Jennifer Tucker is visiting Harvey Mudd College during 2009-2010 from Wesleyan University, where she is an associate professor of history, science in society and feminist, gender and sexuality studies. She will be teaching at HMC during fall and spring, and will be co-organizing, with Marianne de Laet and Rachel Mayeri, the yearly Hixon-Riggs conference. She will also guide discussions of the Hixon-Riggs faculty reading group in science, technology and society. This year's theme will be "animal studies," a field that offers a vantage point for thinking not only about the intersections of culture, art and technology and science, but also about what it means to be human.
Tucker specializes in the study of social and cultural practices of science, Victorian visual culture, photographic history, and history of women and gender. Before coming to Wesleyan she taught at the California Institute of Technology (1997-1998) as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Victorian Studies. Her book, Nature Exposed: Photography as Eyewitness in Victorian Science (Johns Hopkins University, 2005) explores social and cultural relations of photography, science, and ideas of truth and evidence in Victorian London. Representative articles include “Gender and Genre in Scientific Photography” in Ann Shteir and Bernard Lightman, eds, Figuring It Out: Visual Languages of Gender in Science (University of New England Press, 2006): 140-163; “The Historian, the Picture and the Archive,” Isis 97 (March 2006): 111-120; “Photography as Witness, Detective, and Impostor: Visual Representation in Victorian Science” in Bernard Lightman, ed. Science in Victorian Context (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997): 378-408; and “Voyages of Discovery on Oceans of Air: The Image of Science in an Age of ‘Balloonacy,’” Osiris (1996): 144-176.
Other research concerns include artistic exchanges in scientific colonialism; interactions between science and popular culture; science and gender studies; and photography in historical documentation and interpretation. She recently served as the guest editor of the 2009 special theme issue on “Photography and Historical Interpretation” for the journal History and Theory.
Her research and teaching have been honored with 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, Smithsonian Institution Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation Grant, Johns Hopkins University Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and a British Marshall Scholarship. In Fall 2005 she was a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Clark Art Institute.
She is currently at work on a book about the movement of photographs through the physical and social landscape of Britain and the British Empire, titled “Photographic Migrations: Objects, Narratives, and Documentary Practices, 1839-1900″ and on an essay about Victorian spirit photography, materiality, and historical memory.