Renée Ater

Renée Ater is a historian of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art. She holds a B.A. in art history from Oberlin College, and earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of Maryland. Her research and teaching focuses on issues of race, gender, and national identity, and public culture, memory, and monument building. Her book, Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller (University of California Press, 2011), examines the artist’s contributions to three early twentieth-century expositions: the Warwick Tableaux, a set of dioramas for the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition (1907); Emancipation, a freestanding group for the National Emancipation Exposition (1913); and Ethiopia, the figure of a single female for the America’s Making Exposition (1921). Professor Ater argues that Fuller’s efforts to represent blackness in three dimensions provides a window on the Progressive Era and its heated debates about race, history, and public culture. A new book project entitled Unsettling Memory: Public Monuments to the Slave Past in the United States considers the flurry of monument building to commemorate slavery, resistance, and emancipation in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in American cities in the South, Midwest, and Northeast.

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