"Books to Connect the ‘People of the Book’: Photographic Constructions of Jewish Community in Three American Anthologies"
Tara Kohn is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also received an M.A. in art history. For her Joyce and Arthur Schechter Fellowship, Ms. Kohn conducted research for her project, “Books to Connect the ‘People of the Book’: Photographic Constructions of Jewish Community in Three American Anthologies.”
Ms. Kohn is the recipient of many scholarships and awards from the College of Fine Arts and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, including the Marshall F. Wells Scholarship in Fine Arts, the Virginia R. Allen Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Fine Arts, the Anne Lacy Crain Scholarship, and the College of Fine Arts Student Excellence Award. She is a two-time recipient of the M.K. Hage Endowed Scholarship. Ms. Kohn has presented her research at a number of symposia, including Art and Catastrophe at the University of Iowa, Nomadism in Art: Art Histories in the Age of Globalization, hosted by the Kress Foundation of Art History, and Consuming Race: Shifting Paradigms and the Politics of Race in the 21st Century at the University of Chicago. She has guest lectured on her research at the University of Texas at Austin, Southwestern University, and Texas State University. Ms. Kohn has language skills in French and German.
During her tenure at the Center, Ms. Kohn researched the role of migration and trauma in shaping the development of American Jewish identity in three photographic anthologies published over the course of the twentieth century. Her research considered the tension between overlapping notions of “identity” and “community” and suggests that these books create a space for readers to re-imagine their personal pain as part of a larger, shared experience of loss. In order to trace the publication histories and contexts of the photographs printed in the anthologies, Ms. Kohn used the Museum’s collections of rare books, historical newspapers, and oral histories. She also utilized the Museum’s extensive Photo Archives.
Ms. Kohn was in residence at the Mandel Center from August 1 to December 30, 2010.