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Brown, Elspeth Ph.D. Yale
Associate Professor, UTM
(416) 946-8011

Office: MU 326N
Field: Modern American social and cultural history; gender and sexuality; visual culture and photography; commercial and consumer culture

Elspeth H. Brown is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of the Centre for the Study of the United States and the American Studies Program, University of Toronto (  Her research focuses on U.S. social and cultural history from the Gilded Age through the 1980s.  Professor Brown’s work has focused on the rationalization of the body under advanced capitalism, with a specific interest in the historical relationship between visuality and subject formation, including racial, class, gender and sexual difference.  She has received fellowships from the Getty Research Institute; the National Museum of American History; the American Council of Learned Societies; the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; the Library of Congress Kluge Center; the American Philosophical Society, and others.  She is the author of The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929 (Johns Hopkins, 2005) and co-editor of Cultures of Commerce: Representation and American Business Culture, 1877-1960 (Palgrave, 2006).  Selected publications include “Photography and Corporate Paternalism in the Progressive Era” (forthcoming, History of Photography); “Marlboro Men, Modeling, and Outsider Masculinities in Postwar America”  (forthcoming, in Producing Fashion); “Reading the Visual Record,” in Ardis Cameron, ed. Looking for America (2005); “Racializing the Masculine Body: Eadweard Muybridge’s Locomotion Studies, 1883-1887,” (Gender and History 2005); “Technology, Culture, and the Body in Modern America,” American Quarterly (2004); “The Prosthetics of Management: Motion Study, Photography, and the Industrialized Body in WWI America,” in Ott, Serlin and Minm, eds., Artificial Parts, Practical Lives (2002).  Her current research is an analysis of the commercial modeling industry in the 20th century United States, exploring the complex relationship between visuality and  the commodification of the self in modern American history and culture.  Professor Brown has taught research seminars on “Histories and Theories of Gender and Sexuality” (with Professor Michelle Murphy); “Readings in American History and Visual Culture” and in winter 2007, “Transnational Commodity Culture”.  She has supervised major fields in U.S. history, 1877-present, as well as minor fields in history of women and gender and cultural history.