Introduction (Ardis Cameron).
PART I: 1860-1900.
1. Sleuthing Towards America: Visual Detection in Everyday Life (Ardis Cameron).
2. Cartes de Visite Portrait Photographs and the Culture of Class Formation (Andrea L. Volpe).
PART II: 1900-1940.
The Embodied Nation: Race, Gender, and the Politics of the Camera.
3. Photographing the "American Negro": Nation, Race, and Photography at the Paris Exposition of 1900 (Shawn Michelle Smith).
4. Techniques of the Imaginary Nation: Engendering Family Photography (Laura Wexler).
"The Eye of Power": Cross-Class Looking.
5. Private Eyes, Public Women: Images of Class and Sex in the Urban South, Atlanta, Georgia, 1913-1915 (Jacquelyn Dowd Hall).
6. Margaret Bourke-White’s Red Coat; or, Slumming in the Thirties (Paula Rabinowitz).
PART III: 1940-2000.
Home and Nation: Imaging the "All-American" Family.
7. "The Kind of People Who Make Good Americans": Nationalism and Life’s Family Ideal (Wendy Kozol).
8. Visua Culture and Working-Class Community: Photography and the Organizing of the Steelworkers’ Union in Chicago (Larry Peterson).
9. Sit-coms and Suburbs: Positioning the 1950s Homemaker (Mary Beth Haralovich).
The Eye of Difference: The Politics of Appearance.
10. The Zoot-Suit and Style Warfare (Stuart Cosgrove).
11. Looking Jewish, Seeing Jews (Matthew Frye Jacobson).
Troubling Sights (Sites): Visual Maps and America’s "Others".
12. The Photograph as an Intersection of Gazes (Catherine A. Lutz and Jane L. Collins).
13. When Strangers Bring Cameras: The Poetics and Politics of Othered Places (Ardis Cameron).
Appendix A: "Reading the Visual Record" (Elspeth H. Brown).
Appendix B: List of Visual Archives (Ardis Cameron).
“This book illuminates the role of the visual in constructions of American national identity. Most impressive is the demonstration that vision itself is not transparent, but an instrument that shapes, even as it is shaped by, relations of power.” Joan W. Scott, Institute for Advanced Study
- Explores the “visual” in defining 20th century American experience and identity, in a groundbreaking collection of essays
- Covers enduringly important topics in American history: nationhood, class, politics of identity, and the visual mapping of “others”
- Includes editorial introductions, suggested readings, a primer on how to "read" an image, and a guide to visual archives and collections
- Well-illustrated book for those in American Studies and related fields eager to incorporate the visual into their teaching—and telling—of the American story.