Lecture

Martha A. Sandweiss: Writing History with a Photograph: Life on the American Frontier (Alexander Gardner, 1868)

in cooperation with the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Prof. Tiziana Serena

The talk relates to late nineteenth century westward expansion in the US in the wake of the Civil War and to Indian affairs. It all circulates around a single photograph made in 1868, and the ways in which historians can start with visual objects and move outwards to ask larger historical questions. It basically challenges the idea of the "decisive moment" and argues for a different way of thinking about the historical value of photographs.

  

Martha A. Sandweiss is a historian of the United States, with particular interests in the history of the American West, visual culture, and public history. She received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University and began her career as a photography curator at the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth, TX. She later taught American Studies and History at Amherst College for twenty years before joining the Princeton faculty in 2009.

Sandweiss is the author or editor of numerous books on American history and photography. Her publications include Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception across the Color Line (2009), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, and Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (2002), winner of the Organization of American Historians' Ray Allen Billington Award for the best book in American frontier history and the William P. Clements Award. Her other works include Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace (1986), winner of the George Wittenborn Award for outstanding art book, and the co-edited volume The Oxford History of the American West (1994), winner of the Western Heritage Award and the Caughey Western History Association prize for the outstanding book in western history.

At Princeton, Sandweiss teaches courses on the history of the American West and on narrative writing, and currently heads a research project on Princeton and Slavery. She serves as faculty advisor to graduate student groups working in the fields of public history and Native American Studies. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Rockefeller Foundation, she consults widely on matters related to history education and the use of visual images for historical research and writing.

Notice

This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).

Partners

In cooperation with

March 16, 2015, 6:00pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
Max-Planck-Institut

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze

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