Anne Cross (she/her/hers) is an art historian specializing inAmerican Art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on the histories of photography and the material culture of illustrated newspapers and magazines. In her writing and teaching, Cross critically engages the impact racial and gender bias has on the archival and narrative practices of history, and she employs innovative methodologies that create space for themes of recovery and redress, and the dynamics of absence and presence.
Her current book project examines photographs of atrocity and their publication as wood engravings within Harper’sWeekly’s illustrated reporting of the American Civil War.During the Civil War, Harper’s increasingly relied on photographic sources for its illustrated reporting, and this included images of abused enslaved persons, disabled soldiers, and other injured bodies. At Harper’s these photographs were manually transformed from their original medium into wood engravings, a necessary step in the publication process until the 1880s. In her book, Cross examines how this popular NewYork-based newspaper used images of atrocity to both report the news and to further the journal’s political and rhetorical position. In so doing, this project grapples with timely issues such as the social construction of violence as news, the role of the media as moral arbiter, and the ethics of reproducing images of violence, particularly racialized violence, in mass visual culture.
Cross also has extensive curatorial experience and welcomes students who are interested in museum practices.