American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Institute Faculty

Principal Faculty

Joshua Brown is professor of history emeritus and former executive director of the American Social History Project and professor of history at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is a noted scholar of visual culture in U.S. history, and author of Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America (2002), and co-author of Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction (2005). He is currently working on a study of Civil War visual culture for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Brown will lecture on the illustrated press and political cartoons and participate throughout the institute.

Sarah Burns is the Ruth N. Halls Professor of the History of Art (emerita) at Indiana University. She is a leading scholar of nineteenth-century American art and popular culture, and author of award-winning studies, including Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (2004) and Inventing the Modern Artist: Art and Culture in Gilded Age America (1996), and is co-editor of American Art to 1900: A Documentary History (2009). Burns will be the lead art historian throughout the institute.

Gregory Downs is professor of history at the University of California, Davis. He is author of Declarations of Dependence: The Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Transformation of American Popular Politics (2011), After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War (2015), and The Second American Revolution: The Civil War-era Struggle over Cuba and the Rebirth of the American Republic (2019), and co-editor of The World the Civil War Made (2015). Recipient of anACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship, he also co-wrote the National Park Service’s Theme Study on Reconstruction. Downs will be the institute’s primary faculty resource on the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Visiting Lecturers and Session Leaders

Jermaine Archer is associate professor of American Studies and African-American history at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. He is author of Antebellum Slave Narratives: Political and Cultural Expressions of Africa (2009), and is principal advisor of Songs Without Words. His current research investigates nineteenth century paintings and narratives as a lens for African-American parades  and celebrations. Archer will discuss anti-lynching imagery in the 1890s black press.

Amanda Bellows is lecturer in history at The New School and Hunter College, CUNY. She is author of American Slavery and Russian Serfdom in the Post-Emancipation Imagination (2020) and co-founded South Writ Large, a digital magazine about the globalization of the U.S. South. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Global Slavery, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, and the New York Times. Bellows will discuss the visualization of emancipation in transnational perspective.

Louise Bernard is the director of the Museum of the Obama Presidential Center. She was director of exhibitions at the New York Public Library, and previously a senior content developer and interpretive planner in the New York office of the museum design firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates, where she worked on the development of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, along with other international projects. Bernard will discuss exhibitions and memorials about slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.

Matthew Fox-Amato is assistant professor of history at the University of Idaho. He is author of Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America (1919). He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and honors, including the McNeil Center for Early American Studies Zuckerman Prize. He is currently working on projects about the visual culture of the presidency and iconoclasm in the Civil War era. Fox-Amato will lecture on photography, slavery and antislavery.

Amanda Frisken is professor of American Studies at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury. She is author of Victoria Woodhull’s Sexual Revolution: Political Theater and the Popular Press in Nineteenth Century America (2004) and Graphic News: How Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth-Century Journalism (2020), and director of Songs Without Words. Friskin will discuss anti-lynching images in the 1890s African American press.

Lauren Hewes is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts and Interim Vice President for Collections at the American Antiquarian Society. She is a leading authority on nineteenth-century American prints and photographs, has previously held positions at the Print Council of America, the National Park Service, and the Shelburne Museum, and has published widely on American printmaking and portraiture. Hewes will lecture and lead a "Behind the Scenes" session on Civil War ephemera.

Dominique Jean-Louis is a doctoral candidate in U.S. History at NYU studying Caribbean immigration to and education in New York after the civil rights movement. She was a Mellon Predoctoral Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York as and contributed to its New York at Its Core exhibition, and also a curatorial project historian on the recent New-York Historical Society exhibition Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow.  Jean-Louis will discuss exhibitions and memorials about slavery, abolition, and the post-emancipation era.

Barbara Krauthamer is senior vice provost for interdisciplinary programs and innovation, graduate school dean, and professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is co-author of Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery (2013) and author of Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South (2013). She is currently working on a study of runaway slave women. Krauthamer will discuss the visualization of freedom.

Allison Lange is associate professor of history at the Wentworth Institute of Technology. She is author of Picturing Political Power: Images in the Women’s Suffrage Movement (2020) and delivers talks across the country, including at the National Portrait Gallery, Cornell University, and the American Antiquarian Society. In preparation for the 2020 centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, she is curating exhibitions at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Harvard’s Schlesinger Library. Lange will discuss women's suffrage during the Gilded Age.

Turkiya Lowe is National Park Service national chief historian. Previously, she was NPS chief historian for the southeast region, managing history and cultural anthropology programs for 67 national parks, and earlier served as regional program manager for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. Lowe will discuss recent and proposed exhibitions and memorials about slavery, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.

Maurie McInnis is president of Stony Brook University and previous served as executive vice president and provost at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (2011), which won the Charles C. Eldredge Book Prize from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as The Politics of Taste in Antebellum Charleston (2005), and co-edited Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's University (2019). McInnis will lecture on the visualization of slavery and anti-slavery in antebellum culture.

Susan Schulten is professor and chair of the history department at the University of Denver. She is author of A History of America in 100 Maps (2018), the award-winning Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America (2012) and The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950 (2002). Schulten will lecture on the mapping of the Civil War and the Civil War West.


Scott Manning Stevens is associate professor and director of Native American and indigenous studies at Syracuse University. He is co-author of Art of the American West: The Haub Family Collection at the Tacoma Art Museum (2014), and Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North (2013), and co-editor of Why You Can't Teach United States History without American Indians (2015). Stevens will discuss the visualization of Indian resistance in the Civil War era.

Dell Upton is professor of architectural history emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is author of America’s Architectural Roots: Ethnic Groups That Built America (1986), Madaline: Love and Survival in Antebellum New Orleans (Georgia, 1996), Architecture in the United States (Oxford, 1998), Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic (Yale, 2008), and What Can and Can’t Be Said: Race, Uplift, and Monument-Building in the Contemporary South (2015). Upton will discuss monuments, the Lost Cause, and the memory of the Civil War.

Institute Director

Donna Thompson Ray is the project director for faculty development programs at the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning. She has directed many NEH-funded faculty development programs and visual history projects, including Learning to Look: Visual Evidence and the U.S. Past in the New Media Classroom (2002-04) and the Picturing U.S. History: An Interactive Resource for Teaching with Visual Evidence website. She is a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at Drew University specializing in nineteenth-century American visual culture.

Civil War Summer Institutes