LAST UPDATE: FEBRUARY 15, 2012
75400 / ART 87300 / ASCP 81500
"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 the study of visual culture—as subject and as evidence—illuminates and alters the research and analysis 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 early republic to the attacks of September 11, 2001. While loosely chronological, the course readings and discussions are organized to consider a range of historiographic approaches and methods and to critically evaluate the impact and efficacy of using visual evidence to study the past.
(early republic) –
•Wendy Bellion, Citizen Spectators: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America.
•James W. Cook, The Arts of Deception: Playing with Fraud in the Age of Barnum (Cambridge, 2001).
•Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 1992).
•David Henkin, City Reading: Written Words and Public Spaces in Antebellum New York (New York, 1998).
•David Jaffee, A Nation of Goods: The Material Culture of Early America (Philadelphia, 2010).
•__________, "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.
•Margaretta M. Lovell, Art in a Season of Revolution: Painters, Artisans, and Patrons in Early America (Philadelphia, 2005).
•Maurie D. McInnis and Louis P. Nelson, eds., Shaping the Body Politic: Art and Political Formation in Early America (Charlottesville, 2011).
•Laura Rigal, The American Manufactory: Art, Labor, and the World of Things in the Early Republic (Princeton, 2001).
•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs: Images as History: Mathew Brady to Walker Evans (New York, 1989), Chapter 1.
OF ART (slavery/antislavery) –
•Maurie D. McInnis, Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade.
•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, Slavery, Sugar, and the Culture of Refinement: Picturing the British West Indies, 1700-1840 (New Haven, 2008).
•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.
•Richard J. Powell, "Cinqué: Antislavery Portraiture and Patronage in Jacksonian America," American Art 11:3 (Fall 1997): 48-73.
•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.
•Molly Rogers, Delia’s Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (New Haven, 2010).
•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.
•Marcus Wood, Blind Memory: Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America, 1780-1865 (New York, 2000).
FIGURE (civil war) –
•Harold Holzer, Gabor S. Borritt, and Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print.
•Gary L. Bunker, From Rail-Splitter to Icon: Lincoln's Image in Illustrated Periodicals, 1860-1865 (Kent, OH, 2001).
•Keith F. Davis, "'A Terrible Distinctness': Photography of the Civil War Era," in Photography in Nineteenth Century America, 1839-1900, ed. Martha Sandweiss (New York, 1991).
•Alice Fahs, The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2001).
•William Frassanito, Gettysburg: A Journey in Time (New York, 1975).
•R. Blakeslee Gilpin, John Brown Still Lives! America's Long Reckoning with Violence, Equality, and Change (Chapel Hill, 2011).
•Harold Holzer, “Picturing Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation in Art, Iconography, and Memory,” in Harold Holzer, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Baton Rouge, 2006), pp. 83-136.
•Anthony W. Lee and Elizabeth Young, Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War (Berkeley, 2007).
•Nicholas Mirzoeff, The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (Durham, 2011).
•Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs, Chapter 2.
•Peter H. Wood, Near Andersonville: Winslow Homer’s Civil War (Cambridge, 2010).
*RESEARCH PAPER TOPIC DUE
(industrialization) - Joel
(gilded age) –
•Joshua Brown, Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America.
•Michael L. Carlebach, The Origins of Photojournalism in America (Washington, D.C., 1992).
•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.
•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).
•Mark J. Noonan, Reading the Century Illustrated Month Magazine: American Literature and Culture, 1870-1893 (Kent, 2010).
•Richard Samuel West, Satire on Stone: The Political Cartoons of Joseph Keppler (Urbana, 1988).
(turn of the century city) –
•Rebecca Zurier, Robert W. Snyder, and Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York.
•Michele H. Bogart, Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York City, 1890-1930 (Chicago, 1989).
•Peter Conolly-Smith, Translating America: An Immigrant Press Visualizes American Popular Culture, 1895-1918 (Washington, DC, 2004).
•Ellen Gruber Garvey, The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s (New York, 1996).
•Ian Gordon, Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890-1945 (Washington, D.C., 1998).
•Peter Bacon Hales, Silver Cities: The Photography of American Urbanization, 1839-1915 (Philadelphia, 1984).
•Neil Harris, "Iconography and Intellectual History: The Halftone Effect," in Cultural Excursions: Marketing Appetites and Cultural Tastes in Modern America (Chicago, 1990), 304-17.
•Anna Pegler-Gordon, In Sight of America: Photography and the Development of U.S. Immigration Policy (Berkeley, 2009).
•Maren Stange, Symbols of Ideal Life: Social Documentary Photography in America, 1890-1950 (Cambridge, 1989).
•Bonnie Yochelson and Daniel Czitrom, Rediscovering Jacob Riis: The Reformer, His Journalism, and His Photographs (New York, 2008).
•Rebecca Zurier, Picturing the City: Urban Vision and the Ashcan School (Berkeley, 2006).
•Linda Gordon, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits.
•Jasmine Alinder, Moving Images: Photography and the Japanese American Incarceration (Urbana, 2009).
•James Curtis, Mind's Eye, Mind's Truth: FSA Photography Reconsidered (Philadelphia, 1989).
•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.
•Carl Fleischhauer and Beverly W. Brannan, ed., Documenting America, 1935-1943 (Berkeley, 1988).
•Patricia Hills, Painting Harlem Modern: The Art of Jacob Lawrence (Berkeley, 2010).
•Helen Langa, Radical Art: Printmaking and the Left in 1930s New York (Berkeley, 2004).
•Esther Leslie, Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the Avant-Garde (New York, 2002).
•Barbara Melosh, Engendering Culture: Manhood and Womanhood in New Deal Public Art and Theater (Washington, D.C., 1991).
•Richard Steven Street, Everyone Had Cameras: Photography and Farmworkers in California, 1850-2000 (Minneapolis, 2008).
•Alan Krell, The Devil’s Rope: A Cultural History of Barbed Wire.
•Kathy Peiss, Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style.
•Kenneth L. Ames, Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian Culture (Philadelphia, 1992).
[ADDITIONAL READINGS TO COME]
•Lynn Spigel, TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television.
•Michele H. Bogart, Advertising, Artists, and the Borders of Art (Chicago, 1995).
•Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940 (Berkeley, 1986).
[ADDITIONAL READINGS TO COME]
APPROACHES (civil rights movement)
*NOTE: Each student will be assigned to read two of the following books for this class:
•Elizabeth Abel, Signs of the Times: The Visual Politics of Jim Crow (Berkeley, 2010).
•Martin A. Berger, Seeing Through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography (Berkeley 2011).
•Maurice Berger, For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights (New Haven, 2010).
•Lee Raiford, Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (Chapel Hill, 2011).