Vanessa Meikle Schulman

Vanessa Meikle Schulman

Vanessa Meikle Schulman

Associate Professor

Art History: Nineteenth- and twentieth-century visual culture of the United States; periodical studies; history of technology

Vanessa Meikle Schulman is a specialist in the art and visual culture of the United States. She received her PhD in Visual Studies from the University of California, Irvine, in 2010, and has published her research in the academic journals American ArtInvisible Culture, American Periodicals, and Early Popular Visual Culture. Her book, Work Sights: The Visual Culture of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America, published by the University of Massachusetts Press, was the winner of the 2016 International Committee for the History of Technology book prize for junior scholars and was selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2016. Before coming to Mason, she taught at Illinois State University. She offers classes on colonial through twentieth-century American art and architecture, history of photography, and other thematic art history courses.

Selected Publications


Work Sights: The Visual Culture of Industry in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2015).

Selected Articles

"Visuality in Literary Magazines," forthcoming in The Routledge Companion to the Literary Magazine, 2022.

"J.J. Woodward, the Philadelphia Centennial, and Medical Imaging in Nineteenth Century America," forthcoming in AMEDD Journal2022. Winner of the Spurgeon H. Neel writing award from the Army Medical Foundation.

"The Pleasure of the Parlor: Mocking the Home Guard in Civil War Visual Culture," Studies in American Humor 7, no. 1 (Spring 2021): 105-127.

"Visualizing Race at the Polling Place: Thomas Waterman Wood's American Citizens," American Art 33, no. 3 (Spring 2019): 24-51.

“‘The Books We All Read’: The Golden Age of Children’s Book Illustration and American Soldiers in the Great War,” The Lion and the Unicorn 41 (2017): 204-230.

“Alph-Art, B Movies, Cast Corpses: Death by Sculpture and Hergé’s Middle Ground,” in The Comics of Hergé: When the Lines Are not so Clear, ed. Joe Sutliffe Sanders (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2016), 62-76.

“Managing Subjects, Manufacturing Citizens: Picturing Sites of Social Control in Nineteenth-Century America.” Early Popular Visual Culture 12.2 (May 2014): 104-126.

“Definite Indeterminacy: Blindness in the Civil War Imagery of Ambrose Bierce and Winslow Homer,” Invisible Culture 19 (Fall 2013):

“Making the Magazine: Visuality, Managerial Capitalism, and the Mass Production of Periodicals, 1865-1890,” American Periodicals 22.1 (Spring 2012): 1-28.

Courses Taught

ARTH 350: History of Photography

ARTH 370: Arts of the United States

ARTH 372/HIST 389: The Civil War and Visual Culture

ARTH 372: Native North American Arts

ARTH 394/594: The Museum

ARTH 471/599: Visualizing Science in the Modern World

ARTH 471/599: Art and Culture of the U.S. Gilded Age

ARTH 471/599: The Interwar United States

ARTH 601: Colloquium in Art History


Ph.D. 2010, Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine

M.A. 2007, Visual Studies, University of California, Irvine

A.B. 2003, History of Art and Architecture and American Civilization, Brown University