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Art and Visual Culture Faculty and Staff

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Associate Professor

Emily Godbey PhD

Associate Professor, Art and Visual Culture (Contemporary Art History)

Mailing Address

Art and Visual Culture Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011

Contact Information

Phone: (515) 294-8422
Email: egodbey@iastate.edu
Office: 388 Design

Education

  • PhD, Art History, University of Chicago
  • MA, Art History, University of Chicago
  • MFA, Photography, Rhode Island School of Design
  • BA, Comparative Literature, with Honors, Princeton University

Research Interests

I specialize in the nineteenth century and its relationship to the present day by analyzing photography, film and material culture. The past is very informational for the present. My projects usually involve some sort of tragedy, so I address death, mourning, memory and the ephemeral. The ephemeral, meaning “fleeting,” is a key concept for me; I use found, discarded, "useless" items to document the real-life experiences from the dawn of the steam engine to the present.

Recent Activity

“Ephemeral Memorials,” in Revista: The Harvard Review of Latin American Culture, Issue: Monuments and Counter-Monuments, ed. June Carolyn Erlick, , Spring/Summer 2021,Volume XX, Number 3.

Launch and Roundtable Discussion: Monuments and Counter-Monuments, Revista: The Harvard Review of Latin American Culture, Sep 30, 2021.

"Will there be a monument to the COVID-19 pandemic?, The Conversation, November 25, 2020.

Consultant to PBS Newshour and Agence France-Presse (AFP), 2020-ongoing.

Miller Open Education Mini-Grant, 2020. Book (forthcoming): Open Art History: From Late Medieval to the Present Day.

Selected Publications

“Trilby Goes Naked and Native on the Midway,” The Trans-Mississippi And International Expositions of 1898-1899: Art, Anthropology and Popular Culture at the Fin de Siècle, Ed. Wendy Katz, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2018: 161-194

“Speed and Destruction at the Fair,” in Motorsports in American Culture, Mark D. Howell and John D. Miller, eds., New York: Plymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014:39-52

 “‘Terrible Fascination’: Civil War Stereographs of the Dead,” History of Photography, 36:3, August 2012, 265-274.

“Making Memories: Tragic Tourism’s Visual Traces,” Rhetoric, Remembrance, and Visual Form: Sighting Memory, Rhetoric and Communication Studies Series, Anne Demo and Brad Vivian, Eds., Routledge: 2011: 228-244.

“City Parks,” in Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life, Helen Sheumaker and Shirley Teresa Wajda, editors (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2007): 97-98.

“Disaster Tourism and the Melodrama of Authenticity: Revisiting the 1889 Johnstown Flood,” Pennsylvania History, Vol. 73, No. 3, Summer 2006: 273-315.

“Nineteenth Century Technology and the Macabre,” in Constructions of Death, Mourning, and Memory, Lilian H. Zirpolo, ed. (Woodcliff Lake, NJ: WAPACC, 2006) 75-77.

“The Cinema of (Un)attractions: The Microscopic On Screen” in Allegories of Communication: Intermedial Concerns from Cinema to the Digital (Stockholm Studies in Cinema)  Jan Olsson and John Fullerton, eds. (Rome: John Libbey & Co., 2004): 277-298.

National Presentations

“Butter Sculpture and Refrigeration: Radical Women,” Nineteenth Century Studies Association: Radicalism & Reform: The 41st Annual Conference, Rochester, New York, March 16-19, 2022, (moved from March 19-21, 2021. Covid-19 Delay/Cancellation).

“Butter Sculpture and Refrigeration: The Midwest Combination of Art and Science,” Symposium on the History of Midwest Science and Technology, 29-31 March 2019, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

“Explorations via Mail,” Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Commerce, Design and Material Culture Panel, St. Louis, MO, 7-9 March 2019. Moderator: Becky Lewis, University of South Carolina.

“The Moving Panorama's Vistas: The First Moving Pictures” in Panoramic Views Panel, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 15-17 March 2018. Moderator: Emily Burns, Auburn University

“Ladies at the Fair: Women and the Trans-Mississippi & International Exposition,” Omaha, NE, March 2, 2018.

“Special Edition: Disaster!!” Visual Culture Caucus: Visual Dissents: Political Action and Commerce in the Public Eye, American Studies Association Annual Conference, “Pedagogies of Dissent,” Chicago, Illinois November 9-12, 2017

“Dead on Arrival: The Dead Letter Office’s Role as Memory Keeper” in Museums and the Nation Panel, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Charleston, South Carolina, “Memory and Commemoration,” 2-4 February 2017.

“New Technologies, New Diseases: ‘Railway Spine,’ ‘Railway Shock’ and ‘Railway Concussion’” Nineteenth Century Studies Association, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “The New and the Novel in the 19th Century/New Directions in 19th-Century Studies,” 13-16 April 2016

“Representing Terrible Things: The Material Culture of Misery in America,” American Studies Association Annual Conference, October 8-11, 2015, Toronto, Canada

“What Remains: Civil War Battlefield Negatives and the Body,” In: Photography Decomposition, Recomposition, and Re-Composition, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, June 23-27, 2015

“Trilby Goes Native: The Westernization of an International Hit,” Nineteenth Century Studies Association, Boston, 25-28 March 2015

Bordering Obscenity and Pornography: Looking at Photography in the American Civil War,” In: War and Culture 2: Gaze and Discourse from the Civil War to Vietnam, Southwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 11-15 February, 2015

Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (2rAU) National Conference, Iowa State University, 5-8 November, 2014, Participant

“Making Mass-Market Commodities Unique: The Postcard Example,” Mass-Market Image Economies Panel, College Art Association Conference, Chicago, 12-15 February 2014

“’Weird, Ghastly Subjects’: The Commemorative Disaster Book,” American Studies Association Conference, Panel: Mediating Disaster in a Culture of Spectacle:  War, Ruins, and Catastrophe (Miles D. Orvell, Eric J. Sandeen, David Lubin) , San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 15-18, 2012

Keynote Address, National Tragedies: Perceptions, Receptions, and Expectations, 37th Annual Purdue American Studies Symposium, Purdue University, 19-20 April 2012

“’Terrible Fascination’: Stereographs of the Dead,” The Legacy of the Civil War: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 10 November-11 November, 2011

“Building Body and Mind,” Organization of American Historians, Washington, DC, 7-10 April 2010.

