Photography, 20th century US; War and Trauma Studies; Visual and Material Culture.
B.A. California State University, San Marcos
Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University
Elaine McLemore’s work explores war and trauma in 20th century American visual culture and photography. Her scholarship puts history into conversation with contemporary art practices and theory, and she has strong ties to the Los Angeles art community. Her recent publications include “Re-Enactors: History and Contemporary Art Photography,” which appeared in the contemporary art quarterly X-TRA and explores how artists Sally Mann and An-My Lê use the photograph to elucidate traumatic American war experiences. Her dissertation, War in Words and Pictures: Photography and the Aestheticization of Politics in Life Magazine, closely examines the photographic treatment of war in Life and considers how political climates, editorial agendas and aesthetic, and political sensibilities of individual photographers shaped a widely circulated cultural product.
She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Brooks Institute of Photography, University of La Verne, and Azusa Pacific University. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara offering courses in the history of photography and modern and contemporary art and visual culture.