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Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies pres.

Lecture: Lecture: "Thinking with a Photograph: Alexander Gardner at Fort Laramie, 1868"

Martha A. Sandweiss, Princeton University

Martha A. Sandweiss Martha A. Sandweiss
Martha A. Sandweiss
Abstract: How can a photograph prod the historical imagination and push historians to think about the past in new ways? How might we think of photographs as both primary source evidence and documents that push us back into the archives? Focusing on a single image made by Alexander Gardner at the Fort Laramie Treaty negotiations of 1868, this talk follows a group of characters into a photograph and back out again, arguing that the most compelling part of an image may lie out of view, beyond the frame.

Martha A. Sandweiss is Professor of History at Princeton University 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 Fort Worth, Texas. 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. 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.

Free and open to the public.

This lecture is part of the Thursday Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
Martha A. Sandweiss Martha A. Sandweiss
Martha A. Sandweiss

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