:probably proletariat audiences, those already with some support for the revolutionsome familiarity with the ideals and ambitions of the Bolsheviks is assumedperhaps also a warning to those three classes who are being targeted?to what extent was Lenin achieving these goals?
22Some excellent images for analysis (see hand-out for locations):
23American RevolutionImages from before the American Revolution tend to criticise British attacks on the status quo or colonial rights… those during and after the revolution are more iconographic, concerned with leaders or nationalistic ideas
25French RevolutionThe three estates are the most commonly-represented group in French Revolution images
26French RevolutionDavid’s image of the Tennis Court Oath (left) is the best-known image from the French Revolution. Images of liberty (top left) and Rousseau (top right) are more iconographic.
27French RevolutionPolitical pornography (left) focuses on personal attributes of the royal family. British images (top right, top left) highlight the radical and violent nature of the revolution.
28Russian RevolutionOld regime images often show the inequity (above) and the corruption (right) of the tsarist regime. More idealist images show the determined strength of the working people (left)
29Russian RevolutionMany images focus on the short-comings and the poor political leadership of the tsar including the Russo-Japanese War (top) or his pogroms against Jews (right)
30Russian RevolutionBolshevik images are often idealistic about the new society, portraying their leaders and the proletariat as giants or kindly paternalists
31How to prepare students Regular exposure to images: post them around the classroomDevelop a process for image analysis and coach students in how to use this10-15 minutes at the end of a lesson is a good opportunity to look at an image and discuss its COMA … students can link to info covered within that lessonHomework sheets structured similarly to the exam (Section B, Part 1)
32Image-based activities “The making of…”Students work in groups of 4-8 and produce a video or role-play on a nominated imageWorking through COMA, they construct a docu-style ‘making of..’ about the image, with one student as its creator/artistGroups can work separately on the same image, or on different images
33Image-based activities “He said, she said…”Teacher constructs an A3 sized poster with an image in the centre… faces of key individuals are placed around the outside, speech balloons are placed on all facesStudents fill in speech balloons for each face, responding to hints or directions from the teacher
34Image-based activities “Talking heads…”Similar process to “He said, she said…” except students use Powerpoint and ‘back’ the images with spoken commentary or narrationSlides are then presented to the class for comparison and discussion… they can be merged and saved for later revision
35Images in the examIt is possible that an image might appear in Section A, Part 2 and/or Section B, Part 1 of the end-of-year exam.Based on information provided by VCAA to date, these sources will be accompanied by structured questions with several parts.
36Images in the examSample tasks provided thus far suggest that a laddered arrangement of skills will apply in each set of questions, eg.basic comprehension, eg. “what” is in the imagedemonstration of knowledge, eg. “identify” revolutionary ideas, “how” did the ideas in the image developcritical evaluation, eg. “how useful” is this sourceMark allocations will rise in line with both the difficulty of questions and the length of the expected response
37Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. American RevolutionThe Bostonians in Distress, 1774
38Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. American RevolutionThe Bostonians in Distress, 1774Question:What is suggested about colonial Americans in this representation? (2 marks)Answer:a. That the colonial Americans are surrounded, detained and treated harshly by Britain and its military forces. They are starving and forced into an almost barbaric state by their imprisonment.
39Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. American RevolutionThe Bostonians in Distress, 1774Question:b. Identify two details in the representation that shows anti-British feeling in the colonies? (2 marks)Answer:b. The colonists are denied their liberty and reduced to a state of starvation and disorder, due to the presence of British cannon and soldiers (bottom right) and naval blockade (left)
40Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. American RevolutionThe Bostonians in Distress, 1774Question:What revolutionary ideas are expressed in this representation?(2 marks)Answer:c. Liberty is perhaps the key idea, also natural rights (life, liberty and property) and colonial opposition to the presence of a standing army without their consent.
41Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. American RevolutionThe Bostonians in Distress, 1774Question:Using your knowledge, explain why this cartoon appeared (6 marks)Answer:d. This cartoon appeared because of the Coercive Acts (1774) which the Americans referred to as the ‘Intolerable Acts’ because they could not be endured. Some aspects of this legislation included the suspension of the Massachusetts assembly, the closure of Boston Harbour, the establishment of a naval patrol, extra troops and a new Quartering Act which required the Bostonians to house and feed them. Virtually living under martial law, Boston citizens held illegal town meetings, stepped up communication with other colonies and the production of propaganda like ‘Bostonians in Distress’ and ‘The Able Doctor, or America swallowing the bitter draught’, suggesting that a criminal denial of liberty was being committed.
42Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. American RevolutionThe Bostonians in Distress, 1774Question:To what extent are the revolutionary ideas in this cartoon valid and justified? What other interpretations might exist? (8 marks)Answer:e. The revolutionary ideas expressed in the cartoon were valid, however many historians might suggest that the ‘distress’ of the Bostonians could be blamed on their own conduct up to Activities of Boston’s Sons of Liberty included destruction of personal and private property during the Stamp Act riots and 342 crates of tea destroyed during the Boston Tea Party; in addition, royal officials and appointees were harassed, threatened and burned in effigy, some were even assaulted or ‘tarred-and-feathered’. Marxist interpretations like those of Zinn and Jennings suggest that these incidents were sparked by elements of the colonial merchant-class, anxious to instigate separation from England to increase both their economic and political influence in their region.
43Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. Russian Revolution‘The Tsar’s wedding cake’ c.1900
44Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. Russian Revolution‘The Tsar’s wedding cake’, c.1900Question:What conditions are represented in this representation? (2 marks)Answer:a. The conditions represented in the image is the strict hierarchy and the gross social, economic and political inequalities in Tsarist Russia.
45Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. Russian Revolution‘The Tsar’s wedding cake’, c.1900Question:What revolutionary ideas are being expressed in this representation?(2 marks)Answer:b. Revolutionary ideas expressed include the lack of political representation, the exploitation of the peasant and working classes, and the misuse of the army.
46Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. Russian Revolution‘The Tsar’s wedding cake’, c.1900Question:c. In what way is the church depicted in this representation? (2 marks)Answer:c. The church in the image and in Tsarist Russia was closely linked with the ruling order, supporting the Tsar’s ‘divine right’ and promoting loyalty among the peasantry.
47Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. Russian Revolution‘The Tsar’s wedding cake’, c.1900Question:d. What factors have led to the creation of this representation? (6 marks)Answer:d. The growth of revolutionary ideas in Russia during the 1800s led to a new consciousness about the inequality of the Tsarist system. The Tsar’s refusal to undertake political reforms, his use of the army and a secret police (Okhrana) to deal with dissenters, the inequitable wealth of the land-owning classes (shown as greedy and obese in the image) and the oppressive conditions of the peasantry and industrial workers were all potentially revolutionary factors. A rise in groups such as the Narodniks and Social Democrats represented the interests of the lower classes, while liberal groups such as the Kadets emerged from the middle-classes to push for political reforms.
48Let’s work through a couple of images and exam questions…. Russian Revolution‘The Tsar’s wedding cake’, c.1900Question:e. Explain the usefulness of this representation in explaining why revolution occurred in Russia in 1917? (8 marks)Answer:e. The inequality of Russia was an underlying factor in creating revolution, however it took crises to weaken Tsarism for revolution to occur. Inequality had existed in Russia for centuries, however through its control of the army, propaganda and information, and the support of the church, Tsarism was generally able to protect its hold on power. Only when economic crisis combined with war and revolutionary movements, such as in 1905 and then in 1917, was Tsarism threatened. Consequently the ideas in the image were not critical in causing revolution, mainly because numbers of urban workers were not large enough to topple the Tsar; the peasantry was too diverse, too divided and scattered and had little ‘revolutionary consciousness’. Marxist historians suggest that class inequality results in exploitation of the proletariat, so would view inequality as a significant cause of revolution in Russia.