Press Release: Graduate Center Professor Joshua Brown Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

April 1, 2010

Project to Focus on Visual Culture of the Civil War

Joshua Brown, executive director of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning and adjunct professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, was among the recently announced 2010 Guggenheim Fellowships. He was awarded the prestigious grant for his project Studies in the Visual Culture of the American Civil War.

Brown is one of 180 recipients of this year’s Fellowships, chosen from among some 3,000 applications, announced by Edward Hirsch, president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, in its eighty-sixth annual competition for the United States and Canada. Often characterized as midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Brown is author of Beyond the Lines: The Pictorial Press, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America, co-author (with Eric Foner) of Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction, and co-editor of History from South Africa: Alternative Visions and Practices, and has written numerous essays and reviews on the history of U.S. visual culture. He is the visual editor of the noted social history textbook Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History, and alsoco-authored and directed the accompanying CD-ROMs and documentary series.He has served as executive producer on many award-winning digital and Web projects, including Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution; History Matters: The U.S. History Survey on the Web; The Lost Museum: Exploring Antebellum Life and Culture; The September 11 Digital Archive; and Picturing U.S. History: An Online Resource for Teaching with Visual Evidence. Brown’s cartoons, comic strips, and illustrations—including his weekly graphic commentary, Life during Wartime—appear regularly in academic and popular publications, in print and online. He received his B.A. from City College and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Brown’s Guggenheim-winning project will be composed of interrelated essays that address pictorial journalists’ vision of the Confederacy, the journey from slavery to freedom in and transformation of editorial cartoons, the pictorial record of the New York Draft Riots, the war in European eyes, and an assessment of the interaction of the vast print culture (including illustrated periodicals, prints, almanacs, cartoons, envelopes, money, trade cards, greeting cards, and sheet music covers) with the photographic record of the war. It will investigate how public visual culture represented people, events, places, and policies during the American Civil War, and how it affected perception and opinion on both sides of the conflict, as well as internationally. It will also investigate how, interacting with readers, changing circumstances, and unforeseen contingencies, the visualization of the war changed over the course of four years—and the long-term impact of that change.

The Graduate Center

The Graduate Center is the primary doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York (CUNY). The school offers more than 30 doctoral programs, as well as a number of master's programs. The Graduate Center is also home to more than 30 interdisciplinary research centers and institutes and offers an extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events. Further information on the Graduate Center and its programs can be found at

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

United States Senator Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 as a memorial to a son who died April 26, 1922. The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed.