Alice Maggie Hazard
PhD, 2019: History of Photography and US Cultural History
I recently successfully defended my dissertation titled " 'Weird Copies of Carnage:' Marketing Civil War Photographs of the Dead and the Public Experience of Death in the Nineteenth-Century North" and will receive my degree this May. My current research examines the cultural impact of photographs of fallen soldiers taken during the American Civil War and explores how these images influenced a cultural shift in the understanding and experience of death and mourning from a private familial experience to one that took place in the public sphere in the nineteenth-century United States. Looking closely at photographs of dead soldiers taken after engagements like the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as the advertising of those images, my dissertation considers how the exhibition, marketing, and conversion of photographs into woodcut prints published in illustrated journals, helped to disseminate images of the dead throughout the Union and thereby impact cultural understandings. Extending the narrative to consider the photographs surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, this project also begins to consider how wartime photographs of the dead from the Civil War have had a reverberating impact on understandings of war, traumatic events, and death from the end of the nineteenth century to today. Future research goals will continue to grapple with these considerations in both the art historical and the historical realm, and will explore connections between nineteenth-century images of war and trauma and the way we use photographic images to understand similar events in todays world.