Visual Histories of the United States. Jahrestagung der Historiker in der DGfA 2013

Visual Histories of the United States. Jahrestagung der Historiker in der DGfA 2013

Gudrun Löhrer, Volker Depkat, Andre Dechert, Michael Mayer
Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing, Buchensee 1, 82327 Tutzing
Vom - Bis
08.02.2013 - 10.02.2013
Gudrun Löhrer, Volker Depkat, Andre Dechert

Images have shaped the course and understanding of U.S. history from its beginnings. They have organized perspectives through which Americans perceived themselves and the world over time. Further, images have always been contested sites of social conflict.

Visual history is a rapidly growing and highly innovative field, attracting attention from a broad variety of disciplines. The field, therefore, is characterized by a rather heterogeneous body of scholarly work, regarding topics, methods, and theories. Images are no longer considered mere illustrations, subordinate to the textual. Rather, historians have come to understand images as powerful communicative acts and integral parts of discourses, shaping our understanding of past, present and future. New questions have arisen and new approaches have been tested. Thus, as Visual history is a rather young field, the question of how to deal with visual material seems still pertinent. The goals of the conference are multifarious. It seeks to address the field of Visual history from a transdisciplinary perspective, assessing the state of the art and critically discussing the most recent developments.

We strongly encourage junior researchers, doctoral students, and students in American history to participate in the conference, too.


Friday, 08.02.13
Arrival from 14:00h

16.00 – 17.00h Introduction
Visual Approaches to the History of the United States
Gudrun Löhrer (Berlin)/ Volker Depkat (Regensburg)/Andre Dechert (Münster)

17.00 -18.30 h Section I Visualizing the Nation (Chair: Manfred Berg)

Remembering the Revolution – Constructing the Nation. Visual Narratives of the American Revolution in the Early Republic
Karsten Fitz (Passau)

Personifying the Nation: The Visual Invention of the American Presidency, 1789-1865
Volker Depkat (Regensburg)

Retaking National Moments: Interpictoriality, and Iconic Photographs of U.S. American Presidents
Udo Hebel (Regensburg)

18.30-19.30 h Dinner

20.00 – 21.30 h Keynote I (Chair: Gudrun Löhrer)
The Political and Historical Iconicity of the American Landscape
Lisa Cartwright (San Diego)

Saturday, 09.02.13
09.00 – 10.30 h Section II Strategic Visualizations (Chair: Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson)

“The Sweet Taste of the Other?” Looking at Cocoa Advertisements around the Turn of the 20th Century
Silke Hackenesch (FU Berlin)

Cultural Adaptation of Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Blacks in Civil War Discourse
Julia Nitz (Halle/Saale)

10.30 – 11.00 h Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30 h Section III American History and Film (Chair: Olaf Stieglitz)

Film as Source for Writing and Teaching American History
Massimo Perinelli (Köln)

Engendering “Good Old Fashioned Horse Sense”? Motion Pictures as Educational Ideology
Gudrun Löhrer (FU Berlin)

Seeing Chinatown: The Visuality of Space and the Tourist Gaze in Motion Pictures, 1910s-1930s
Björn Schmidt (Köln)

12.30 – 14.00 h Lunch

14.30 – 16.45 h Young Academics Forum – Workshops
for program see below

17.00 – 18.30 h Keynote II (Chair: Andre Dechert)
History – Television – Audiences: The Uses of Historical Audience Reception Studies
Aniko Bodroghkozy (University of Virginia)

18.30 – 19.30 h Dinner

20.00 h Business Meeting

Sunday, 10.02.13
9.00 – 10.30 h Section IV Imperial Gazes and the Visuality of Space (Chair: Anke Ortlepp)

Order Upon the Land: Native American Reactions towards Maps and Survey Marks as Visual Symbols of Imperial Power in the Northwest Territory, 1782-1795
Hanno Scheerer (Trier)

Blurry Encounters: Photography, Violence and the Colonial Gaze in the Philippine-American War (1898-1902)
Silvan Niedermeier (Rostock)

10.30 – 11.00 h Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.30 h
Section V Visual Politics of the Cold War (Chair: Michael Wala)

The Image Distributor. The Picture Service of the United States Information Agency During the Cold War
Reinhild Kreis (Augsburg)

“I may be poor, but I am somebody”: The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in Photographs by Jill Freedman
Katharina Fackler (Regensburg)

12.30 h Lunch and Departure


Programm Young Academics Forum (9.2.2013)
Saturday, 09.02.13

14.30 – 15.30 h

Workshop I (Chair: Michael Hochgeschwender)

Augustus F. Sherman´s and Lewis W. Hine´s Ellis Island Portraits – or: The Making of Americans
Sarah Sander (Weimar)

Dad on TV: Family Values, US-American Sitcoms and Public Controversies, 1981-92
Andre Dechert (Münster)

Workshop II (Chair: Jürgen Martschukat)

Kleidung und Identitäten: Mokassins in den Great Plains, 1840-1900
Christoph Laugs (Köln)

Indianness Sells' – Indianische Stereotype in der US-amerikanischen Werbung Evelyn Huber (Augsburg)

15.30 – 15.45 h
Coffee Break

15.45 – 16.45 h
Workshop I (Chair: Michael Hochgeschwender)

American Art Abroad: The Visual Representation of the United States in Germany, 1910
Susanne Scharf (Frankfurt)

The Atlantik-Brücke and the American Council on Germany - Two German-American Sister Organisations? Anne Zetsche (Northumbria)

Workshop II (Chair: Jürgen Martschukat)

Looking at a New Industrial Order: Motion Pictures as Scientific Instruments in the Works of Frank B. Gilbreth, 1910-1920
Helena Körner (Köln)

Street View: Mapping Ruins in the South Bronx of the 1980s Pete L'Official (Harvard)


Please send correspondence and questions to:
Dr. Michael MAYER
Phone: ++49-(0)8158-256-45

Please register by February 1, 2013 with our Secretary:
Phone: ++49-(0)8158-256-46
Fax: ++49-(0)8158-256-51

Additional questions regarding the program
may be sent to:

For further information (conference fees etc.):
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