Faculty » Jason Weems
Office: 226 Arts Building
Ph.D., Stanford University
Areas of specialization: American art and visual/material culture from the colonial era to the present, with research emphasis on the later nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries; history of photography; art and social movements; modern design; vision and technology; critical and interdisciplinary theory.
Jason Weems is a specialist in American art, photography, and visual/material culture from the colonial period to the present. His research focuses on often-overlooked objects, images and perceptual interplays. Its goal is to illuminate the way that meaning is produced across levels of representation through overarching paradigms of visual experience. Weems’ current book manuscript, entitled Barnstorming the Prairies: Flight, Aerial Vision and Modernity in Rural America, 1920-1940 (under contract with the University of Minnesota Press), examines the development of modern aerial vision and its role in refiguring subjectivity, space, and culture across a spectrum of visual expression during the interwar years. His ongoing research projects include inquiries into the changing conceptualization of scale in American art and scientific imagery before and after “Big Science,” the relationship between art and archaeological representation in the Americas, issues of camouflage in American culture during and after the World Wars and the intersection of art and liberal ideology during the New Deal. Weems’ teaching addresses topics such as art and colonial encounter, regionalism and artistic tradition in the context of modernization, the history of photography, art and technology, and theories of vision, materiality and multisensory expression in the context of modernity. Weems has received research fellowships from a range of institutions including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Hellman Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Air and Space Museum. His research has been published in leading journals of art history, American studies and the history of technology, as well as numerous anthologies and museum catalogs. Weems grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa.