Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Misericordia University
Website URL
Visual culture, material culture, advertising, trademarks, trademark law, business history, cultural history, nineteenth century, citizenship, public history
Additional Contact Information
Will comment on historical background only.

Personal Info

About Me

Jennifer Black is a historian of visual and material culture, with a particular focus on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States.  She holds a PhD in American History and Visual Studies from the University of Southern California, as well as an MA in Public History and a BA in Art History from Western Michigan University.  Her research examines ways in which people interact with images and objects, and the power of visual and material culture to influence trends in politics, the law, and society.  In addition to teaching a variety of courses in American history, public history, and visual culture at Misericordia University, she is also Network Editor-in-Chief of H-Material Culture.

Dr. Black has several years’ experience working as a public historian, including work for large and small public institutions such as the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.  Her work as a historical consultant has included clients such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Cengage Learning, Inc.   Dr. Black supervises a variety of public history activities at Misericordia and also helps coordinate the National History Day regional competition for Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Dr. Black is currently working on a book manuscript, Branding Trust, which examines the impact of trademark-centered advertising in the US by looking at material culture use and practices in the nineteenth century.

Recent Publications

Exchange Cards: Advertising, Album-making, and the Commodification of Sentiment in the Gilded Age,” Winterthur Portfolio 51, no. 1 (2017): 1-53.

Teaching Uncomfortable Narratives in Public History Courses,” History@Work: An Online publication of the National Council on Public History (27 September 2017).

Historical Memory and Contemporary Politics,” The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History (9 Aug 2017).

“Citizenship and Caricature: Teaching the American Past with Images,” in Art & Public History: Approaches, Opportunities, and Challenges, ed. Rebecca Bush & K. Tawny Paul (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Public History