Indiana University

Indiana University Journalism

Claude CookmanClaude Cookman

Professor Emeritus

Recent News

Past academic positions

Assistant Instructor, Princeton University Art and Archaeology Department, 1988-89; Adjunct Instructor, Barry University, Miami, Florida, 1984; Visiting Lecturer, University of Iowa, 1981; Adjunct Instructor, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1979, 1980.

Professional positions

Copy Editor, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.), 1984-86; Graphics Editor, The Miami Herald (Fla.), 1981-84; Picture Editor, The Louisville Times (Ky.), 1974-81; Copy Editor, The Herald-Journal (Syracuse, N.Y.), 1973-74; Picture Editor, The Associated Press, (New York City) 1971-73; Reporter, The Anderson Herald (Ind.), 1965, 1968-70; Executive Officer and Assistant Adjutant, U.S. Army, 1965-68.

Professional organizations

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, National Press Photographers Association.


American Photojournalism: Motivations and Meanings. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2009.
An American Family: Three Decades with the McGarveys. Washington: National Geographic Society, 2009.
Werner Bischof 55. London: Phaidon, 2001.
A Voice Is Born: The Founding and Early Years of the National Press Photographers Association Under the Leadership of Joseph Costa. Durham, N.C.: National Press Photographers Association, 1985.
Book chapters:
“Using Just-in-Time Teaching to Foster Critical Thinking in a Humanities Course,” Just In Time Teaching, eds. Scott Simkins, Mark Maier, Sterling, Va.: Stylus Publishing, 2009.
“Transforming students into historical researchers: A Photographic Historian’s Perspective,” The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Contributions of Research Universities, eds. William E. Becker, Moya L. Andrews, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.
“Henri Cartier-Bresson: Master of Photographic Reportage,” in Henri Cartier-Bresson: the man, the image & the world: a retrospective. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003.
“Presenting Quantitative Data,” Research Methods in Mass Communication, eds. David Weaver, G. Cleveland Wilhoit, Guido H. Stempel III., Boston: Pearson Education, 2002.
“Photography of the 1940s and 1950s,” Photography at Princeton: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Collecting and Teaching the History of Photography. Princeton, NJ: The Art Museum, Princeton University, 1998.
Journal articles:
“Gilles Caron’s coverage of the crisis in Biafra,” Visual Communication Quarterly, Winter 2008.
“Henri Cartier-Bresson Reinterprets his Career,” History of Photography, Spring, 2008.
“American photography follows two traditions: description and expression.” Photo World, Beijing, Nov. - Dec. 2007.
“Gilles Caron and the Student Rebellion of May 1968,” History of Photography, Autumn 2007.
“An American atrocity: The My Lai massacre concretized in a victim’s face.” The Journal of American History, June 2007.
“The equality they deserve: Janine Niépce’s coverage of French women’s lives and struggle for equal rights,” Visual Communication Quarterly, Fall 2006.
“Steady vision on a complex humanity.” The Digital Journalist, 2006.
“Cartier-Bresson’s Impact on Photojournalism.” News Photographer Magazine, 2004.
“How Marc Riboud’s Photographic Report from Hanoi Argued the Vietnam War was Unwinnable,” Visual Communication Quarterly, Jan. 2000.
“A Computer-Based Graphics Course and Students’ Cognitive Skills,” Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Fall 1998.
“Margaret Bourke-White and Henri Cartier-Bresson: Gandhi’s Funeral.” History of Photography, Summer 1998.
“Compelled to Witness: the Social Realism of Henri Cartier-Bresson,” Journalism History, Spring 1998.
“Edward Steichen’s Self-portraits.” History of Photography, Spring 1998.
The People’s America: Farm Security Administration Photographs (1935–1943), Bloomington: Indiana University Art Museum, 1997.
“Henri Cartier-Bresson: Primary and Secondary Bibliography.” History of Photography, Winter 1995.


“Fostering generic and discipline-specific critical thinking in large courses through oppositional readings and web-based pedagogy.” First Place in the Best Practices in Teaching of Critical Thinking Competition, sponsored by the Elected Teaching Committee of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2010.
Gretchen A. Kemp Teaching Fellowship, IU School of Journalism, 2007 and 1993.
Teaching Excellence Recognition Award (TERA), Indiana University, 2000, 1999, 1998.
President’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Indiana University, 1999.
Robin F. Garland Educator Award, the National Press Photographers Association, 1999.
Elected to the IU Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET), 1996.
IU Alumni Association Student Choice Award for distinguished teaching, 1994.
Shared the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography awarded to the combined photographic staff of The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times, 1976.
Wheaton College Scholastic Honor Society, 1964.

Teaching and research areas

Visual communications, photojournalism editing, history of photography, graphic communication, computer design, informational graphics and mass communications pedagogy.

Research summary

Within the broader field of the history of photography, Cookman’s research focuses on magazine photojournalists working in the tradition of French humanism. This specialization began with his doctoral dissertation on the legendary French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson and has branched out to include others in the Magnum Photos, Rapho and Contact Press Images agencies.

Currently he has journal articles under review on: Margaret Bourke-White’s 1937 picture story for Life magazine on Muncie, Indiana, which had been characterized as “Middletown, U.S.A.” in two major sociological studies, and on René Burri’s 1963 reportage for Look magazine, on Cuba immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

For an interview with Cookman about his teaching, research and service, visit WFIU's Profiles.

On faculty since 1990.