Ross Barrett

Director of Graduate Studies, American & New England Studies; Associate Professor of American Art, History of Art & Architecture

  • Title Director of Graduate Studies, American & New England Studies; Associate Professor of American Art, History of Art & Architecture
  • Office 725 Commonwealth Ave
  • Education BA, University of Notre Dame
    MA, Syracuse University
    PhD, Boston University

Research Areas: Colonial to early twentieth-century American art; visual culture; the rise of American modernity.

Professor Barrett is a scholar of American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the early twentieth century. His research and teaching explore the ways that fine artists navigated the political, economic, and environmental transformations associated with modernization, including the emergence of liberal democracy, the expansion of industrial and finance capitalism, the privatization and development of the North American continent, and the rise of fossil fuels. He is the author of Rendering Violence: Riots, Strikes, and Upheaval in Nineteenth-Century American Art (California, 2014), and co-editor, with Daniel Worden, of Oil Culture(Minnesota, 2014). His forthcoming book, Speculative Landscapes: American Art and Real Estate in the Nineteenth Century (California, 2022), examines American artists’ financial involvements in and creative responses to the nineteenth-century real estate economy. He is the recipient of several grants and awards, including the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize and NCSA Emerging Scholars Award, and has published essays in The Art Bulletin, American Art, Winterthur Portfolio, Journal of American Studies, and Prospects.

Professor Barrett teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in colonial, nineteenth-century, and early twentieth-century American art and visual culture. Topics include colonial American art, art of the American Revolution, art and the Civil War, American Art and the Atlantic Ocean, the visual culture of American cities, Picturing the Frontier, American landscape art, American modernisms, and American art in the 1940s.

Selected Publications:
Rendering Violence: Riots, Strikes, and Upheaval in Nineteenth-Century American Art (University of California Press, 2014)

With Daniel Worden, ed. Oil Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

For a detailed academic bio and CV, please see Professor Barrett’s Department Profile.

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