311B Administration Building
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3175
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3175
B.A., Harvard University, 2006
Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2013
Matthew Fox-Amato is a cultural historian of the United States and a historian of visual and material culture. His interests include the nineteenth century, the Civil War era, the presidency, race and ethnicity, African American history, journalism, popular culture, art and visual culture, and photography. He is particularly interested in connections between the uneven development of American democracy and visual media.
His first book – Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America (Oxford, 2019) – explores how photography influenced and was shaped by conflicts over slavery. The book was the runner-up for the 2021 Shapiro Book Prize of The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens and a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize as well as the Association of American Publishers PROSE Award. It has been reviewed widely, excerpted in Lapham’s Quarterly, and was named one of The Advocate’s “Must-Read Books on Race and Hate.”
He is currently working on projects about the visual culture of the presidency and the history of iconoclasm in the Civil War era.
Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America (Oxford University Press, 2019).
“Claiming the Past, Possessing the Park: The Forest Park Confederate Memorial and the Privatization of Public Space,” in The Material World of Modern Segregation: St. Louis in the Long Era of Ferguson, eds. Iver Bernstein and Heidi Kolk (scheduled for publication with The Common Reader in 2021).
“Portraits of Endurance: Enslaved People and Vernacular Photography in the Antebellum South,” in To Make Their Way in the World: The Enduring Legacy of the Zealy Daguerreotypes, eds. Ilisa Barbash, Molly Rogers, and Deborah Willis, Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Aperture Foundation and Peabody Museum Press, 2020).
“Plantation Tourism,” in Paper Promises: Early American Photography, ed. Mazie Harris (Getty Publications, 2018).
“An Abolitionist Daguerreotype, 1850,” in Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News, eds. Vanessa R. Schwartz and Jason Hill (Bloomsbury Press, 2015).
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Getty Research Institute, 2016-2017 (Declined)
- Digital Humanities Summer Fellowship, Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning, Univ. of Idaho, 2017
- The Zuckerman Prize in American Studies, Dissertation Award, The McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, 2014 (Recipient)
- C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize, Southern Historical Association, 2014 (Runner-up)
- Mellon Research Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2013
- Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2012-2013
- Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources, Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), 2011-2012
- Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2011
- Research Fellowship, Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South, University of Alabama, 2011
- Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 2011
- Research Fellowship, Clements Center-DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, 2011 Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2009
- Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, Social Science Research Council, 2009