Laura Wexler

Professor of American Studies & Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

Office: WLH 314
Phone: (203) 432-1524
Email: laura.wexler@yale.edu

Laura Wexler is the author of Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age ofb U. S. Imperialism (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and Pregnant Pictures (Routledge, 2000), co–authored with photographer Sandra Matthews. Tender Violence was awarded the 2001 Joan Kelley Memorial Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in women’s history and/or feminist theory. She also co–edited, with Laura Frost, Amy Hungerford and John MacKay, the volume Interpretation and the Holocaust, as a special issue of the Yale Journal of Criticism. Professor Wexler’s many other publications on photography and American visual culture include a recent essay entitled “’Laughing Ben’” on “The Old Plantation’,” in Photography and Race Forum, edited by Elizabeth Abel and Leigh Raiford, in English Language Notes 44.2 (Fall/Winter 2006); and a chapter entitled “The Fair Ensemble: Kate Chopin in St. Louis in 1904,” in Haunted by Empire; Geographies of Intimacy in North American History, edited by Ann Laura Stoler (Duke University Press, 2006).

Her current research interests center upon photographic representations of the politics of white supremacy and resistance to it in the United States. She is working on a book entitled The Awakening of Cultural Memory: Heritage Fiction and Photographic Truth. She is also working on the photographers Diane Arbus and Roman Vishniac; on little known photographs from the F.S.A./O.W.I archives; and on the Randolph Linsly Simpson African–American Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale.

Professor Wexler has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals including American Quarterly, Genders, and the Yale Journal of Criticism. She co–founded and directs the Photographic Memory Workshop at Yale, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2009. The courses she teaches at Yale University include: “Photography and Images of the Social Body,” “Visuality and Violence,” “Photographic Memory: Public and Private Lives,” “History of U. S. Feminist Thought,” “Transnational Feminisms” and “Religion, Gender and Globalization.”

Laura Wexler completed her undergraduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College and holds M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature. She has taught at Amherst College, Trinity College, Wesleyan University and Yale University. She served as Chair of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program from 2003–2007. She serves on the board of the Muriel Gardiner Society for Psychoanalysis and the Humanities and on the board of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. She is currently a principal investigator of the Women, Religion and Globalization Project at Yale, a joint venture among the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, the Yale Divinity School and the Yale Program in International Affairs, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the MacMillan Center at Yale.