Woman holding a sign that says "Do I look 'illegal'?"

The Historian’s Eye Revisited: Photography, History, and the Emerging American Present

Thu, Feb 08, 2024, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

142 Dwinelle

Matthew Frye Jacobson

Situated at the intersection of Documentary Studies, Public Humanities, and Ethnic Studies, this talk examines the politics of white displacement and resentment as they emerged in the Obama years and crystallized in the arrival of Trumpism. An array of differing temporal frames—the deep historical past, the Obama moment, the arrival of Trumpism, and the view from 2024—organize this investigation of race in US political culture, as Jacobson revisits the fieldwork from the Historian’s Eye project of 2009-2014 in advance of its reprise in 2025.

Matthew Frye Jacobson is Sterling Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University. He is the author of eight books on race, politics, and culture in the United States: Dancing Down the Barricades: Sammy Davis, Jr. and the Long Civil Rights Era (2023); Odetta’s One Grain of Sand (2019); The Historian’s Eye: Photography, History, and the American Present (2018); What Have they Built You to Do?: The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America, (with Gaspar Gonzalez, 2006); Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post–Civil Rights America (2005); Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917 (2000); Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (1998); and Special Sorrows: The Diasporic Imagination of Irish, Polish, and Jewish Immigrants in the United States (1995).