Wesleyan portrait of Jennifer  Tucker

Jennifer Tucker

Professor of History

Allbritton Center, 221

Director, Center for the Study of Guns and Society

Professor, Environmental Studies

Allbritton Center, 221

Tutor, College of Social Studies

Professor, Science and Technology Studies

Allbritton Center, 221

Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Allbritton Center, 221


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BA Stanford University
MPHIL Cambridge University
PHD Johns Hopkins University

Jennifer Tucker

Areas of Interest

Jennifer Tucker, PhD, is Professor of Technology, Law and Visual Culture at Wesleyan University and the founding Director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Guns and Society. She is affiliated with Wesleyan's College of Science and Technology Studies, College of Environment, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, a MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University (Marshall Scholarship), and a PhD in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining Wesleyan she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. She has been a visiting Hixon-Riggs Senior Scholar at Harvey Mudd College and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in History of Art at the University of York, UK. 

Tucker specializes in nineteenth-century technology, visual and material culture studies, industrial history and labor, evidence, law and media, museum studies, public history, digital humanities, and environment and labor history. Tucker has published two books and over thirty-five articles in academic books and journals including American Historical Review, History and Theory, Technology and Culture, UC Davis Law Review, History and Technology, British Art Studies, Victorian Studies and Radical History Review. She has published in many media outlets, including New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and NPR. She has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, National Science Foundation, the Clark Art Institute, Arnold Ventures, and the New England Humanities Consortium. She currently received a NEH Collaborative Grant to research the social and cultural history of firearms safety design patents, 1700s-2010.


Overview: As a historian of 19th- and early 20th-century British society, Tucker’s research interests span the role of photography in scientific discovery and exploration, photos as tools of law for evidence (mugshots, crime scenes and surveillance) and how cameras in the courtroom have transformed the system. Her work has included a project, “Dangerous Exposures: Photography, Waste and the Chemical Revolution in Victorian Britain”, that traces the historical roots of the use of evidence in environmental science and pollution reform, and explores the presentation of exhibits in Victorian courtroom debates over air and river pollution.  The author and editor of numerous articles and book chapters, editor of three theme issue journals, and co-editor of a book series, she recently completed the book manuscript for a book about Victorian imposture and photography and is currently completing a new book-length study about the nineteenth-century chemical industry and technology. She currently serves as Director of the Center for the Study of Guns and Society at Wesleyan. 

A contributor to newspapers, journals, and radio (e.g. Connecticut Public Radio, iHeartRadio, and BBC Radio 3 ) Tucker specializes in nineteenth-century photography and law, technologies of vision in Victorian art and science, environmental history, and firearms in fact and fiction. Her writings have appeared in major newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington PostTime, CNN, The Boston Globe, The Conversation, Inside Sources, MSNBC, and Smithsonian Magazine.

The co-editor of a book on history and British and American gun laws, A Right to Bear Arms? The Contested Role of History in Today's Second Amendment Debate (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2019), she has collaborated with museum curators of firearms collections about narrating guns in history. A 2018 roundtable based on her discussions with technology and art museum curators was published in “Display of Arms: A round-table discussion with curators of firearms in historical museums,” in Technology and Culture. 

She currently serves as a book series co-editor of the "Photography/History; History/Photography" book series. Jennifer Tucker has taught at the California Institute of Technology and has been a visiting research scholar at the University of York, Australian National University, Clark Art Institute, Yale Center for British Art, the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Durham University, Birkbeck College, University of London & the University of Trento (Italy). Her research has been funded by a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Counsel, the National Science Foundation, and the Fulbright Scholar Program, among others.

Below are five areas of Tucker's research specialization.

Photography and History

Photographs are keystones of historical explanation. Understanding both how photographs were used historically in different domains, and how they are used today in imagining the past—is essential for historical scholarship and public history. Tucker's research centers the social and cultural forces of photography in historical analysis of realms including science and medicine, law, exploration, industrialization, social movements, education, public memory, wars, and civil violence.

 Firearms Technology, Law, and Society

Historical context is essential to understanding the centrality of guns in contemporary American society and the heated debate that surrounds them. Tucker's research examines a wide variety of topics in firearms history, such as the technologies, manufacture, possession, and use of firearms; the history of guns in popular visual culture, public history, and museums; the co-production of guns and cameras; the impact of gender, class, and racial factors; and the arguments over the “true” or “authentic” history of guns in law, mass entertainment, and “Old West” shooting competitions.

Tucker is the founding director of a new research Center for the Study of Guns and Society, established in April 2022 to foster rigorous, objective scholarly research and teaching. This followed a decade of work learning about the subject and building collaborations with scholars and museum professionals. The center aims to become a primary academic nucleus for interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on firearms history and advancement of scholarly historical research on guns and society in an academic setting outside professional schools of law, public policy, and public health.

 Museums, Public History, and Digital Heritage

Tucker's work extends to the many diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world, from exhibits in museums and galleries to reenactments to new media projects and online formats. It includes collaborations with museum-based historians and digital heritage experts locally, nationally and internationally. Tucker has advised and contributed to research to many museum and public history projects including exhibits and programs that explore the relations between art and technology (Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University); the history of visual storytelling (Lucas Museum of Narrative Art); the transatlantic trades along the Connecticut River Valley (Middlesex County Historical Society); and the history of guns and gun violence in 19th century New England and the West (Coltsville National Historic Park/Springfield Armory National Historic Site/National Park Service), among others.

 Art, Scientific Discovery, and Visual Imagination

The place of visual images and image production in the history of scientific and medical knowledge is an area of inquiry reflecting growing interest in the changing relations between scientific practice and theory, pictures and truth claims, art and "non-art," and science and the public.  Tucker's research explores the nature of vision and visual media in the history of life sciences and medicine, from drawings, etchings, sketches, photographs, and diagrams to X-ray and computer-generated images and documentary film.  She is especially interested in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and have published on topics ranging from optical devices such as microscopes, cameras, and magic lanterns, to ballooning, waxwork museums, and phantasmagoria.

 Modern British History, Gender, and Culture

Tucker is a historian of British history and culture, specializing in the study of 19th century technology, visual and material culture, evidence, and environmental history. She regularly teaches courses in British history including surveys as well as seminars, such as a recent one on mid-20th century British film and television, especially historical drama and documentary. She conducts research frequently in the U.K., most recently in connection with two book projects, one on a celebrated jury trial, the other on photography and chemical towns in northwestern U.K.  She has been a visiting scholar at U.K. institutions including Birkbeck College (University of London), Durham University, University of York, and DeMontfort University. She is currently a Science Museum Group Senior Research Associate.

Environmental History

Tucker writes about environmental history through a frame that links research on industry, urban history, and labor with new writing about visual imagery and visual practices in modern society. She is particularly interested in the impact of the alkali and gas industries in Britain. A current scholarly project, “Dangerous Exposures,” considers the role of photographs as both historical records and legal exhibits in 19th century court cases involving the alkali industry, considering complaints of air and river pollution as well as industrial health issues and accidents.  “Dangerous Exposures” brings together perspectives from world history, environmental history, labor history, and legal history. This project traces the use of visual evidence in environmental science and pollution reform, focusing on visual representation in chemical climatology and the presentation of visual exhibits in Victorian courtroom debates over air and river pollution after the passage of the 1876 River Pollution Prevention Act.  


  • Human Biology (Neuropsychology of Vision, Perception, & Memory) and History and Philosophy of Science. Stanford University
  • Phil, History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge (Marshall Scholar, Gonville and Caius College).
  • PhD, History of Science, Medicine and Technology, Johns Hopkins University.

Previous Employment

  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowship in the Humanities, California Institute of Technology, 1996–1998.

Visiting Appointments

  • Visiting Senior Fellow, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London, Spring 2016.
  • Senior Visiting Faculty Fellow, Humanities Research Centre (Theme: “Global Languages”), Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, May–July 2015.
  • Senior Fulbright Scholar, History of Art Department, University of York, England, January­–July 2014.
  • Senior Research Fellow (External), Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, England, 2014­­–17.
  • Hixon-Riggs Senior Visiting Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, 2009­–10.
  • Faculty Fellow, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Fall 2005.



