Hist 75400
Professor Joshua Brown • 212-817-1970
Class: Fall 2009 Semester, Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, Room 6417
Office Hours: By appointment, Room 7301.09

"Historical understanding is like a vision, or rather like an evocation of images." Inspired by Johan Huizinga's insight, this course will explore the ways visual culture illuminates and alters our understanding of major themes and eras in U.S. history. We will investigate the manner in which different visual media documented, articulated, and embodied conditions, relations, ideas, identity, and issues from the American Revolution to the Cold War. Critically evaluating a range of historiographic approaches and methods, this course also will consider the impact and efficacy of using visual evidence to study the past.

In addition to participation in class discussion, students are responsible for a final research paper (approximately 20 pages), which will be due at the last class (with a one-page précis due on October 14). Each student also will be responsible for leading one or more of the weekly class discussions (including reading and reporting on one of the optional books/articles).

•Joshua Brown, Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America (Berkeley, 2002).
•Cara A. Finnegan, Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs (Washington, D.C., 2003).
•William Frassanito, Gettysburg: A Journey in Time (New York, 1975) .
•Ian Gordon, Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890-1945 (Washington, D.C., 1998).
•David Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (New York, 2008).
•Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870 (New Haven, 1982).
•Anthony W. Lee, A Shoemaker's Story: Being Chiefly about French Canadian Immigrants, Enterprising Photographers, Rascal Yankees, and Chinese Cobblers in a Nineteenth-Century Factory Town (Princeton, 2008).
•Anthony W. Lee and Elizabeth Young, Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War (Berkeley, 2007).
•Margaretta M. Lovell, Art in a Season of Revolution: Painters, Artisans, and Patrons in Early America (Philadelphia, 2005).
•Martha A. Sandweiss, Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (New Haven, 2002).
•Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton, 1997).
•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs: Images as History: Mathew Brady to Walker Evans (New York, 1989).
•Marcus Wood, Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America, 1780-1865 (New York, 2000).
•Rebecca Zurier, Robert W. Snyder, and Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York (New York, 1995).


August 31


•Michael L. Wilson, "Visual Culture: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?" in The Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture Reader, ed. Vanessa R. Schwartz and Jeannene M. Przyblyski (New York, 2004): 26-33.
•James W. Cook, "Seeing theVisual in U.S. History," Journal of American History 95:2 (September 2008): 432-41.


September 7

2. September 14 COLONIAL AMERICA [Kathleen Brennan]

•Margaretta M. Lovell, Art in a Season of Revolution.
•Louis P. Masur, "Reading Watson and the Shark," New England Quarterly 67 (September 1994): 427-454.

Optional Reading:
•Kenneth Baker, George III: A Life in Caricature (London, 2007).
•Barbara Lacey, From Sacred to Secular: Visual Images in Early American Publications (Newark, Del., 2007).
•Donald C. O’Brien, Amos Doolittle: Engraver of the New Republic (New Castle, Del., 2008).
•Kim Sloan, A New World: England’s First View of America (Chapel Hill, 2007).
•Beth Fowkes Tobin, Picturing Imperial Power: Colonial Subjects in Eighteenth-Century British Painting (Durham, 1999).
•Alfred F. Young and Terry J. Fife, with Mary E. Janzen, We The People: Voices and Images of the New Nation (Philadelphia, 1993).

3. September 21 ANTEBELLUM AMERICA 1 [Paula Austin / Sean Griffin]

•Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women.

