In the wake of the white-supremacist terrorism of August 11-13, we wish to highlight and paraphrase some of the comments of Ian Baucom, Dean of Arts and Sciences:
Be assured that the Art Department remains a space where all can pursue the dialogue that counters the lies of racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, and nativism.
We are prepared to stand up for and support those who have been singled out as targets for hatred. The courage of free thought opposing cowardice and bigotry endures and persists here despite violence.



Projects

Professor Higginbotham's recent research interrogates the cross-cultural patterns of racial representation in the United States from the Civil War era to the World War II years. Tentatively titled, Questions, Problems, and Perils: Race and American Visual Culture, this project demonstrates how visual culture, as produced by the popular press (journals, magazines, cartoons), photography, fine art and film, conveyed complex messages about racial categories as the country worried collectively about integration, assimilation, class mobility, and gender equality. As the country's non-white racial groups were being described as "questions," "problems" and "perils", images of these groups circulated through the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries to address and reassert cultural hierarchies thought to be under threat. The project further considers the manner by which racial groups presented in a variety of media sources can be interpreted as framing debates about culture, civilization, and citizenship. Higginbotham is also researching long-term projects on film noir of the 1940s, and racial representation in animated Disney films.