Visions of America: The Real Stories Behind Famous Photographs

Jennifer Keene
Jennifer Keene
Chapman University

Jennifer Keene is a professor of history and dean of the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Chapman University. She has published several books and numerous articles on the American experience in the world wars, including Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America, The United States and the First World War, and World War II: Core Documents. She has received numerous awards for her scholarship, including Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards to France and Australia, and the Mellon Library of Congress Fellowship in International Studies. Professor Keene has served as a historical consultant for exhibits and films, including the PBS documentary mini-series, “The Great War.”

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HOLIDAY  PRESENTATION

THERE WILL BE NO LIVE Q & A –

YOU MAY WATCH THIS CLASS AT ANY TIME ON 12/29/2021

 

Can a photograph really change history or define an age? We live in an era dominated by Instagram and Photoshop, but curated images have shaped the way we understand the present and the past since the invention of photography. Our schooling imbues us with a mental slide show of iconic photographs, images that serve as short-cuts for understanding critical historical moments. But the camera was never just a passive observer of historical events. Instead, generations of photographers wielded the camera as a weapon to shape public opinion; to initiate social change; to capture the essence of a pivotal moment. But who ultimately controls the meaning or significance of an image? The photographer, the viewer, or history?

This lecture explores the creation, diffusion, and reception of iconic images, stories that ultimately render these images even more meaningful. Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, James Van Der Zee, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Joe Rosenthal, Charles Moore, and Eddie Addams explored poverty, child labor, migration, civil liberties, war, and civil rights – shaping our vision of modern America.

 

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