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Emily Morgan

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

“Striking Images: Photographs of Iowa Packinghouse Labor Conflict, 1948-1960,” an article by Emily Morgan, Iowa State University assistant professor of art and visual culture (art history), is featured in the Spring 2018 issue of The Annals of Iowa, a quarterly journal published by the State Historical Society of Iowa.

In the article, Morgan analyzes two collections of photographs related to labor strife in the meatpacking industry in mid-20th-century Iowa, one amassed by members of a meatpacking union and the other by a meatpacking company. Her analysis of these images demonstrates that both labor and management used photos not only for passive record-keeping purposes but also for active purposes: identification, intimidation and retaliation. During times of conflict, the camera became not simply a tool but a weapon wielded by both sides.