Areas of Interest
Jennifer Tucker received her BA in Human Biology (Neuropsychology of Vision, Perception, and Memory) from Stanford University, her master’s in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge, and her Ph.D. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University. She currently is Associate Professor of History at Wesleyan University, member of the core faculty of the Science in Society Program and Chair of the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. From Fall 2012-Winter 2013, she is serving as the Acting Director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. Her research interests include the history of science and technology, Victorian visual culture, photographic truth and evidence, early science film history and spectatorship, gender and science, and the links between art and the popularization of science in the British Empire. She is the author of Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science (Johns Hopkins University, 2006, forthcoming in paperback, 2013) and the editor of a special theme issue of History and Theory on “Photography and Historical Interpretation” (Dec. 2009). She has published on scientific ballooning, visual history and the archive, photographic evidence in Victorian law, street photography, and the relationship between gender and genre in nineteenth-century European scientific illustration. Her research and teaching have been supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Carol A. Baker Memorial Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research, Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies Grant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Summer Research Stipend, Clark Art Institute Visiting Research Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation Grant, Johns Hopkins University Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a British Marshall Scholarship. In 2009-2010, she was in residence as a Hixon-Riggs Visiting Professor of History and Science/Technology Studies at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. Recent events she has organized include “Eye of History: The Camera as Witness” (http://eyeofhistory.wesleyan.edu) and “Science a Moving Image” (http://www.hmc.edu/academicsclinicresearch/interdisciplinarycenters/hixonforum1/forum.html). Her current project, “The Art and Visual Politics of the Tichborne Claimant Affair,” excavates hundreds of photographs, engravings, and other visual materials that circulated around the time of the high-profile trial in order to show how the physical movement of photographs and other visual materials through time and space shaped the meaning of the case from the beginning. The case offers revealing clues to mid-nineteenth century attitudes both about photographs as documentary evidence and about the law as a photographic arena in the years before the Bertillon method and other visual forensic techniques were introduced. She is also conducting research on the significance of the British Association for the Advancement of Science from 1850 to 1930 in the history of photography and cinema, particularly documentary film. She is the Image editor for History and Technology journal and a member of the Radical History Review editorial collective. She will complete her book and conduct research on new projects as a US-UK Fulbright Scholar Award in the History of Art Department at the University of York in Spring 2014. Her op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe.