Schenectady's home for history

Views Navigation

Event Views Navigation


Virtual Talk: “Visualizing Equality: African American Rights and Visual Culture in the 19th Century”

This virtual program is part of our Winter Speaker Series, and will be presented on Zoom. A Zoom link will be emailed to all SCHS members before the program.  In his recent work form University of North Carolina Press, Professor Aston Gonzalez charts the changing roles of African American visual artists as they helped build the world they envisioned. The fight for racial equality in the 19th century played out not only in marches and political conventions, but also in the print and visual culture created and disseminated by African Americans, as Black artists produced images that advanced campaigns for equal rights. Aston Gonzalez is Associate Professor of History at Salisbury University. He focuses on 19th century African American history, politics, visual culture, and material culture, using a broad variety of original documents to examine the complex histories of African American communities and activism. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Gonzalez was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow based at New York University where he finished his first book, Visualizing Equality: African American Rights and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century,  published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2020. Visualizing Equality was a finalist for two major book prizes. Other publications include: “Reading the Emancipation Proclamation’: Viewing Race and Freedom during the Civil War Era.” Civil War History 68, no. 2 (June 2022): 194-209. “Claiming Space, Bearing Witness: The Portraits of Early African American Ministers” in Jasmine Nichole Cobb, ed., African American Literature in Transition, 1750-2015: Volume 2, 1800-1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021): 288-315. “Stolen Looks, People Unbound: Picturing Contraband People during the Civil War.” Slavery & Abolition 40, no. 1 (2019): 28-60. “William Dorsey and the Construction of an African American History Archive.” Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies 45, no. 1 (2019): 138-155. “Stealing Freedom: Robert Smalls and Modeling Citizenship” in Kathleen Diffley and Benjamin Fagan, eds., Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2019). “The Art of Racial Politics: The Work of Robert Douglass Jr., 1833-46.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 138, no. 1 (January 2014), 5-37.