“The Civil War in Stereo” Panel: “Capturing Conflict: Reconciling the Mimetic and the Aesthetic in Multimedia Representations of the Civil War”, Northeast Modern Languages Association, Boston, 26 February-1 March, 2009

“Craft at the Crossroads,” Material Culture Caucus Sponsored Session, American Studies Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM, 11-14 October 2008

“Tragic Tourism’s Visual Traces,” Visible Memories Conference, Syracuse University, NY, 2-4 October 2008

“Speed and Destruction at the Fair,” Popular Culture Association & American Culture Association Conference, San Francisco, California, 19-22 March 2008

“Picture Frames: Imaging and Imagining America,” American Studies Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 11-14 October 2007

“Betting on Destruction: Wrecking Trains, Planes, and Automobiles,” The Society for the History of Technology Annual Conference, Las Vegas, 14 October 2006

International Presentations

“’Weird, Ghastly Subjects’: The Commemorative Disaster Book,” American Studies Association Conference, Panel: Mediating Disaster in a Culture of Spectacle:  War, Ruins, and Catastrophe (Miles D. Orvell, Eric J. Sandeen, David Lubin) , San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 15-18, 2012

 “The Postcard Imagetext: Conventions and Codes,” American Imagetext Conference, University of East Anglia, UK, 18 Jun 2011  – 19 Jun 2011

 “Atrocity in 3-D,” Atrocity, Photography, and War Symposium, Monash Prato Centre, Prato, Italy, June 2010

“The Postcard as Photographic Esperanto,” Locating Photography Conference, Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies, University of Durham, UK, 20-22 September 2007

“Postcards circa 1900: Traffic in Images,” International Visual Sociology Association Conference, New York University, 10-12 August 2007

Selected Honors & Awards

  • Miller Open Education Mini-Grant, 2020. Project: Open Art History: From Late Medieval to the Present Day.
  • Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grant Online Teaching Seminar, 13-16 July 2020
  • Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grant Teaching and Learning Center Seminar on Service Learning, Summer 2019
  • Sabbatical Leave Approved (2014), for Use Spring 2016
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship, Topic: “The View from the East: The Federal Government and the American West, George Mason University, Summer 2014
  • University of Chicago, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Summer Fellowship, Topic: Economy in Marx and Freud, Director: Eric Santner, Summer 2013
  • Foreign Travel Grant, 2013
  • Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grant, Iowa State University, 2013
  • The Tall Grass Prairie Project: Sustainability Through Faculty Learning Communities, Summer 2012
  • Wakonse Conference on College Teaching Fellowship recipient, 2012
  • Foreign Travel Grant, 2010
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair, Albright College, 2008-2009
  • Cornell University, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Summer Fellowship, Topic: Technologies of Memories, Director: David Bathrick, Summer 2008
  • Foreign Travel Grant, 2007
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair
  • Cornell University, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Summer Fellowship
  • Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Grant, Iowa State University
  • Visual Resources Association Writing Award
  • Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation/Franke Institute for the Humanities Doctoral Fellowship
  • Joseph R. Shapiro Fellowship
  • Jacob Javits Fellowship
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Fellowship

Courses

  • Mass Culture Circa 1900: Photography, Film, and Entertainment
  • History of Photography
  • Green art: Earthworks and Beyond
  • Art History Survey
  • Women/Gender and Art
  • Nineteenth-Century Art
  • Memory, Mourning, and Visual Culture
  • On the Road: Travel and Art
  • Historiography of Art

Current Scholarship

  • Invited lecture, Franklin and Marshall College: Postcards, Esperanto, and the Wish for Universal Language, 04/30/2009
  • The Civil War in Stereo, 02/28/2009
  • "Depictions of Disaster," TV Appearance, 12/08/2008
  • Craft at the Crossroads, 10/12/2008
  • Tragic Tourism’s Visual Traces, 09/03/2008
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Chair, 09/01/2008
  • Cornell University, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst Summer Fellowship, 06/27/2008
  • Speed and Destruction at the Fair, 03/20/2008
  • “Picture Frames: Imaging and Imagining America” , 11/13/2007
  • The Postcard as Photographic Esperanto, 09/21/2007
  • Postcards circa 1900: Traffic in Images, 01/11/2007
  • The Monstrous and the Uncanny: Macabre Art Reconsidered, 10/26/2006
  • Betting on Destruction: Wrecking Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, 10/14/2006
  • Disaster Tourism and the Melodrama of Authenticity: Revisiting the 1889 Johnstown Flood, 09/01/2006
  • Society for the History of Technology Grant, 08/04/2006
  • 2006 CEAH Fellowship for Scholarship and Creative Activity, 06/03/2006
  • 2006 Faculty Incentive Grant, 06/03/2006
  • The History of City Parks in Encyclopedia of American Material Culture, 01/27/2006
  • Train Accidents on Demand: Thickening Time, 10/13/2005