Wendy Kozol

Professor of Comparative American Studies

Oberlin College

WENDY KOZOL is Professor and Program Director of Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College, with a concentration in visual culture studies. A graduate of Oberlin College (BA, 1980), UCLA (MA, 1984), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D, 1990), she joined the Oberlin faculty in 1992, first in the History Department and then in Gender and Women’s Studies Program before moving to her present position. Her research and teaching interests include visual culture studies, comparative feminist theories and methodologies, and militarization, human rights and visual witnessing. 

She is the author or editor of four books: Life's America: Family and Nation in Postwar Photojournalism (Temple 1994); Haunting Violations: Feminist Criticism and the Crisis of the Real, co-edited with Wendy Hesford (University of Illinois, 2001); Just Advocacy? Women's Human Rights, Transnational Feminism, and the Politics of Representation (Rutgers University, 2005); and Distant Wars Visible: The Ambivalence of Witnessing (University of Minnesota, 2014). This latest book examines a range of visual cultures that depict U.S. military conflicts in the 21st century to consider the ethical politics of spectatorship and empathy that shape visual witnessing practices.

​Other recent publications include “Ornamenting the Unthinkable: Visualizing Survival Under Occupation,” Women’s Studies Quarterly (Spring/Summer 2016) and “Discordant Affects: Ambivalence, Banality, and the Ethics of Spectatorship” Theory & Event (Fall 2014), both co-authored with Rebecca A. Adelman; “Witnessing Precarity: Photojournalism, Women’s/Human/Rights, and the War in Afghanistan.” In The Violence of the Image: Photography and International Conflict, ed. L. Kennedy and C. Patrick (I.B. Tauris, 2014); and “Battlefield Souvenirs and the Affective Politics of Recoil.” Photography & Culture (March 2012).