Optional Reading:
•Gary L. Bunker. "Antebellum Caricature and Woman’s Sphere," Journal of Women's History 3:3 (Winter 1992): 6-43.
•Michael Clapper, "Imagining the Ordinary: John Rogers's Anticlassical Genre Sculptures as Purposely Popular Art," Winterthur Portfolio 43:1 (1 March 2009): 1-39.
•Patricia Cline Cohen, Timothy J. Gilfoyle, and Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, eds., The Flash Press: Sporting Male Weeklies in 1840s New York (Chicago, 2008).
The David Claypool Johnston Collection, American Antiquarian Society.
•David M. Henkin, City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York (New York, 1998).
•Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, “Another ‘American Cruikshank’ Found: John H. Manning and the New York Sporting Weeklies,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 112, Part I (2004): 93-126.
•Elizabeth Johns, American Genre Painting: The Politics of Everyday Life (New Haven, 1991).
•John F. Kasson, Rudeness and Civility: Manners in Nineteenth Century Urban America (New York, 1990).
•Rachel N. Klein, "Art and Authority in Antebellum New York City: The Rise and Fall of the American Art-Union," Journal of American History 81 (March 1995): 1534-61.
•Isabelle Lehuu, Carnival on the Page: Popular Print Media in Antebellum America (Chapel Hill, 2000).
•Bernard F. Reilly, Jr., American Political Prints, 1776-1876: Catalog of the Collection of the Library of Congress.
•__________, "Comic Drawing in New York in the 1850s," in Prints and Printmakers of New York State, 1825-1940, ed., David Tatham (Syracuse, 1986): 147-62.
•Wendy Wick Reaves, "Portraits for Every Parlor: Albert Newsam and American Portrait Lithography," in American Portrait Prints: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual American Print Conference, ed. Wendy Wick Reaves (Charlottesville, 1984): 83-134.
•Constance Rourke, American Humor: A Study of the National Character (New York, 1931).
•Martha A. Sandweiss, Rick Stewart, and Ben W. Huseman, Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-48 (Washington, D.C., 1989).

•Joshua C. Taylor, America as Art (Washington, D.C., 1976).
"Revolution in Print: Graphics in Nineteenth Century America," special issue of Common-place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life 7:3 (April 2007).

4. September 29 [TUESDAY] ANTEBELLUM AMERICA 2 [Andriana Campbell]

•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs, Prologue, Chapter 1.
•David P. Jaffee, "One of the Primitive Sort: Portrait Makers of the Rural North, 1760-1860" in The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation: Essays in the Social History of Rural America, ed., Steven Hahn and Jonathan Prude (Chapel Hill, 1985), 103-40.

Optional Reading:
•Michael L. Carlebach, The Origins of Photojournalism in America (Washington, D.C., 1992).
•Miles Orvell, American Photography (New York, 2003).
•Mary Panzer, Mathew Brady and the Image of History (Washington, D.C., 1997).
•Martha Sandweiss, ed., Photography in Nineteenth Century America, 1839-1900 (Ft. Worth, 1991).

5. October 5
SLAVERY/ANTISLAVERY [Christina Brungardt]

•Marcus Wood, Blind Memory.
•Phillip Lapansky, "Graphic Discord: Abolitionist and Antiabolitionist Images," in The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women’s Political Culture in Antebellum America, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin and John C. Van Horne (Ithaca, 1994), 201-30.
•Bernard F. Reilly, Jr., "The Art of the Antislavery Movement," in Courage and Conscience: Black and White Abolitionists in Boston, ed. Donald M. Jacobs (Bloomington, 1993), 47-73.

Optional Reading:
•Albert Boime, The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century (Washington, D.C., 1990).
•Sarah Burns, Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley, 2004).
•Gregory Fried, "True Pictures," Common-place, 2:2 (January 2002).
•Kay Dian Kriz, Slave, Sugar, and the Culture of Refinement: Picturing the British West Indies, 1700-1840 (New Haven, 2008).
•Jo-Ann Morgan, Uncle Tom’s Cabin as Visual Culture (Columbia, Mo., 2007).
•Nell Irvin Painter, "Representing Truth: Sojourner Truth's Knowing and Becoming Known," Journal of American History 81:2 (September 1994): 461-492.
•Richard J. Powell, "Cinqué: Antislavery Portraiture and Patronage in Jacksonian America," American Art 11:3 (Fall 1997): 48-73.
•John Stauffer, The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (Cambridge, 2002), Chapter 2.
•John Michael Vlach. The Planter's Prospect: Privilege and Slavery in Plantation Paintings (Chapel Hill, 2002).
•Colin L. Westerbeck, "Frederick Douglass Chooses His Moment," in African Americans in Art: Selections from the Art Institute of Chicago, ed. Susan F. Rosen (Chicago, 1999), 9-25.

6. October 14 [WEDNESDAY]

CIVIL WAR [Rachel Chatalbash]

•William Frassanito, Gettysburg.
•Anthony W. Lee and Elizabeth Young, Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War.
•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs, Chapter 2.
•Jan Zita Grover, "The First Living-Room War: The Civil War in the Illustrated Press," Afterimage (February 1984): 8-11.

Optional Reading:
•Gary L. Bunker, From Rail-splitter to Icon: Lincoln's Image in Illustrated Periodicals, 1860-1865 (Kent, 2001).
•William P. Campbell, The Civil War: A Centennial Exhibition of Eyewitess Drawings (Washington, D.C., 1961).
•Michael L. Carlebach, The Origins of Photojournalism in America (Washington, D.C., 1992).
•Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2001).
•Harold Holzer, Gabor S. Borritt, and Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print (New York, 1984).
•J. G. Lewin and P. J. Huff, Lines of Contention: Political Cartoons of the Civil War (2007).
•David Park, "Picturing the War: Visual Genres in Civil War News," Communication Review 3:4 (2001): 287-321.
•Shirley Samuels, Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War (New York, 2006).
•W. Fletcher Thompson, The Image of War: The Pictorial Reporting of the American Civil War (New York, 1959).

7. October 19 RECONSTRUCTION [Emily Pecora / Sara Weintraub]

•Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves.

Optional Reading:
•Albert Boime, The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century (Washington, D.C., 1990).
•Michael D. Harris, Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation (Chapel Hill, 2003).
•Harold Holzer, Gabor S. Borritt, and Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Confederate Image: Prints of the Lost Cause (Chapel Hill, 1987).
•Cynthia Mills and Pamela H. Simpson, eds., Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (Knoxville, 2003).
•Peter Wood and Karen C. C. Dalton, Winslow Homer's Images of Blacks: The Civil War and Reconstruction Years (Austin, 1988).

8. October 26

THE GILDED AGE [Michelle Chen]

•Joshua Brown, Beyond the Lines.
•Thomas Milton Kemnitz. "The Cartoon as a Historical Source," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 4:1 (Summer 1973): 81-93.

Optional Reading:
•Joshua Brown, The Days’ Doings: The Gilded Age in the Profane Pictorial Press."
•Michael Clapper, “‘I Was Once a Barefoot Boy!’: Cultural Tensions in a Popular Chromo,” American Art 16:2 (Summer 2002): 17-39.
•Roger A. Fischer, Them Damned Pictures: Explorations in American Political Cartoon Art (North Haven, 1996).
•Amanda Frisken, Victoria Woodhull's Sexual Revolution: Political Theater and the Popular Press in Nineteenth-Century America (Philadelphia, 2004).
•__________, “Obscenity, Free Speech, and ‘Sporting News’ in 1870s America,” Journal of American Studies 42 (2008): 537-77.
•Jay T. Last, The Color Explosion: Nineteenth Century American Lithography (Santa Ana, 2005).
•Bryan F. Le Beau. Currier & Ives: America Imagined (Washington, D.C., 2001).
•Thomas C. Leonard, The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting (New York, 1986), Chapter 4.
•Michele Martin, Images at War: Illustrated Periodicals and Constructed Nations (Toronto, 2006).
•Peter C. Marzio, The Democratic Art: Pictures for a 19th-Century America (London, 1980).
•April F. Masten, Art Work: Women Artists and Democracy in Mid-Nineteenth Century New York (Philadelphia, 2008).
•Sue Rainey, Creating Picturesque America: Monument to the Natural and Cultural Landscape (Nashville, 1994).
•Guy Reel, The National Police Gazette and the Making of the Modern American Man, 1879-1906 (New York, 2006).
•Richard Samuel West, Satire on Stone: The Political Cartoons of Joseph Keppler (Urbana,
•Bonnie Yochelson and Daniel Czitrom, Rediscovering Jacob Riis: The Reformer, His Journalism, and His Photographs (New York, 2008).

9. November 2 THE WEST [Brian Sholis / Melissa Dennihy]

•Martha A. Sandweiss, Print the Legend.
•William Cronon, "Telling Tales on Canvas: Landscapes of Frontier Change," in Discovered Lands, Invented Pasts, ed., Jules Prown, Nancy Anderson, William Cronon, Brian Dippie (New Haven, 1992), 37-87.

Optional Reading:
•Sarah Burns, Pastoral Inventions: Rural Life in Nineteenth-Century American Art and Culture (Philadelphia, 1989).
•Michael L. Carlebach, The Origins of Photojournalism in America (Washington, D.C., 1992).
•Philip P. Choy, Lorraine Dong, and Marlon K. Hom, eds., The Coming Man: 19th Century American Perceptions of the Chinese (Seattle, 1994).
•Estelle Jussim. Frederic Remington, the Camera and the Old West (Fort Worth, 1983).
•Joy S. Kasson, Buffalo Bill's Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History (New York, 2000).
•Robin Kelsey, Archive Style: Photographs and Illustrations for U.S. Surveys, 1850-1890 (Berkeley, 2007).
•Anthony W. Lee, Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco (Berkeley, 2001).
•Rebecca Solnit, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (New York, 2003).
•Robert Taft, Artists and Illustrators of the Old West, 1850-1900 (New York, 1953).
•John Kuo Wei Tchen, Genthe's Photographs of San Francisco's Old Chinatown (New York, 1984).
•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs, Chapter Three.
•__________, Shades of Hiawatha: Staging Indians, Making Americans, 1880-1930 (New York, 2004).
•Richard Samuel West, The San Francisco Wasp: An Illustrated History (Easthampton, 2004).

10. November 9 PROGRESSIVISM/TURN OF THE CENTURY [Michael Juhre / Cara Caddoo]

•Rebecca Zurier, Robert W. Snyder, and Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Metropolitan Lives.
•Neil Harris, "Iconography and Intellectual History: The Halftone Effect," in Cultural Excursions: Marketing Appetites and Cultural Tastes in Modern America (Chicago, 1990), 304-17.
•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs, Chapter 4.

Optional Reading:
•Nicholson Baker and Margaret Brentano, The World on Sunday: Graphic Art in Joseph Pulitzer's Newspaper (1898-1911) (New York, 2005).
•Martha Banta, Barbaric Intercourse: Caricature and the Culture of Conduct, 1841-1936 (Chicago, 2002).
•Michele H. Bogart, Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York City, 1890-1930 (Chicago, 1989).
•Michael L. Carlebach, American Photojournalism Comes of Age (Washington, D.C., 1997).
•Melissa Dabakis, Visualizing Labor in American Sculpture: Monuments, Manliness, and the Work Ethic, 1880-1935 (Cambridge, 1999).
•Elizabeth Ewen and Stuart Ewen, Typecasting: On the Arts and Sciences of Human Inequality (New York, 2006).
•Ellen Gruber Garvey, The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s (New York, 1996).
•James Gilbert, "Fixing the Image: Photography at the World's Columbian Exposition" in Grand Illusions: Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893 (Chicago, 1993), 99-140.
•Peter Bacon Hales, Silver Cities: The Photography of American Urbanization, 1839-1915 (Philadelphia, 1984).
•Larry Peterson, "Photography and the Pullman Strike: Remolding Perceptions of Labor Conflict by New Visual Communication," in The Pullman Strike and the Crisis of the 1890s: Essays on Labor and Politics, eds. Richard Schneirov, Shelton Stromquist, and Nick Salvatore (Urbana, 1999): 87-129.
•Robert W. Rydell, All the World's a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916 (Chicago, 1987).
•Allan Sekula. "The Body and the Archive," October 39 (Winter, 1986): 3-64.
•Shawn Michelle Smith, Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture (Durham, 2004).
•Maren Stange, Symbols of Ideal Life: Social Documentary Photography in America, 1890-1950 (Cambridge, 1989).
•James W. Tottis, ed., Life’s Pleasures: The Ashcan Artists’ Brush with Leisure, 1895-1925 (New York, 2007).
•Laura Wexler, Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism (Chapel Hill, 2000).
•Rebecca Zurier, Picturing the City: Urban Vision and the Ashcan School (Berkeley, 2006).

11. November 16 INTERWAR YEARS 1 [Einav Rabinovitch-Fox / Daniel London]

•Ian Gordon, Comic Strips and Consumer Culture.
•Michael Denning, "'Who’s Afraid of Big Bad Walt?' Disney’s Radical Cartoonists," in The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century (New York, 1996): 403-22.

Optional Reading:
•Michele H. Bogart, Advertising, Artists, and the Borders of Art (Chicago, 1995).
•Elspeth H. Brown, The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929 (Baltimore, 2005).
•Anne Elizabeth Carroll, Word, Image, and the New Negro: Representation and Identity in the Harlem Renaissance (Bloomington, 2005).
•Margaret Finnegan, Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women (New York, 1999).
•Amy Helene Kirschke, Art in Crisis: W. E. B. DuBois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory (Bloomington, 2007).
•Carolyn Kitch, The Girl on the Magazine Cover: The Origins of Visual Stereotypes in American Mass Media (Chapel Hill, 2001).
•Esther Leslie, Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the Avant-Garde (New York, 2002).
•Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940 (Berkeley, 1986).
•Alice Sheppard, Cartooning for Suffrage (Albuquerque, 1993).
•Tom Sito, Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson (Lexington, 2007).

12. November 23 INTERWAR YEARS 2 [Erin Wuebker]

•Cara A. Finnegan, Picturing Poverty.

Optional Reading:
•Alejandro Anreus, Diana L. Linden, and Jonathan Weinberg, eds., The Social And the Real: Political Art of the 1930s in the Western Hemisphere (University Park, 2006).
•Dora Apel, Imagery of Lynching: Black Men, White Women, and the Mob (Piscataway, 2004).
•James Curtis, Mind's Eye, Mind's Truth: FSA Photography Reconsidered (Philadelphia, 1989).
•Carl Fleischhauer and Beverly W. Brannan, ed., Documenting America, 1935-1943 (Berkeley, 1988).
•Linda Gordon, "Dorothea Lange: The Photographer as Agricultural Sociologist," Journal of American History, 93:3 (December 2006): 698-727.
•Helen Langa, Radical Art: Printmaking and the Left in 1930s New York (Berkeley, 2004).
•Barbara Melosh, Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Public Art and Theater (Washington, D.C., 1991).
•Maren Stange, Symbols of Ideal Life: Social Documentary Photography in America, 1890-1950 (Cambridge, 1989).
•Richard Steven Street, Everyone Had Cameras: Photography and Farmworkers in California, 1850-2000 (Minneapolis, 2008).

13. November 30 POSTWAR/HOT WAR/COLD WAR [Kat Mahaney]

•David Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague.

Optional Reading:
•Jasmine Alinder, Moving Images: Photography and the Japanese American Incarceration (Urbana, 2009).
•George Black, The Good Neighbor: How the United States Wrote the History of Central America and the Caribbean (New York, 1988).
•Paul Boyer, By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age (New York, 1986).
•John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York, 1986).
•James Gilbert, Cycle of Outrage: America's Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s (New York, 1986).
•David Greenberg, Nixon’s Shadow: A History of an Image (New York, 2004).
•Gerard Jones, Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book (New York, 2004).
•Louis P. Masur, The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph That Shocked America (New York, 2008).
•Amy Kiste Nyberg, Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code (Jackson, 1998).
•Mary Panzer, Things As They Are: Photojournalism in Context since 1955 (New York, 2005).
•David Park, "The Kefauver Comic Book Hearings as Show Trial: Decency, Authority and the Dominated Expert," Cultural Studies 16:2 (2002): 259-88.
•George H. Roeder, Jr., The Censored War: American Visual Experience during World War Two (New Haven, 1993).
•Frederick S. Voss, Reporting the War: The Journalistic Coverage of World War II (Washington, D.C., 1994).

14. December 7

•Anthony W. Lee, A Shoemaker’s Story.

Optional Reading:
•Hollis Clayson, Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life under Siege (1870-71) (Chicago, 2002).

  December 14

  December 21