OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Laura Wexler

Portrait of Laura Wexler

Laura Wexler is a professor of American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Yale University. The founder and director of Yale's Photographic Memory Workshop, she is also affiliated with the university's film studies program, its program in ethnicity, race, and migration, and its public humanities program. A former principal investigator of Yale's Women, Religion, and Globalization Project, she is currently a fellow of the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University and the principal investigator of the Photogrammar Project, constructing a mobile, interactive geospatial digital map of the more than 170,000 photographs in the Farm Security Administration–Office of War Information Archive held at the Library of Congress. She is also a member of FemTechNet and of the steering committee for the Distributive Open Collaborative Course initiative. Wexler's scholarship centers upon intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class within the visual culture of the United States, from the nineteenth century to the present. She is the author of Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U. S. Imperialism (2000), which won the American Historical Association's Joan Kelley Memorial Prize; a coauthor, with photographer Sandra Matthews, of Pregnant Pictures (2000); and a coeditor of Interpretation and the Holocaust, a special issue of the Yale Journal of Criticism (spring 2001). Her most recent article is "A More Perfect Likeness: Frederick Douglass, Photography, and the Image of the Nation," Yale Review (October 2011). She is currently researching family photograph albums in post-conflict societies.

OAH Lectures