When I enrolled in an experimental writing class entitled “The American Road,” I assumed that the semester would be filled with discussions about the physical American road, its attractions, and its place in American history. While the physical road was an important subject in the class, I learned that this “American Road” was expansive beyond its physical limitations, able to encompass topics as broad and abstract as social progress, popular television shows, and, in my case, photography. I ultimately chose to investigate the works of two American street photographers, Robert Frank and Lee Friedlander, whose approaches to photography reveal much about life in America and what it means to be an American. While both photographers frequently feature the road in their pictures, I chose to focus more on the people and culture found alongside it and how they represent America. In light of recent photographic projects such as “Humans of New York” that have gained immense popularity in social media, I related Frank’s and Friedlander’s artwork to modern street photography and assessed how it has evolved in America over the past several years.

SARAH WHITE is a Film and Television major in the College of Communication’s class of 2018. She is originally from South Kingstown, Rhode Island.