Jennifer Black


Contact Information
E-mail: blackjm@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-1659
Office: SOS 153


Biographical Sketch

Jennifer Black is a native of the mid-west and joined the USC History Department in 2006 after completing her BA in Art History and MA in Public History from Western Michigan University. Before coming to USC, Jennifer worked at several public institutions, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. She would be happy to correspond with anyone interested in the department, USC, or her research.


  • B.A. Art History, Western Michigan University, 2002
  • M.A. Public History, , Western Michigan University, 2006
  • M.A. History, University of Southern California, 2009
  • Certificate in Visual Studies, , University of Southern California, 2010

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Jennifer's dissertation, "Branding Trust: Advertising, Trademarks, and the Problem of Legitimacy in US Popular Visual Culture, 1870-1930," situates the emergence of trademark logos within the context of the growing national market and the expanding availability of mass-produced household goods, and attempts to decode the imagery used to communicate legitimacy to the consumer in lieu of face-to-face interaction with producers. The project is advised by Karen Halttunen, Richard Fox, Vanessa Schwartz, and Leo Braudy (English).
    Research Keywords
    Nineteenth-Century US, Cultural History, Visual Culture, Popular & Consumer Culture
    Research Specialties
    Nineteenth-Century US, Cultural History, Visual Culture, Popular & Consumer Culture, History of Advertising


    Journal Article
    • Black, J. M. (2009). Corporate Calling Cards: Advertising Trade Cards and Logos in the US, 1876-1890. Journal of American Culture. Vol. 32 (4), pp. 291-306. Link to Dec 2009 issue

    Honors and Awards

    • USC College Dissertation Research & Writing Award, 2010-2011   
    • Dissertation Fellowship, Winterthur Museum & Country Estate, 2009-2010   
    • Huntington Library Research Fellowship Recipient, William M. Keck Foundation Fellowship, 2009-2010   
    • Smithsonian Institution Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship, 2009-2010   
    • William M. Jones Prize for Best Graduate Student Paper in American Culture, for "Corporate Calling Cards" , Spring 2009   

  • