I am interested in the many and diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world, from museums and galleries to reenactments to new media projects and online formats. I frequently collaborate with university- and museum-based historians and digital heritage experts in the U.S. and U.K. on a variety of topics. I’ve advised and contributed research to projects, including exhibits, that explore the relationships between art and technology; the history of visual storytelling; the the transatlantic trades along the Connecticut River Valley; and the history of guns and gun violence in 19th century New England and the West. I am especially interested in research projects to determine new approaches to researching and using neglected photographic and lantern slide collections.
Academic Awards and Research Fellowships
Media Interviews and Opinion
Talks and Invited Lectures
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation “Humanities for All Times” Awards $1,064,500 to Wesleyan University for its “Carceral Connecticut Project,” Exploring the Past and Contemporary Resonances of Slavery, Race, and Industrialization in New England
- Creative Campus Initiative Award
- National Endowment for the Humanities, Public Scholar Award, 2015.
Edited Journals/Special Issues
- “Visual Histories of Sex: Collecting, Curating, Archiving,” Radical History Review 2022 (142): 1-18.
- Editors’ Introduction, “Visual Sex: Collecting, Curating, Archiving,” Issue 142 of Radical History Review (Jan. 2022).
- “Guns, Germs, and Public History: A Conversation with Jennifer Tucker,” Interview by David Serlin, in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 57 (1) Special Issue: Going Public: Mobilizing, Materializing, and Contesting Social Science History, ed. Alexandra Rutherford (Winter 2021).
- Roundtable Discussion: Ambivalent: Photography and Visibility in African History, The American Historical Review (Dec. 2021). [Free access]
- “Display of Arms: A Roundtable Discussion about the Public Exhibition of Firearms and Their History,” Technology and Culture, Vol. 59, Issue 3 (July 2018): 719-769.
- “The Historian, the Picture and the Archive,” Isis 97 (March 2006): 111-120.
- The Conversation: Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Assassins’ Lays Bare the Bizarre Role of Guns in American Culture December 7, 2021
- Jobsolete podcast: Wax Worker February 4, 2021
- Artnet News: How the National Archives’ Notorious Alteration of a Women’s March Photo is Part of a Long American Tradition January 24, 2020
- Wyoming Public Media: Renovated Firearms Museum Wants to Add Context to Gun History June 28, 2019
- Inside Sources: We Don’t Know About Trump’s Taxes…But We Do Know About His Waxes January 22, 2017
- Advisory Board Historical Consultant, Catalyst Chemistry Museum, England, 2019–present.
- Advisor, Museum of Boulder (Colorado), “The Roots of Our Violence: Confronting an Enduring Legacy in the West,” planning phase.
- Advisory Committee Member, Pacific Standard Time: Art x Science x LA initiative. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty, and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
- Consultant, “Activating the Photographic Mass: Imagined Communities, Identity & History in the National Trust’s Photography Collections,” Birkbeck College and the National Trust, Spring 2020-present.
- Exhibition script reader for 2019 Cody Firearms Museum renovation, Buffalo Bill Center of the American West, Cody, Wyoming, Spring 2019.
- Advisor to Up in Arms, Cecile and Ezra Zilkha Gallery of Contemporary Art, October, 2017.
- Advisor to The Photograph and the Book exhibit, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Fall 2008.
- Advisor to “Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography,” Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Fall 2008.
- “Science & New Media: Projecting Visual Stories about the Universe,” for the “Thinking with Scientific Instruments: Explorations in the Material History of Science and Technology” Symposium, Yale MacMillan Institute & Peabody Museum of Natural History, October 2, 2021.
- “Living with Machines,” plenary lecture, Science Museums Research Group (Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum) (England) (November 5, 2019).
- Speaker, Centre for Museum Cultures, Birkbeck College, University of London, “Exhibiting History of Firearms in Museums: UK v. US Perspectives” (March 25, 2019).
- Keynote, “Arsenals of History” conference, Cody Firearms Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody, Wyoming: “Exhibiting History of Firearms in Museums” ) May 21-23, 2018).
- Invited speaker, Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence, University of Warwick (UK), “Interdisciplinary Research, Academia, and the Wider Public” (June 7, 2018).
- Invited speaker, Visual and Material Cultures Seminar, The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford (UK) (November 11, 2016).
- Invited speaker, “Victorian Comic Images, Law and Social Order,” Victoria and Albert Museum (London) (May 13, 2014).
- Invited speaker, “Brought to Light: Photographs of the Invisible, 1840-1900,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (December 14, 2008.)
- Organizer and Chair, “Law and New Media Technologies, From Print to Digital,” The Huntington Library and Art Museum, San Marino, CA (Sept. 16-17, 2022, upcoming).
- Shasha Seminar, “Guns and American Society,” Wesleyan University, Oct. 27-28, 2017. A two-day seminar convened national experts including Wesleyan alumni, from different fields to examine the contemporary state of guns in American history, society, law, museums, and politics.
- “Science a Moving Image,” Hixon-Riggs Public Forum for Responsive Science, Technology and Society, Harvey Mudd College (Spring 2010). A series of talks, roundtables, and film screenings that brought together scientists, filmmakers, writers, movie industry specialists, and scholars to explore the many ways in which science’s moving images interact and intersect, from films used as scientific data to scientific documentaries to the incorporation of scientists and scientific themes in contemporary media.
- “Eye of History: The Camera as Witness,” Wesleyan University (2008–09). A year-long series of exhibitions, seminars, talks, and films that explored questions about photography and its role in historical memory and public life.
Seminars & Workshops
- “Thinking Public Humanities,” Yale University. A multi-year project convening specialists in the inter-related areas of Public Humanities, Documentary Studies, Museum Studies, Digital Humanities, Environmental History and Public History to discuss, hone and articulate a body of principles in public-facing projects.
- Columbia University Public Humanities Workshop, devoted to the advancement of public-facing scholarship and pedagogy, The Heyman Center for the Humanities, N.Y., 2021-22.
- “Photography and the Archives of Truth, Counter-Memory, and Investigation,” Midwest Victorian Studies Association, Loyola University [Online]. Working Papers (May 22, 2021).
- Chair, National Council on Public History annual meeting, “Interpreting Firearms in Museums in the 21st Century” (March 27-30, 2019).
- Presenter, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Stedelijk Museum for Contemporary Arts (June 9–10, 2016).
- Presenter, Getty Research Institute and Huntington Library, Symposium on “Photographic Archives and the Elusive Visual Image in the Writing of History” (February 25–26, 2016.)
- Panelist, History Department, The University of Western Australia, “Photographic Archives” seminar (May 29, 2015).
- Presenter, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Victorian Electrotypes: Old Treasures, New Technology” (March 26, 2012).
- Presenter, “Pre-Raphaelite Vision: Truth to Nature,” Tate Britain Museum (England) (March 19–20, 2004).
- National Council on Public History
- Invited by the Organization of American Historians to give a public talk on Colt factory history and visual archives: April 23, 2020 (rescheduled).
- Faculty Advisor, Historical Scientific Instrument Collection, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (2018–present).
Advisory Team, Proposed Centre of Excellence: “Visions of the Arctic: Entanglements, Paradoxes, and Conflict Lines,” University of Bergen, Norway.
Visualizing the Victorians: Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT.
Undergraduate Courses Taught at Wesleyan
- Issues and Methods in Contemporary Historiography
- Introduction to Visual Methods across the Humanities & Social Sciences
- Introduction to Guns & Society
- Seeing a Bigger Picture: Environmental History & Visual Culture
- Photography and Law: Surveillance, Obscenity, Evidence, Copyright, and Rights
- University Digital Collections Strategic Planning Committee. Faculty rep to the subcommittee on Special Collections and Archives and World Music Archives (2014-present).
- Historical consultant on popular science learning, gender, and toy culture, 1915-1960, for “The Erector Set at 100,” Eli Whitney Museum, New Haven (Fall 2013).
- “Science as Spectacle,” The Observatory, a New York arts space that presents public programming inspired by the 18th century notion of “rational amusement” (October 28, 2012).