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Profile: Sara  Blair

Title: Professor
Ph.D., Stanford  1989

Contact Info


3251 AH







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Research Interests

Primary Interests

Late nineteenth- and twentieth-century; twenty-first century and contemporary; American Studies; photography and visual culture; modernism and modernity

Secondary Interests

African American literature, Jewish American literature


Trauma and Documentary Photography of the FSA , co-authored with Eric Rosenberg (University of California Press, 2012); Harlem Crossroads: Black Writers and the Photograph in the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2007); Jewish in America, co-edited with Jonathan Freedman (University of Michigan Press, 2004); Henry James and the Writing of Race and Nation (Cambridge University Press, 1996; paperback 2009).

Selected essays:

"Night-Writing New York," in Detroit After Dark: Photographs from the Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, ed. Nancy Barr (DIA/Yale University Press, 2016), 21-33; “On Location: Hitchcock’s America and the Place of Illusion.”  In The Cambridge Companion to Alfred Hitchcock, ed. Jonathan Freedman. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015; “Nation Time: Richard Wright, Black Power, and Photographic Modernism,” The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms, ed. Mark Wollaeger. Oxford University Press, 2012; “After the Fact: El libro negro, Traumatic Identities, and the War on Fascism.” Journal of Jewish Identities 5:1 (Winter 2012), 111-25; “Henry James, Race and Empire,” A Historical Guide to Henry James, ed. Eric Haralson and John Carlos Rowe.  Oxford University Press, 2012; “Visions of the Tenement: Photography and Modernity on the Lower East Side,” Images: A Journal of Jewish Art 4:1 (Winter 2011), 57-81; "The Politics of Modernism," The Cambridge Companion to Modernism, ed. Michael Levenson. Pp. 157-73.  Cambridge University Press, 2011; “The Photograph's Last Word: Visual Culture Studies Now,” American Literary History 22:3 (Fall 2010);  “About Time: Photographs and the Reading of History.” PMLA, Theories and Methodologies Forum 125:1 (January 2010); “The Photograph as History,” ELN 44:2 (Fall 2006); “Whose Modernism Is It? Abraham Cahan, Fictions of Yiddish, and the Contest of Modernity,” Modern Fiction Studies, special issue , “Modernism’s Jews/Jewish Modernisms 51:2 (Summer 2005), 258-84; “Ralph Ellison, Photographer,” Raritan 24:4 (Spring 2005), 21-44; “Ellison, Photography, and the Origins of Invisibility.” The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Ellison, ed. Ross Posnock (NY: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 56-81; “Local Modernity, Global Modernism: Bloomsbury and the Places of the Literary,” ELH 71:3 (Fall 2004), 813-38; “Jewish America through the Lens: On Fictions of Photography,” reprinted in Jewish in America (University of Michigan Press, 2004), 113-34; “Bringing Modernism Home: Gertrude Stein, 27 Rue de Fleurus, and Geographies of the Avant-Garde.” American Literary History 12:3 (Fall 2000);  "Cultural Geography and the Place of Literary Studies." American Literary History 10:3 (Fall 1998), 544-67.
  • Trauma and Documentary Photography of the FSA
  • Harlem Crossroads: Black Writers and the Photograph in the Twentieth Century

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