The Tichborne Trial's Many Faces:Photographic Evidence, Facial Recognition, and the Making of Modern Visual Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006 (paperback, 2013); 

Edited Books:

The Routledge Handbook of American Violence, co-ed. with Scott Gac and Caroline Light (Routledge: New York, forthcoming 2026).

The Contested Role of History in Contemporary Debates on the Second Amendment, co-edited with Margaret Vining and Barton Hacker (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press and Penguin Books, 2019).

Edited Journals:

 Radical History Review 142: Visual Archives of Sex (January 2022), co-ed. with Heike Baur, Melina Pappademos, & Katie Sutton.

 Radical History Review 127: “Political Histories of Technoscience” (Winter 2017), co-ed. with Simon Schaffer & David Serlin.

 History and Theory 48: Photography and Historical Interpretation (Dec. 2009).


Selected Articles and Book Chapters:

Visual Studies & Science  (Articles & book chapters)

 “Chemical Affinities: Photography, Extraction, and Industrial Heritage in Nineteenth-Century Northern England,Nineteenth-Century Contexts 44/5 (2022). 

"“Over London at Night”: Gasworks, Ballooning, and the Visual Gas Field", British Art Studies, Issue 22 (April 2022).

"Visual Histories of Sex: Collecting, Curating, Archiving," Radical History Review 142 (January 2022): 1-18, co-authored with Heike Bauer, Melina Pappademos, & Katie Sutton.

“A View of the Ocean, Between the Tropics (1765-1800),” in Martina Droth and Nathan Flis, eds, Britain in the World: Highlights from the Yale Center for British Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), pp. 64-67.

“Visual Ecologies,” in Marvin Heiferman, ed. Seeing Science: Photography, Science and Visual Culture (New York: Aperture, 2019).

“Popularizing the Cosmos: Pedagogies of Science and Society in Anton Pannekoek’s Life and Work,” Ch. 9 in Chaokang Tai, Bart van der Steen, and Jeroen van Dongen (eds), Anton Pannekoek (1873-1960): Ways of Viewing Science and Society (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019), 175-197. [Available here via Open Access.]

“Photography/Science/Wonder,” Focal Plane: A Journal for Photographic Educators and Students 8 (Spring 2019): 18-23.

“Visual and Material Studies,” in Sasha Handley, Rohan McWilliam, and Lucy Noakes, (eds.) New Directions in Social and Cultural History (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2018), pp. 129-42.

“‘To Obtain More General Attention for the Objects of Science’: The Depiction of Popular Science in Victorian Illustrated News,” Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan, 25-3 (2016): 190-215.

“‘Famished for News Pictures': Mason Jackson, The Illustrated London News, and the Pictorial Spirit,” in Jason E. Hill and Vanessa R. Schwartz, eds. Getting the Picture: The History & Visual Culture of the News (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2015), pp. 215-220.

“Science Institutions in Modern British Visual Culture: The British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1831-1931,” Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan, Vol. 23, no. 3 (2014): 191-213.


Photographic History & Theory (articles & book chpts)

"Roundtable Discussion: Photography and Visibility in African History, American Historical Review (December 2021), pp. 1552-1573.

“Foreword,” Hybrid Photography: Intermedial Practices in Sciences and Humanities, ed. Sara Hillnhütter, Stefanie Klamm, Friedrich Tietjen (New York: Routledge, 2021).

“Magical Attractions” Lantern Slide Lectures at British Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meetings, ca. 1850-1920,” in The Magic Lantern at Work: Connecting, Witnessing, Experiencing and Persuading, Martyn Jolly and Elisa de Courcy (New York: Routledge Studies in Cultural History, 2020), pp. 67-87.

Making Looking: Lantern Slides in British Science,1850-1920,” in Sarah Dellmann and Frank Kessler (eds.), A Million Pictures: Magic Lantern Slides in the History of Learning (Utrecht: John Libbey Press, 2020).

“Photography in the Making of Modern Science,” Handbook of Photography Studies, ed. Gil Pasternak (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2019), pp. 235-254.

“Photographic Migrations: The Tichborne Claimant, Popular Archives, and the ‘Evidence of Camera Pictures,’” in Kelley Wilder and Gregg Mitman, eds. Documenting the World: Film, Photography and the Scientific Record (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016), pp. 22-44.

Close Ties: The Railway Station and Photographic Networks,” Photoworks: Photography, Art, Visual Culture 21: Collaboration (2014): 168-173.

“Marvels to Spectacles: Photographic Exploration and ‘The First Glimpse’,” Aperture 21: Curiosity (Summer 2013).

 Eye on the Street: Photography in Urban Public Spaces,” Radical History Review 114: Walkers, Voyeurs, and the Politics of Urban Space (Fall 2012): 7-18.

The Hidden World of Science: Nature as Art in 1930’s American Print Advertising,Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science 6:1 (Fall 2012): 90-105.

“‘Let the Microscope Tell Your Story’: Philip Gravelle and the Neglected Industrial and Advertising Contexts of Ultra-Microphotography, 1920-1940,” PhotoResearcher 17 (Spring 2012): 19-32.

“Entwined Practices: Engagements with Photography in Historical Inquiry,” co-authored with Tina Campt, History and Theory 48 (December 2009): 1-12.

Objectivity, Collective Sight, and Scientific Personae,” Victorian Studies 50: 4 (2008): pp. 648-657.

“The ‘Social Photographic Eye,’” in Brought to Light: Photography of the Invisible, 1840-1900, ed. Corey Keller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).

“Gender and Genre in Scientific Photography, in Ann Shteir and Bernard Lightman, eds, Figuring It Out: Visual Languages of Gender in Science (University of New England Press, 2006), pp. 140-163.

The Historian, the Picture and the Archive,Isis 97 (March 2006): 111-120.


Firearms History, Museums & Public History (articles & book chpts)

“Home on the (Firing) Range:  Gunfight Reenactments, ‘Old West’ Competitive Shooting, and the Myth of Authenticity.” Panorama (Nov. 2023).

The Queen’s Mark: Guns, Photography, and the Visual Abstraction of Precision,” Victorian Review 48/1 (2022), 2-7. 

 “Gundamentalism,” Modern American History (May 16, 2023), 1-10.  

“Guns, Germs, and Public History: A Conversation with Jennifer Tucker,” Interview by David Serlin, in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 57 (1) Special Issue: Going Public: Mobilizing, Materializing, and Contesting Social Science History, Alexandra Rutherford (Feb. 2021), pp. 60-74. [ExPub. on July 16, 2020]

“Introduction,” A Right to Bear Arms? The Contested Role of History in Contemporary Debates on the Second Amendment, co-ed. with Bart Hacker and Margaret Vining (Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, with Penguin Books and Barnes and Noble, 2019).

Display of Arms: A Roundtable Discussion about the Public Exhibition of Firearms and Their History,” Technology and Culture, Vol. 59, Issue 3 (July 2018): 719-769.


Industrial Revolution, Labor, & Public History (articles & book chpts)

Dangerous Exposures: Work and Waste in the Victorian Chemical Trade,International Labor and Working-Class History 95 (July 2019): 130-165.

One Night in 2012” (2016), Film Review of "One Night in 2012," directed by Angela Mason & co-produced by Rogan Productions and the BBC, Nationalities Papers, Vol. 46, Issue 2 (January 2018): 338-339.

 “Editors’ Introduction,” Radical History Review 127: “Political Histories of Technoscience” (Winter 2017): 1-12, with Simon Schaffer & David Serlin.

“Foreword,” Ashgate Research Companion on Victorian Spiritualism and the Occult, Tatiana Kontou and Sarah Wilburn (Aldershot: Ashgate, Fall 2012): xiii-xv.

“Visualizing Darwinian Revolution: Review Forum,” Victorian Studies 52:3, (Spring 2010): 441-448.

“‘Voyages of Discovery on Oceans of Air’: The Image of Science in an Age of ‘Balloonacy,’” Osiris 11: Science in the Field (1996): 144-176.


Legal history scholarship

"Common Use, Lineage, and Lethality," co-authored with Darrell A.H. Miller (Duke University Law School), UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 55, no. 5 (June 2022): 101-119.


Academic Awards and Fellowships

2024-present. Principal Investigator, "Firearms Use and Regulation in the 18th and 19th centuries: Modeling the Application of Historical Methods for Law and Policy." A two-year sudy to conduct urgently needed historical research on firearms law and culture across regions in the 18th and 19th century c. U.S. The grant supports two 2-year postdoctoral researchers, law students, and undergraduateas in the preparation of academic papers and websites. 

