Photography in London & Paris

Image of Paris, France
Compare and contrast design during a summer program in two great cities: Paris and London.
Location: Paris, France; London, England
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: Yes
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Spend 3 weeks over the summer exploring the unique and creative cities of Paris and London
  • Visit galleries, museums, theaters while meeting designers, photographers, artists, and illustrators in both cities
  • Earn 3- 6 academic credit hours

American writer and philosopher Susan Sontag once said, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” The summer program’s goal is to take participants to photography’s very beginnings. Travel through time to the locations of photography’s discovery, explore significant art collections and experience Paris and London with a contemporary lens. This program is a multi-dimensional experience that will not only focus on the creation and study of photographs but will expose participants to European art movements, architecture, culture, and food. We will focus on the cities of London and Paris, as well as significant surrounding sites, both known for their historic importance and world centers of contemporary photography. This in-depth look at photography’s history will be an enriching experience of a lifetime!

2024 Dates

Depart U.S.: Saturday, May 18, 2024

Arrive London: Sunday, May 19, 2024

Depart Paris: Tuesday, June 4, 2024

London, England (7 days) 

We will have eight wonderful days to explore the art, architecture, culture and London’s rich ties to both the historic and contemporary world of photography. With cameras in tote, we explore the city and its photographic possibilities. We will find its premier architectural achievements, visit museums, meet with artists, gallerists, book publishers and designers. We will visit Hyde Park and see London’s contemporary art scene at the Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Victoria Albert Museum. We will spend time in London’s coolest neighborhoods, Shoreditch and Brick Lane as well as travel outside the city on two daytrips to Lacock Abby and Oxford.

Paris, France (10 days)

The program continues in the City of Lights. After walking the city and taking a Bateaux Mouches tour along the Seine we will be exposed to the amazing variety of French cuisine. We will explore the Paris with a keen eye with daily photo excursions. We will be entrenched in the city’s vast history and learn about the artists, architects, designers, writers and cultural heroes that have shaped this city and our society as a whole. We will visit Paris’ greatest art museums: Museum de Louvre, Grand Palais, Musée d’Orsay and the Pompidou. We will discover contemporary art in the galleries of the Marais district as well as the Palais de Tokyo and Jeu de Paume. Our quest for photography’s past and present will lead us to Maison Européenne de la Photographie and the Foundation of Henri Cartier-Bresson. As we view Paris through the lens of photography, we will visit the studios of artists and designers who are making Paris an ever-important center of creative work today.

Students may enroll in 3 or 6 hours for the program.

The courses are:

• ADS 532 Study Abroad: Photography in London+Paris (required)

• ADS 533 Study Abroad Documentation (optional)

Prior to traveling to Europe, students will be expected to complete a variety of ‘research’ assignments to prepare them for travel abroad. Assigned readings will also be included in this prep work.

Course Descriptions

ADS 532 Study Abroad: Photography in London+Paris is a 3 credit studio course in which students will observe, take note and document the cultures of Paris and London. Prior to departure each student will choose several subjects to research and observe while abroad. Subjects can include anything that is part of everyday life in both cities. Students will document their subjects by making photographs, sketches and writing observations. A book featuring each students’ collections will be produced to document this experience.

ADS 533 Study Abroad Documentation: This 3 credit course includes relevant assigned research topics to be completed during the Spring Semester before travel initiates. Documentation of the travel experience itself will satisfy the rest of the requirements for credit. In a photographic and literary journal of the trip, students will keep notes, reflections and visual information for evaluation by the instructor. Mandatory attendance is required at all scheduled visits during the program. ADS 532 fulfills 3 credits of core requirements for Visual Communications majors, and studio credits for other majors and Schools. ADS 533 fulfills the Study Abroad requirement for Visual Communication majors, and other majors and Schools.

Participants will stay in hostels in London and in Paris.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students from any accredited U.S. college or university. Minimum 2.50 GPA required (exceptions considered only after submission of a petition).

Elise Kirk, Associate Professor of Photography at the University of Kansas, is a photofilmic artist and educator concerned with human nature in an ecological world, and the ways in which we construct ourselves through our environments. She was raised in middle-Missouri, studied film at Columbia College Chicago and on a U.S. Fulbright award in Madrid, and completed her MFA in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. She worked for a decade as a media producer in New York and Washington, D.C. for clients including National Geographic, Discovery, and VICE, leading to a post-documentary approach in her own practice. Elise has participated in numerous residencies, including the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska, and the U.S. National Park Service.

David Emitt Adams is an artist and educator whose current practice engages historical photographic methods in order to create an informed contemporary dialogue about the past and present. Born in Yuma, Arizona, David obtained his Bachelor's of Fine Art from Bowling Green State University and a Master's of Fine Art from Arizona State University. He has taught photography at universities and art centers both Nationally and internationally. David’s photographs are in the permanent collection of The Center for Creative Photography, The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, The George Eastman Museum and numerous private collections. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including museum exhibitions at Wichita Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, Roswell Museum and Art Center and the Tucson Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Ogden Museum in New Orleans.