The syllabus and schedule for this class may be downloaded here.
Barthes classic book about photography Camera Lucida is the primary text for this course. His idea that the way we look at photographs in two ways. The studium is a desire to study and understand a photograph. The punctum, literally the point or wound, is sometimes simplified as a telling detail that may or may not have been intentional. These ideas are balanced by a meditation on loss and memory.
A good short description is here.
The three ways photography "works" from our discussion about Sontag.
Susan Sontag's On Photography is considered by many to be one of the most important books about image-making produced in the 20th century. It is a work of philosophical criticism that can be challenging in the contradictions it proposes.
Quotes from On Photography may be found here. I'm not sure they are the "most important" as the curator claims but they are a good sample.
In the excerpt we worked with in class on Monday October 14 Sontag mentions an important mid twentieth century photographer named Diane Arbus.
The formal elements of any visual composition are line, shape and form, space, color (or lack thereof) and texture.
There is a bit more information here.
The 9/11 image we looked at and analyzed is here.