2023-24. Principal Investigator for exploration of the viability of an updated, civilian-oriented lethality index for contemporary small arms.

2023-24. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Award Collaborative Award ("Dangers and Opportunities of Technology: Perspectives from the Humanities") for a two-year research investigation of historical firearms patents, 1750-2010. Co-investigator: Stephen Hargarten (Medical College of Wisconsin).

2022-24. Co-investigator, Mellon Foundation "Humanities for All Times" Award ($1.1 million) for the “Carceral Connecticut Project," exploring the past and contemporary resonances of slavery, race, violence, and industrialization in New England. (described here).

Spring 2022. Recipient of a New England Humanities Consortium Seed Grant Award ($5,000), for “Cross-disciplinary teaching, learning & designing”: A collaboration between Wesleyan, Brown, and Rhode Island School of Design in which graduate and undergraduate students design proposals for museum exhibits exploring New England’s complex gun history in collaboration with the National Park Service’s Coltsville Historic Park in Hartford, CT.

Durham University Residential Research Library Fellowship, Durham University, UK. June 2022.

2020. Raquel and Arthur Seidel Fellowship in the History of Intellectual Property and Patents, Science History Institute, Philadelphia (February).

2020. Yale Center for British Art, Visiting Research Fellowship, New Haven (Jan.)

National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award, 2014.

British Academy-Huntington Library Fellowship, Summer 2011.

Curran Fellowship for Study of the Victorian Press, Summer 2011.

Faculty Research Fellow, Yale Center for British Art, Fall 2003.

National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend, 2001.

Social Science Research Counsel/ACLS Dissertation Award, 1993­–94.

British Marshall Scholarship, University of Cambridge, 1988-90.


 Book and Journal Editing Roles:

Book Series Co-Editor (2013-present), Photography, History: History, Photography, Routledge Press.

Editorial Board Member (2011-present), Radical History Review [Co-Chair, 2017–21].

Editorial Board Member (2021-present),  Nuncius. Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science (https://brill.com/view/journals/nun/nun-overview.xml).

Feature Editor (2011-19), History and Technology’s quarterly “Image” feature (co-ed 2017-19) with Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum curators.


 News & Opinion:

"Opinion: The Jennifer Crumbley verdict is a powerful warning to parents," CNN (Feb. 7, 2024).

"Opinion: How Wayne LaPierre Ran the NRA as 'Wayne's World,'" CNN (Jan. 25, 2024).

"Opinion: Trump may spin his mugshot into gold, but for others it's an unnecessary humiliation," MSNBC (Aug. 23, 2023).

"Stephen Sondheim's 'Assassins' lays bare the bizarre role of guns in American culture," with Peter Rutland. The Conversation (Dec. 7, 2021).

"Why are medieval laws at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case?" The Conversation (Nov. 4, 2021). Selected for inclusion in the week's "short list of news articles, commentary, and other noteworthy links related to the Supreme Court," in James Romoser, The morning read, SCOTUSblog (Nov. 5, 2021).

"Now that guns can kill hundreds in minutes, Supreme Court should rethink the rights question," CNN (October 20, 2021); linked and discussed in Duke Center for Firearms Law blog, "New Research from the UC Davis Symposium: The Theoretical Lethality Index, Reconstruction Regulation & Enforcement" (Oct. 22, 2021); cited in NY Times article by Adam Liptak, correspondent for the NY Times about the Supreme Court (Nov. 2, 2021).

“How the National Archives’ Notorious Alteration of a Women’s March Photo is Part of a Long American Tradition,” co-authored with Peter Rutland, Artnet News (January 24, 2020).

“From Their Balloons, The First Aeronauts Transformed Our View of the World,” The Conversation (December 6, 2019). Republished by Smithsonian Magazine and The Washington Post.

How the NRA Hijacked History: The Second Amendment was intended to be compatible with robust regulations of weaponry,” The Washington Post (September 9, 2019).

In ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, An Ode to the Gas Lamp,” The Conversation (December 18, 2018). Republished by the Associated Press, Business Insider, U.S. News and World Report, and Salon.

It’s No Downton Abbey, But It’s Just as Much a Part of English History,” History News Network (June 12, 2018). Republished by Time Magazine (June 14, 2018) under the title, “The Town Hosting Meghan Markle’s First Solo Event with the Queen Has a Troubled History.”

Tabloid Photographers are Hounding the Royals, but They Have a History of Using Each Other,” History News Network (May 17, 2018).

President Trump Takes Page from P.T. Barnum’s Book,” Hartford Courant (December 27, 2017).

Visual Ecologies,” for “Seeing Science: Photography, Science and Visual Culture,” University of Maryland (January 24, 2017).  

We don’t know about Trump’s taxes…but we do know about his waxes,Inside Sources (January 22, 2017).

What the Clean Air Act can teach us about reducing gun violence,” co-authored with Matthew Miller (Professor of Epidemiology, Northeastern University and co-founder of Harvard University’s Injury Prevention Center), Boston Globe (October 16, 2015).

The Not-So-Wild-West,” Inside Sources (September 20, 2015).

Can Culture Transcend the Russia-West Conflict?” with Aria Danaparamita, Moscow Times (December 14, 2014).

How Facial Recognition Technology Came to Be,” The Boston Globe, Sunday Ideas (November 23, 2014).

What our most famous evolutionary cartoon gets wrong,” The Boston Globe, Sunday Ideas (October 28, 2012).

The Mars Curiosity Rover and the Long Search for ET,” The Wall Street Journal (September 17, 2012).

The Medieval Roots of Todd Akin’s Theories,” The New York Times (August 24, 2012).



The Mug Shot, a Crime Story Staple, is Dropped by Some Newsrooms and Police,The New York Times (July 3, 2020).

Do You Know What Lightning Really Looks Like?The New York Times (June 11, 2018).

Why Victorian Women Turned to Alternative Science to Try to Understand Love,VICE (February 18, 2017).



2023. Interviewed by civil rights lawyer Kelly Sampson and podcast producer Jill Janflone about “The Rising Lethality of the Second Amendment,” Red, Blue and Brady: Racial Justice and Gun Violence Podcast Series (May 4).

"Us & Them: The Gun Divide," West Virginia Public Broadcasting (Trey Kay, Marisa Helms), May 25, 2022.

Wax Worker,” Jobsolete podcast (iHeartRadio) (February 4, 2021).

Aeronauts,” Jobsolete podcast (iHeartRadio) (January 21, 2021).

"Renovated Firearm Museum Wants to Add Context to Gun History," Wyoming Public Media (June 28, 2019).

Responding to the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas,” Where We Live (WNPR) (October 2, 2017).

Dangerous Earth: Lightning,” BBC4, research consultant and on-air interview guest. (November 24, 2016).

The Scramble: Changing the Gun Conversation,” The Colin McEnroe Show (WNPR) (October 5, 2015).

The Tichborne Claimant,” in “Five Photographs (That You Didn’t Know) Changed Everything,” BBC Radio 3 (February 2015). Reviewed in BBC History Today and the Financial Times.


Professional Roles

Named to the Historians Council on the Constitution, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School, 2023-present.

Steering Committee Member, The Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International, Durham University, UK. 

Science Museum Group Senior Research Associate (SMGSRA) at the Science Museum Dana Research Centre and Library, July 2022-present.  

 Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Association
  • North American Conference on British Studies
  • Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • National Council on Public History
  • Society for History of Technology
  • Victorian Studies Association
  • History of Science Society
  • National Association of Firearms History and Museums (2020-22)
  • Magic Lantern Society (UK)

Professional Service

  • Fellowship Review, Advisory Committee Member, Science History Institute, Philadelphia, March 22, 2022.
  • Advisory Council member, University of California Multi-Campus Programs and Initiatives (MRPI), Arts, Humanities, and Culture Review Panel (October 14, 2020). [Chair, 2022-23).
  •  Signatory, Brief for Amici Curiae Professors of History and Law in Support of Respondents in the Supreme Court of the United States, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, No. 20-843. (Filed 09/22).
  • Fellowship Evaluator, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), 2020.
  • Consultant, “Activating the Photographic Mass: Imagined Communities, Identity & History in the National Trust’s Photography Collections,” Birkbeck College and the National Trust (Spring 2020).
  • Member, Undergraduate Essay Prize Committee (Chair, 2019-20), North American Conference on British Studies (2017–2020).
  • Grant Evaluator, National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Program, Spring 2019.
  • Scholarly Advisor and contributing author to Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair at the Yale Library, in partnership with the Lewis Walpole Library for the creation of an extensive online resource to mark the bicentennial of the Queen Caroline Divorce Trial.
  • Member of the Pre-Award Team Lead for Contracts & Grants, Research Grants Program Office, University of California Office of the President (Oct 24, 2018).
  • Faculty Advisor, Historical Scientific Instrument Collection, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (Summer 2018–present).
  • Academic Committee, Wiki Science Photography Competition, University of Tartu (Estonia) (2017).
  • Assisted with review of applications for the annual Law and Humanities Interdisciplinary Junior Scholars Workshop, University of Pennsylvania (2015).
  • Vice President, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, representing Wesleyan University (2014–present)
  • Planning Committee, Science and Technology Studies in the Liberal Arts, Andrew W. Mellon 23, Workshop Organizing Committee, Vassar College (April 20–21, 2013).
  • Scholarly Advisory Committee Member, Medical Heritage Library Project, Center for the History of Medicine, Harvard University Medical School.
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, “Science/Technology/Culture” series, University of Massachusetts Press, 2009-15.  

Book Manuscript Reviews

Harvard University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, Getty Publications, Princeton University Press, Routledge, Stanford University Press, University of California Press, Yale University Press, University of Chicago Press, Bloomsbury Academic Press, MIT Press, University of Massachusetts Press.

 Article Reviews

American Historical Review, Oxford Art Journal, British Journal for the History of Science, English Historical Review, History and Technology, History Today, Isis, Journal of American History, Journal of Modern History, Kronos: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Synthesis, Photography and Culture, Radical History Review, Technology and Culture, Public Historian, Photography and Culture, Journal of Visual Culture, and Victorian Studies.

External Review Committee Service

  • Visiting Review Committee, Science, Technology & Society Program, Colby College (October 10-12, 2021).
  • Visiting Review Committee, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Institute, Oberlin College (September 22–23, 2014).
  • Visiting Review committee, Science, Technology, and Society Program, Vassar College (September 2011).

 Research Networks

  • Member, "Thinking Public Humanities" (Yale University/Whitney Humanities Center), a multi-year project convening specialists in the inter-related areas of Public Humanities, Documentary Studies, Museum Studies, Digital Humanities, Environmental History and Public History to discuss, hone and articulate a body of principles in public-facing intellectual work as a guide to fellow practitioners (2021-23).
  • Member, Public Humanities Network, Columbia University, 2021-prese t.
  • Member, Photographic Memory Workshop (Yale University).
  • Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, 2020-2022.
  • Consultant, Visions of the Arctic: Entanglements, Paradoxes, and Conflict Lines, Univ. of Bergen, Norway (Proposed Centre of Excellence).


Exhibition Advisory Committees

  • Advisory Committee Member, Pacific Standard Time: Art x Science x LA initiative, a series of exhibitions and public programs scheduled to open in 2024 on the topic of The Future in Our Past: Visualizing Human Evolution, 1850 to the Present. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty, and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
  • Exhibition Advisory Group, Peabody Museum of Natural History (Department of History of Science & Technology), Yale University, 2021-present.
  • Advisory Board Historical Consultant, Catalyst Chemistry Museum, England, 2019-20.
  • Advisor, Museum of Boulder (Colorado), "The Roots of Our Violence: Confronting an Enduring Legacy in the West," planning phase.
  • Exhibition script reader for 2019 Cody Firearms Museum renovation, Buffalo Bill Center of the American West, Cody, Wyoming, Spring 2019.
  • Advisor to Up in Arms, a multi-media group show presenting a number of perspectives on the image and impact of guns in contemporary culture at the Cecile and Ezra Zilkha Gallery of Contemporary Art, curated by Prof. Susanne Slavick (Carnegie Mellon University), October, 2017.
  • Advisor to “Framing and Being Framed: The Uses of Documentary Photography,” Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Fall 2008.
  • Advisor to The Photograph and the Book exhibit, Olin Library, Wesleyan University, Fall 2008.

