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News Bites: Art History Professor’s Recent Scholarship Examines Posters in 19th Century France

Over the past year, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Art History and Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies Associate Professor Dr. Karen Carter has been steadily building on her significant contributions to art history scholarship in the field of 19th century French studies.

Art History Profesor Dr. Karen CarterDr. Karen Carter

In November of 2015, Dr. Carter’s peer-reviewed essay “Masterpieces for Rag Pickers: Working-Class Crowds, Collective Spectatorship, and Censorship of Posters in late 19th-century Paris” was published in the international peer-reviewed journal “Space and Culture.” The essay examines the revolutionary potential of the poster in 19th century Paris, as well as how the form’s communicative power subjected it to a great deal of scrutiny, censorship, and public debate.

That same month, Dr. Carter presented her paper “Contamination through the eyes: The Censorship of Illustrated Posters in Fin-de-siècle Paris” at the 41st Annual Nineteenth Century French Studies Colloquium, held at Princeton University from November 5-7. The paper explores the seizure of publicity posters that were deemed too sexually charged by Parisian police in the early 1890’s, as public desire for such images was believed to challenge delicate sensibilities and pose a threat to public morals.

Then, from March 4-6, 2015, Dr. Carter traveled to Nashville, TN for the 62nd Annual Conference of the Society for French Historical Studies, where she served as the chair and commentator for a discussion panel “Mobilizing Art: Print and Posters in World War I France.” A variety of papers were presented and discussed which examined the role of print and posters in constructing France’s wartime visual culture.


For more of Dr. Karen Carter’s work, check out her book “Foreign Artist and Communities in Modern Paris, 1870-1914: Strangers in Paradise.” A copy of the book is available for checkout in the KCAD Library.

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