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Vanessa R. Schwartz is Professor of Art History, History and Film at the University of Southern California, where she also directs the Visual Studies Research Institute and the Graduate Certificate program. An historian of modern visual culture, she was trained in Modern European History with a concentration on France and urban culture at Princeton (Phi Beta Kappa, 1986) and UC Berkeley where she received her PhD in 1993.

Schwartz and Daniela Bleichmar co-authored an essay and co-edited six additional essays on the theme of “Visual History” that emerged from the Mellon Sawyer Seminar they organized at the Visual Studies Research Institute at USC. It was published as a special issue of Representations in March 2019 and will be available to download here for free for one full year upon publication.Vanessa Schwartz directs dissertations in Art History, History and Cinematic Arts and Media Studies. Every one of her PhD students has published their dissertation and all are gainfully employed; many in tenured or tenure-track positions or as curators or writers.

She co-edited, with Jason Hill, Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News (Bloomsbury, 2015). Other major editorial projects include three special issues of journals: with Lynn Hunt, “The History Issue” of The Journal of Visual Culture (2010), “Caught in the Act” volume 26 (Nov. 2010) of Etudes Photographiques with Thierry Gervais and Christian Delage and “Urban Icons” in Urban History (Cambridge, 2006) with Phil Ethington, which includes a multi-media companion.

She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Schwartz has been a fellow at the Getty Research Institute, The Humanities Research Institute, UCI, the Warren Center, Harvard; an invited professor at Stanford, McGill and Paris I- The Sorbonne. She has also been the recipient of a Cullman Center Fellowship at the New York Public Library; a Lindbergh Fellowship at the National Air and Space Museum (declined). She was awarded a Mellon Award for mentoring postdocs, having also been awarded one for graduate students. She received the 2015 Associates Award for Creativity in Scholarship and Research and previously was awarded the Raubenheimer Award, the highest faculty distinction, from USC Dornsife College.

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