Talks and Invited Lectures

  •  "Dangerous Exposures: Re-examining the Nineteenth-Century Chemical Industry in the Age of Photography," University of Durham, England, June 15, 2022. [Online]
  • Presenter/moderator, In Light of War: Photography, Conflict, and Political Violence, Brandenburgischer Zentrum fuer Medienwissenschaften, Potsdam, Germany, 4 June, 2022 (online).
  • "The Pageant of America": A Pictorial History of the United States." Thinking with Scientific Instruments: Explorations in the Material History of Science and Technology Symposium. An international workshop organized by Paola Bertucci, with the support of the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, and the History of Science and Technology Division of the Yale Peabody Museum, June 2-3, 2022.
  • Panel speaker, conference organized by The University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China on New Perspectives on the History of British Science from the 17th to the 19th Centuries (May 29­–30, 2022). [Postponed]
  • Hurter & Driffield Memorial Distinguished Lecture of the Royal Photographic Society, London, October 25, 2022.
  • Public Humanities at Yale and New Haven Free Public Library, Democracy in America Series: "Five Myths about Gun History," A Conversation with Matthew Jacobsen [Webinar], April 26, 2022.
  • Keynote lecture at the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies ("Strata") annual conference ("Camera Atmosphaeria"), University of Utah, Salt Lake City (March 26, 2022).
  • Panelist, "Salt, Sea, & the Arctic," for the panel "Photography and Slow Violence," College Art Association annual meeting, March 3, 2022.
  • "'A Gun is a gun'"? The Neglect of Innovation in U.S. Firearms Law," Innovation Law and Policy Workshop, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, 30, 2021.[online]
  • "Science & New Media: Projecting Visual Stories about the Universe," for the "Thinking with Scientific Instruments: Explorations in the Material History of Science and Technology" Symposium, MacMillan Institute & Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University (October 2, 2021.
  • Panelist: "Quantifying the Lethality Rates of Firearms in Historical Terms," Symposium on "The 2nd Amendment at the Supreme Court: '700 Years of History' and the Modern Effects of Guns in Public," hosted by the UC Davis Law Review & UC Davis School of Law, Davis, CA, October 1, 2021. Discussed in Darrell Miller, "New Research from the UC Davis Symposium," Oct. 22, 2021.
  • “‘From Chile to Piccadilly:’ The curious story of how a Daguerreotype made in Santiago in 1853 became a global icon,” Institute of the Americas conference Congress, Paris, France (September 23­–25, 2021).
  • “Dangerous Exposures,” Research presentation, Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (September 17, 2021).
  • "The Tichborne Trial in the Victorian Visual Imagination," Stedman Memorial Plenary Lecture, Midwest Victorian Studies Association (MVSA) annual meeting, Loyola University, Chicago, Ill. (May 21, 2021).
  • “History of Photography in the Sciences,” workshop presentation, Wissenschaftsgeschichte/History of Science, Institute of Philosophy, University of Regensburg, Germany [Online] (May 12, 2021).
  • Presenter, Department of Humanities, Università degli Studi di Trento, Trento (UNITN), Italy: “The Politics of Truth and Falsity: Tracing Photography and Victorian Mental Sciences through Literature, Medicine and Law[Online] (April 15, 2021).
  • Adventures of Victorian Aeronauts,” “Profs and Pints,” [Online] (March 28, 2021).
  • American Philosophical Society/Science History Institute brown bag lunch series, “Collecting the Future: Photography, Waste, & the Industrial Revolution,” (February 11, 2020).
  • Yale Center for British Art “Art in Context” Gallery Talk, “The Tichborne Impostor: Print Culture, Visual Law, and the Reinvention of Self in the Victorian World,” (January 28, 2020).
  • Beinecke Library Visiting Scholars Research Brownbag Lunch Presentation, Yale University (January 27, 2020).
  • Environmental Humanities Breakfast Conversation, Yale Environmental Humanities Program (January 24, 2020).
  • University of Connecticut History of Science Reading Group (December 5, 2019).
  • Wesleyan University Center for the Humanities public lecture: “Collecting the Future by Re-Imagining Visual History” (November 11, 2019).
  • “Living with Machines,” plenary lecture, Science Museums Research Group (Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum) (England) (November 5, 2019).
  • Kavli Conversations on Science Communication at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York University: live-streamed, interactive webcast panel discussion with Wall Street Journal science journalist Robert Lee Hotz and photographer Lynn Johnson: Moving Images: A Conversation on the Power of Photography (October 29, 2019).
  • Book panel discussion with Mark Frassetto and Saul Cornell to mark the release of A Right to Bear Arms? Book Culture, New York City (October 24, 2019).
  • History, Theory & Criticism Forum, Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (October 22, 2019).
  • “Health Hazards of Victorian Photography,” History Department, Brown University (September 26, 2019).
  • Keynote, “The Business of Photography” at conference, Photographic History Research Centre, DeMontfort University (UK), “Arming Society with Cameras: The Interlocked Histories of Photography and Gun Manufacture and Mass Advertisement” (June 17–19, 2019).
  • Public Speaker, History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, Birkbeck College, University of London: “Load, Point, and Shoot: Guns and Cameras and the Black Boxes of History” (March 26, 2019).
  • Speaker, Centre for Museum Cultures, Birkbeck College, University of London, “Exhibiting History of Firearms in Museums: UK v. US Perspectives” (March 25, 2019).
  • Speaker, “Relating Difference(s): Migrating Subjects, Inter-Cultural Exchanges, Literary Formations” International Symposium, University of Trento (Italy): “British Baronet - or Australian Outlaw? Inter-cultural Exchanges, Narratives of Difference, and Contested Identities in the Celebrated Tichborne Claimant Affair” (March 21­–22, 2019).
  • Presenter, Harvard Law School, hosted by Jill Lepore (February 12, 2019).
  • Presenter, Department of the History of Science, University of Oklahoma, “Victorian Environmentalism and Labor History” (February 1, 2019).
  • Presenter, "Dangerous Exposures: Work and Waste in Victorian Photography and the Chemical Trades,” Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University (Canada): (November 15, 2018).
  • Keynote, Conference on “The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World,” Australian National University (September 4­–8, 2018).
  • Keynote, “Arsenals of History” conference, Cody Firearms Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Cody, Wyoming: “Exhibiting History of Firearms in Museums” )May 21-23, 2018).
  • Invited speaker, Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence, University of Warwick (UK), “Interdisciplinary Research, Academia, and the Wider Public” (June 7, 2018).
  • Keynote, “Cultural Histories of Air and Illness” conference, University of Warwick (UK), “Dangerous Exposures: Work and Waste in the Victorian Chemical Trade” (June 7–9, 2018).
  • Invited speaker, History of Medicine Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Colloquium Speaker, “Chemical Exposure: The Victorian Akali Industry and the Future of Photography” (October 5, 2017).
  • Keynote, “After Post Photography” conference, The European University (Russia), “New faces of privacy: Trans-Atlantic historical and legal perspectives on the circulation of facial images in the media, 1870-1970” (May 18, 2017).
  • Invited speaker, “Visual Ecologies” conference, California Institute of Technology, “Picturing Pollution: Photography in Environmental Law Suits in Victorian Britain” (May 11­–12, 2017).
  • Invited speaker, The Mellon-Sawyer Seminar, University of Southern California, “Picturing the Past: The Nineteenth-Century” (March 20, 2017).
  • Invited speaker, Modern British History seminar, Columbia University (February 23, 2017).
  • Invited speaker, Paul Mellon Art Centre (England): “Humphrey Jennings’ ‘Pandaemonium’” (November 30, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, Center for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Manchester (UK), “Imagining the Future, Collecting the Past” (November 22, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, Visual and Material Cultures Seminar, The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford (UK) (November 11, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape (South Africa), “Contemporary History and Humanities” (October 18, 2016).
  • Keynote, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape (South Africa), “Visual Gateways” (October 21­–22, 2016).
  • Keynote, First International LYNX Center for the Interdisciplinary Analysis of Images Conference, Institute for Advanced Visual Studies (Italy) (June 22-25, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, Centre for Advanced Visual Studies, University of Durham (UK), “Historical Narrative and Victorian Visual Culture” (June 7, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, Centre for Modern and Contemporary History, University of Birmingham (UK), “Photography and Writing History” (March 23, 2016).
  • Public lecture, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities (UK), “Picturing Modernization: Vision, Modernity, and the Technological Image in Humphrey Jennings’s Pandaemonium” (March 9, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, 50th year anniversary of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at the California Institute of Technology (February 23, 2016).
  • Presenter, History of Art Department, Yale University, 18th and 19th century Art and Visual Culture Colloquium (February 22, 2016).
  • Invited speaker, History of Art Department, University College London, “New Directions in Photographic History Research” (February 11, 2016).
  • Plenary lecture, Institute of Advanced Studies, The University of Western Australia, “The Photograph from Wagga Wagga That Changed British Law” (May 28, 2015).
  • Invited speaker, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, “New Visual and Material Approaches to the Study of Global Language” (May 19, 2015).
  • Invited speaker, “Popularizing Science East and West” symposium, hosted by the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Tokyo (March 26­–29, 2015).
  • Keynote speaker, “Hybrid Photography: Inter-medial Practices in Science and Humanities since 1800,” Humboldt University (Germany), “Going Viral: How Popular Media Changed Scientific Photography” (February 19-21, 2015).
  • Keynote speaker, The State Hermitage, Petersburg, Russia: Conference on Current Research in Photographic History” (November 18–20, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, Department of Art History, European University at St. Petersburg (Russia) (November 17, 2014).
  • Keynote speaker, Annual Conference of the Photographic History Research Centre, “Exchanging Photographs, Constructing Knowledge,” De Montfort University (England) (June 21, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, Institute of Historical Research (England) (June 19, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Leeds University (England) (June 4, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “The Impact of Science Institutions on Victorian Visual Culture,” Department of History and Welsh History, Aberystwyth University (Wales) (May 21, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “Victorian Comic Images, Law and Social Order,” Victoria and Albert Museum (London) (May 13, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “‘The Biggest Man in England’: Photographic Celebrity,” Department of History of Art, University of York (England) (May 12, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “The BAAS and British Visual Culture,” Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge (UK) (May 8, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “Caricature and the Social Order: Reading Popular Prints, 1850-1880,” Literature and Cultural History Research Seminar, Liverpool John Moore University (March 18, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, Birkbeck Joint Forum for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Nineteenth-Century and Photographic History Workshop, Birkbeck College, University of London (March 4, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “Historians and Photographic Evidence,” Photographic History Graduate Seminar, Department of History of Art, University of York (England) (February 28, 2014).
  • Invited speaker, “Technology Studies, Feminist Studies, and Visual Culture,” Women’s Union, Pomona College (October 14, 2009).
  • Public Gallery Talk (“Art in Context”), “The British Artist-Naturalists at Sea: Depicting Salt-Water Fish in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World,” Yale Center for British Art (April 10, 2009). 
  • Public Lecture, “Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture,” University of Connecticut-Avery Point (February 10, 2009).
  • Invited speaker, “Brought to Light: Photographs of the Invisible, 1840-1900,” San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (December 14, 2008.)



  • "Historical Perspectives on Guns and Society," hosted by the Center for the Study of Guns and Society (Wesleyan), Oct. 14-15, 2022.
  •  "Law and New Media," Huntington Library and Art Collections, San Marino, CA, Sept. 15-17, 2022.
  •  After Post-Photography conference: “Photography’s Future Present,” European University at St. Petersburg (Russia), June 4-5, 2021.
  • Guns in History, American Historical Association Annual meeting (January 3, 2020).
  • Shasha Seminar, “Guns and American Society,” Wesleyan University, Oct. 27-28, 2017. A two-day seminar convened national experts including Wesleyan alumni, from different fields to examine the contemporary state of guns in American history, society, law, museums, and politics.
  • Firearms and the Common Law Tradition, The Aspen Institute (September 14–15, 2016).
  • Visual Studies and the Liberal Arts, Smith College, (May 2-3, 2014). The conference brought together twenty-five liberal arts faculty and focused on the topic of “Visual Studies across the Curriculum.” Co-organized with Prof. Laura Kalba, Smith College, with support from an Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC) grant.
  • “Science a Moving Image,” Hixon-Riggs Public Forum for Responsive Science, Technology and Society, Harvey Mudd College (Spring 2010). A series of talks, roundtables, and film screenings that brought together scientists, filmmakers, writers, movie industry specialists, and scholars to explore the many ways in which science’s moving images interact and intersect, from films used as scientific data to scientific documentaries to the incorporation of scientists and scientific themes in contemporary media.
  • Eye of History: The Camera as Witness,” Wesleyan University (2008­–09). A year-long series of exhibitions, seminars, talks, and films that explored questions about photography and its role in historical memory and public life.

 Seminars & Workshops:

  • Columbia University Public Humanities Workshop, devoted to the advancement of public-facing scholarship and pedagogy, funded by Columbia University Seminars and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, N.Y., Nov. 15, 2021. 
  • Commentator for the workshop,“Circulation of Images in the Life Sciences,” hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Oct. 23, 2021 [Online].
  • Working Papers/graduate student researchers, After Post-Photography conference: “Photography’s Future Present,” European University at St. Petersburg (Russia) (June 3, 2021).
  • "Photography and the Archives of Truth, Counter-Memory, and Investigation," Midwest Victorian Studies Association, Loyola University [Online]. Working Papers (May 22, 2021).

 Conference Participation:

  • Presenter, "Beyond the 'Mug Shot': Photography in the Court of Public Opinion," Law and Media conference, The Huntington Library, September 15, 2022.
  • Chair: "Lost in the Archives", Photography and History annual conference: "Photographic History Without Photographs," University of De Montfort, Leicester, England. June 13-14, 2022.
  • Panelist, “Seeing is Believing: Art and Truth at the AMNH,” “Future of Truth: Seeing Truth, Knowing Truth, Believing Truth” conference [postponed] co-hosted by the Humanities Institute, University of Connecticut, and the Institute of Philosophy and the School of Advanced Study, University of London.
  • Respondent, History of Photography special issue on “Photography and Policing,” eds. Zeynep Devrim Gürsel and Jason Hill (June 24­–25, 2021).
  • Chair, "The Ages and Ageing of Photographs," After Post-Photography, Moscow, June 4, 2021 [Online.]
  • Conference presentation, “Photography at the Nexus of Science and Industry.” Photo: Science/ Photography and Scientific Discourses, Institute of Art History, The Czech Academy of Sciences (November 3–December 2, 2020).
  • “Photography and Surveillance” Workshop, Center for Cultural Analysis, The Developing Room, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.: "New faces of privacy: Trans-Atlantic historical and legal perspectives on the circulation of facial images in media, 1890-1940” (November 5, 2020).
  • Panelist, Yale Law School: “The Uses and Abuses of History in Second Amendment Cases” (January 21, 2020).
  • Presenter, Lewis Walpole Library/Yale Law School mini-conference: “Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair (1820)” (October 4, 2019).
  • Panelist, Oxford University: Historians’ Roundtable: British, Irish, and American History and Second Amendment Adjudication, Pembroke College, University of Oxford (July 9, 2019).
  • Presenter, Yale Environmental Humanities Workshop: “Aerial Imagination” (April 26-27, 2019).
  • Panelist, American Society for Environmental Society 2019 Conference, “Weapons of Mass Pollution: Health, Hazards, and the British Environment, 1850-1950” (April 13, 2019).
  • Chair, National Council on Public History annual meeting, “Interpreting Firearms in Museums in the 21st Century” (March 27-30, 2019).
  • Panelist, Conference on “Visual Plague: Image, Imagination, & Imaginary,” an interdisciplinary research project led by social anthropologist Dr. Christos Lynteris, University of St. Andrews (Scotland) (July 12-14, 2018).
  • Panelist, Past and Present conference, University of Birmingham (May 30­–31, 2018).
  • Presenter, “Photography: The Black Box of History,” Ryerson Image Centre (Canada) (March 15–17, 2018).
  • Panelist, Symposium on “Science, Photography, and the Circulation of Printed Media,” Photographic Memory Workshop, Yale University (April 13–14, 2018).
  • Panelist, “A Million Pictures: History, Archiving, and Creative Re-Use of Educational Magic Lantern Slides” Conference (The Netherlands) (August 29–September 1, 2017).
  • Panelist, Mass Observation’s Anniversary Conference, University of Sussex (UK) (July 10–11, 2017).
  • Panelist, Annual conference of the Photographic History Research Centre (UK), “Diverse Migrations: Photography Out of Bounds” (June 19–20, 2017).
  • Co-Chair with Dr. Olesya Turkina (St. Petersburg State University), “After Post Photography conference, The European University at St. Petersburg (Russia), “Film and other Forms of Photographic Life,” (May 19, 2017).
  • Presenter and Co-Organizer, “Law and Photography: Mugshots, Passports, and Portraiture,” Birkbeck College and London School of Economics (July 2, 2016).
  • Chair, Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University (UK), “Photography: Between Anthropology and History” (June 20­–21, 2016).
  • Presenter, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Stedelijk Museum for Contemporary Arts (June 9–10, 2016).
  • Participant, Study Day sponsored by The Photographic Seminar (Centre for Visual Studies, Dept of History of Art, and Bodleian Libraries), University of Oxford, “Around the World in 8 Papers: Itineraries for a History of Photography Beyond the Western Canon” (May 10, 2016).
  • Presenter, Getty Research Institute and Huntington Library, Symposium on “Photographic Archives and the Elusive Visual Image in the Writing of History” (February 25–26, 2016.)
  • Panelist, European Society for Environmental History (France) (June 30–July 3, 2015).
  • Panelist, History Department, The University of Western Australia, “Photographic Archives” seminar (May 29, 2015).
  • Presenter, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and History and Theory Symposium (China), “Modernization in China and the West: Comparative Perspectives” (May 9–11, 2015).
  • Presenter, Department of History and Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Johns Hopkins University, Conference in Honor Judith Walkowitz (April 10–11, 2015).
  • Panel Chair, “Africanizing Technologies” Conference, Wesleyan University (March 5–6, 2014).
  • Panel Respondent, “The Photographic Event,” chaired by Martin Jay, Conference of the American Historical Association (January 2­–5, 2015).
  • Chair, British Association for Victorian Studies Meeting (theme: “Victorian Sustainability”). University of Canterbury (England) (September 4–6, 2014).
  • Presenter, Institute of Advanced Study Conference on Interdisciplinary Scholarship, Durham University (England), “Law and Image as Translation: Photographs and Maps Go to Court” (July 15–17, 2014).
  • Presenter, Fulbright Scholars Forum, University of Glasgow (Scotland) (July 4–6, 2014).
  • Presenter, Research Seminar Series in “Cultures of Photographic, Photographic Evidence, and Law,” Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University (UK) (January 14, 2014).
  • Presenter, “The Comic Image 1730-1841 - Hogarth to Punch,” Lewis Henry Walpole Library (Farmington, CT) (September 6–7, 2013).
  • Presenter, Getty Research Institute: Conference on Photography’s Past Futures (May 8, 2013).
  • Presenter, Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London (March 22, 2013).
  • Presenter, Draper Center for Civic Engagement, Pomona College, Civic Engagement and the Liberal Arts (January 31–February 1, 2013).
  • Presenter, Annenberg School for Communication, “Images, Ethics, Technologies,” (November 30, 2012).
  • Presenter, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Victorian Electrotypes: Old Treasures, New Technology” (March 26, 2012).
  • Presenter, Harvard Photography and History Workshop (December 2, 2011).
  • Chair, Society for the History of Technology (November 3–6, 2011).
  • Chair, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, “Bodies and Media: Reproducing and Reshaping Sexuality, Race, and Gender” (June 12, 2011).
  • Presenter, Andrew W. Mellon 23 Collaboration Seminar, Scripps College, “Feminism and Science: Building Bridges for Research and Teaching Innovation” (January 4–6, 2011).
  • Presenter, Yale Center for British Art,“Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture” (April 10, 2009).
  • Presenter, North American Council on British Studies Conference, “Field of Vision: Visual Culture and Modern British History” (November 12–14, 2010).
  • Presenter, The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University (September 24–25, 2010).
  • Panelist, Oakley Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Williams College, “Home Media and their Products” (April 30–May 1, 2010).
  • Panelist, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Germany), “Documenting the World” book workshop (January 7–10, 2010).
  • Chair, History of Science Society Annual Meeting (November 20–22, 2009).
  • Presenter, “Darwinism and Visual Culture,” University of Southern California (Oct. 28, 2009).
  • Presenter, UCLA History of Science Colloquium, “Historiographies of Art-Science Relations since C.P. Snow” (October 2, 2009).
  • Panel Respondent, Photographic Proofs: A Conference on Image, History, and Memory, Yale University (April 7–8, 2008).
  • Panel Respondent, History of Science Society annual meeting (November 7, 2007).
  • Panelist, Bard Music Festival, “Elgar and His World: The Composer and His Laboratory” (August 17–19, 2007).
  • Presenter, Getty Research Institute, “Art History and the Unseen” (January 19–20, 2006).
  • Presenter, Clark/Getty Workshop, The Clark Art Institute, “Spirits, Art History and the Unseen” (October 28–29, 2005.)
  • Presenter, “Pre-Raphaelite Vision: Truth to Nature,” Tate Britain Museum (England) (March 19–20, 2004).


Internal Research Grants and Fellowships

  • Member, Race & Pedagogy faculty workshop series (2021-22). (Presented on "race, visual culture and anti-racist pedagogies," April 8, 2022.
  • Teaching & Pedagogy Grant ($2400): New Intro course "'To Keep and to Bear': An Intro to Gun Culture in the U.S." (200 level intro course + . 25 credit lab) (2021–2)2.
  • Center for Pedagogical Innovation Grant ($750) from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to acquire training in Victorian magic lantern show production from Connecticut-based magic lantern slide collector and independent historian, Dick Moore (Fall 2019).
  • Center for Pedagogical Innovation Grant from the Davis Foundation to develop a project-based course at Wesleyan. Funds used to cover expenses for Rosie Dawson, Senior Producer of BBC 4 Radio, to run a week of workshops focused on training undergraduates in HIST 262 “Environmental History and Visual Studies” how to write and present their research on WESU student radio (March 28–April 6, 2017).
  • Wesleyan Project Grant awarded for article-related research in Liverpool and Manchester, England for “Science Against Industry,” a study of the visual culture of 19th century air and river pollution reform (Summer 2015).
  • Creative Campus Initiative, Andrew W. Mellon-funded Wesleyan grant awarded for designing a curricular module including an artist for “Victorian Environmentalism” (Spring 2015).
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-supported “Arts Across the Curriculum Grant,” awarded by Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts for collaboration with an artist in the development of a new course, “Picturing Environmental Damage: Visual Media, Investigation and Reform from the Industrial Revolution to the 1960s” (Spring 2015).
  • Faculty Fellow, College of the Environment, Wesleyan University (2014–15).
  • Wesleyan Project Grant for book research in the UK ($2000), 2013.
  • Science across the Curriculum Grant: Designed and co-taught a new undergraduate lecture course, “Interpreting Life on Mars: Scientific Data and Popular Knowledge,” with planetary geologist Martha Gilmore (Spring 2011).

Internal Wesleyan Awards

  • James L. McConaughy Public Writing Prize, Wesleyan University (2015).
  • Carol A. Baker Memorial Prize for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research, Wesleyan (2001).

 Campus & Departmental Talks and Events

  • Chair, NYPRC v. Bruen by Prof. of Law Darrell Miller (Duke University), April 11, 2022.
  • Organized and chaired a film screening of the independent Paul Verhoeven film "Benedetta" (2021) at Middletown's Metro Movies (12/5/21); moderated a discussion with director Paul Verhoeven [online] (12/6/21); and facilitated a panel discussion with historian, Judith Brown, whose academic book, Immodest Acts (1983), inspired the film (12/7/21).
  • "Brandishing Weapons: History & Popular Culture in America's Gun Debate." Talk for History Department, "Issues in Contemporary Historiography," Sept. 16, 2021.
  • "Collecting the Future: Photography, Waste, and the Second Industrial Revolution," Center for the Humanities (Nov. 11, 2019).
  • Lecture, “Uses and Abuses of History in Today’s Debate over Guns,” presentation to History majors in “Issues in Contemporary Historiography” methods course (September 14, 2019).
  • Exhibition Walk-Through with Ben Chaffee (Associate Director, Visual Arts), Audible Bacillus, Zilkha Gallery for Contemporary Art (February 19, 2019).
  • Chair, “Historians on Hamilton (musical),” Family Weekend (September 28, 2018).
  • Chair, First Year Matters – Common Read panel discussion of A Body Undone: Living On After Great Pain, with Prof. Christina Crosby and students Caridad Cruz and Christopher Jackson (July 2018).
  • Chair, Discussion of “Containment,” film screening and public lecture by Professor Peter Galison, co-sponsored by History, College of Environment, Science in Society Program and Center for Fine Arts (March 1, 2017).
  • Presenter, “Body, Memory, Photography.” Panel discussion of the intersections between medical and scientific representations of anatomy, gender and photographic practice, with photographer Tanya Marcuse, Victoria Pitts-Taylor, and Laura Wexler, Davison Arts Center (October 29, 2015).
  • Organizer, Earth Day at Wesleyan: Prof. Gregg Mitman, “Forgotten Paths of Empire,” and Film and Discussion, “In the Shadow of Ebola” (April 21–22, 2015); and Prof. Lynda Nead, “The Tiger in the Fog: The Aesthetics of Fog in Postwar Britain,” (April 14, 2015).
  • Organized, with Anthony Hatch, “Racism, Technology, and Social Protest,” a community dialogue to foster group discussion about the historical transformation of social and political contexts in which people use visual technologies to analyze and challenge racism (December 5, 20150.
  • Co-panelist, #Black Lives Matter university community reflection (January 20, 2016).
  • Member, Teagle Writing Seminar, faculty workshop organized through the Faculty Development office, to discuss development of creative and effective writing assignments (Spring 2015).
  • Faculty Moderator, symposium on “Risk,” a day-long interdisciplinary critique to exchange ideas and methods between students and faculty across the curriculum and serve as a platform for juniors to develop senior research topics (May 2, 2015).
  • Panelist, with Peter Rutland and Alice Kelly, “Scotland Votes…The End of the UK?” Forum sponsored by the History Department and Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life (September 16, 2014).
  • Presenter, “Seeing a Bigger Picture: Integrating British Environmental History and Visual Studies,” College of Social Sciences (October 3, 2014).
  • Organizer, History Department Annual Distinguished Lecture: Natalie Davis, Princeton Professor of History Emerita (October 17, 2013); Prof. Vanessa Schwartz, Professor of History and Art History, USC (November 2012).
  • Presenter, “Eadweard Muybridge’s Nudes,” Artful Lunch Series, Davison Art Center (October 9, 2012).
  • Organized and co-chaired (with Sarah Wiliarty), “Women and the Politics of Gender: Election 2012 Public Forum,” with Professors Inderpal Grewal Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Yale; Crystal Feimster, African American Studies, Yale; Maryann Basako, Political Science, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst; Nancy Folbre, Economics, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst; Robert Self, History, Brown University; and Michele Swers, Government, Georgetown University (October 5, 2012).
  • Chair, “Lincoln (2012): Politics and Film in the Public Eye.” Organized a public film screening and audience Q&A with Elvin Lim and Demetrius Eudell (December 6, 2012).
  • Organized the Annual FGSS Diane Weiss Memorial Lecture, “Religion, Sex, and Gender: Public Feminism" (April 5, 2012).
  • Organized Connecticut public forum, “Guns and Gun Violence: Crisis, Policy, and Politics." Moderated by Connecticut’s public radio (WNPR) News Director, John Dankosky (February 6, 2013).
  • Organizer, Book event for Professor Jill Lepore, Department of History, Harvard University (April 25, 2013).
  • Co-organized a panel discussion, “Crisis in the Middle East,” (Sept. 27, 2013)
  • Co-Organizer, “U.S. Health Care Reform: Images and Realities of Costs, Quality and Access" (November 1, 2013).

Students & Teaching

Teaching Areas

History of science and technology; modern British history; nineteenth-century studies; visual culture; environmental history and law; historical methods/historiography; science and art intersections; history and theory of photography; visual cultures of knowledge; gender, science and technology; law and society; public history and material culture; firearms and history; film and television; museums, pageants and public history.

Graduate Seminars

  • Seminar leader, Grant writing workshop, Visual Studies Research Institute, Graduate seminar, Univ. of Southern California (October 3, 2020).
  • Seminar leader, Book publishing workshop for graduate students and recent postdocs, Science History Institute, Philadelphia, PA (October 2020).
  • Presenter Jobs in Art and Law, Careers Day workshop, University of York (October 10, 2016).

Undergraduate Courses taught at Wesleyan

  • SISP 143: Searching for Life on Mars: Antiquity to Today, w/ Prof. Martha Gilmore) (Spring 2011)
  • HIST 177: Life Science, Art and Culture (Summer 2013)
  • HIST 179: Intro to Gender and Sex in History
  • HIST 181: Streets of Victorian London
  • HIST 209: Reenacting Justice: Guns in America
  • HIST 231: Guns & Society: Historical Perspectives
  • SISP 207: Social and Cultural Practices of Science
  • FGSS 212: Gender & Technology (Spring 2011)
  • CSS 240: The Emergence of Modern Europe: Sophomore History Tutorial (Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
  • HIST 254: Science in Western Culture Survey (Spring 2012)
  • ENVS 255: Seeing a Bigger Picture: British Environmental History & Visual Culture (Spring 2015; Spring 2017)
  • FGSS 212: Sex, Gender and Technology: Historical Perspectives & Research Topics
  • HIST 264: Modern Britain, 1688-Present: From Empire to Quagmire (Spring 2019)
  • HIST 269: Gender & Sexuality in Modern Europe (Fall 2012)
  • HIST 286: Entanglements of Photography and Law Survey: Photographers Rights, Surveillance, Obscenity, Evidence, Copyright, and Human Rights Trials,1840-Today (Spring 2017; Spring 2018)
  • CHUM 346: Visual Persuasion & the Law (Fall 2011;)
  • CHUM 353: Media Revolutions: Color Television and the Humanities c. 1969 (Fall 2019)
  • HIST 362: Issues and Methods in Contemporary Historiography (required course for history majors): (Fall 2012; Fall 2013; Fall 2015; Fall 2017; Fall 2018)
  • ENV 391: COE Senior Colloquium (Fall 2014)
  • FGSS 405: Senior Seminar (Fall 2012; Fall 2017; Fall 2018; Fall 2021)
  • SOC 627/GLSP: Looking for an Icon: Ten Photographs That Shook the World (Summer 2012)


Courses taught outside of Wesleyan (Caltech, Harvey Mudd College)

  • Victorian Science, Medicine and Technology
  • G. Wells
  • Fact and Artifact: Visual Persuasion, Law, and Public Policy 
  • Visualizing Nation and Empire: History of 20th century British Documentary Film
  • Gender, Race and Health: European Historical Topics
  • Intro to Feminist Science and Technology Studies
  • Science and Sexuality in Edwardian Britain
  • Evidence
  • Gorilla Warfare: Images from the Evolution Debate, Lamarck to the Present.


Doctoral Review Committees (History of Art; History of Science; History)

  • Yale University (History of Art)
  • Brown University (History of Art)
  • University of Toronto (History of Art)
  • University of Cambridge (History & Philosophy of Science)
  • University of York (History)
  • Harvard University (History)
  • Boston University (History)
  • Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy (History of Photography & Media)
  • University of Western Cape (History)
  • Durham University (Advanced Visual Studies)

 Undergraduate Research Supervision

Senior Thesis advisorSupervisor of forty senior thesis. honors projects including three University Honors winners (2011; 2013; 2021), seven Dutcher Prize winners (for best thesis in History), five Ohmann Prize winners (for best thesis in gender studies) and one British Marshall Scholar (Zully Adler).

External thesis reader: Served as external reader of over 50 theses and essays across a range of different departments since tenure; full list available upon request.

Faculty Mentor to two Watson Fellows, four McNair Fellows, and three Mellon May Fellows (2010-11; 2012-13; 2018-19).

 Teaching Prizes: Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, Johns Hopkins University, 1995.

 University Service

 Chair/Director Experience

  • Founding Director, Center for the Study of Guns and Society (03/22-present).
  • Director, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. Wrote a strategic vision report for the administration with recommendations. Organized campus and public events (2012–13)

 University Committees

  • Member, University Honors Committee (2021-22).
  • Member, Search Committee for the Vice President for Communications Position (May–September 2019).
  • Faculty Advisory Board Member, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery (Fall 2017–present).
  • Task Force, University Copyright and Fair Use Practices, Olin Library Committee (2019-2020).
  • Faculty Advisor, Wesleyan Media Project (WMP), “Guns in Campaign Ads During 2017-2018.”
  • Faculty Advisory Board Member, Center for the Humanities (Fall 2015–present).
  • University Honors Committee (2008–09; 2021–23).
  • Review and Appeals Board (2010–13; re-elected 2018 for a three-year term)
  • Fulbright Scholarship Committee (Fall 2015); International Fellowships Committee (2018–present).
  • University Digital Collections Strategic Planning Committee. Faculty rep to the subcommittee on Special Collections and Archives and World Music Archives (2014-present).
  • Olin University Library External Review, faculty representative (Spring 2015).
  • Faculty Seminar Leader, (“First Year Matters” Seminar): “The Machine in the Garden.” (Frosh Orientation, September 2014).
  • Steering Committee Member, Van Vleck Observatory Centennial Restoration (2013–present).
  • Presidential Task Force: “Making Excellence Inclusive” (2010–present).
  • Provost’s Task Force on Divisional Organization (Fall 2011).
  • Academic Review Committee (2010­–2012).
  • First Year Initiatives Committee (2010-2011).
  • Search Committee for new Director of the Davison Art Center (Fall 2004).
  • University Advisory Committee (University Tenure and Promotion) (2001–03).

Recent University Talks

  •  WESSeminar: COVID-19 & AIDS: Parallels, Differences, and Lessons Learned, Reunion/Commencement Weekend, May 21, 2022.
  • WESSeminar: Local History, Global Issues: Race, Industry, and Violence in the Connecticut River Valley, Reunion/Commencement Weekend, May 20, 2022.
  • WESFEST Panel on faculty-student research for accepted students, April 8 and 22, 2022.

Departmental/Program Service

 History Department

  • Chair, Search Committee for Tenure-Track Position in Gender and African History in the History Department (2013); Member, Search Committee for Tenure-Track Position in Gender and African History (2006).
  • Search Committee for Tenure-Track Position in History of Modern Science (2008).
  • Member, Sub-Committee to design and implement new HIST 362 course template (2003–2005).
  • Faculty Advisor for Gender and History & Visual History, History Department (2005–Present)

Science in Society Program

  • Core Member and Faculty Advisor since 1998.
  • Participated in Hiring for a Tenure-Track Position in STS in the Global South (Fall 2021).
  • Search Committee for Tenure-Track Position in Health and Medicine (2014-15).
  • Search Committee for Tenure-Track Position in Sociology of Medicine (2008-09).

College of the Environment (COE)

  • Instructor, Group Research Tutorial in Industrial Revolution and Environmental Law (2018).
  • Reviewed Summer/Fall Internship Applications (2018).

 College of Social Studies (CSS)

  • Sophomore History Tutor, CSS 240 “The Emergence of Modern Europe” (2020–21).
  • Nominating Committee, Assistant Professor of Intellectual History, CSS (January 2021).
  • Guest Panelist, College of Social Studies Student-Led Panel on “Gender Politics in the CSS and the U.S. Election” (November 17, 2020).


  • "Five Ways to 'Read' an Old Photograph': Insights, Stories, and Gems From the Middlesex County Historical Society's Photo Archives," Middletown, CT, Sept. 8, 2022.
  • "Flashbulb Memories." LUNÄ Talk: Ars Memoriae: On media archaeology and the history of technology in relation to memory. A panel with artists, neuroscientists, curators, and engineers. Location: 601 Artspace, 88 Eldridge Street, NYC, May 16, 2022.
  • Historical consultant on popular science learning, gender, and toy culture, 1915-1960, for “The Erector Set at 100,” Eli Whitney Museum, New Haven (Fall 2013).
  • “Science as Spectacle,” The Observatory, a New York arts space that presents public programming inspired by the 18th century notion of “rational amusement” (October 28, 2012).




Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

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Fall 2024
HIST 278 - 01
Visualizing Firearms History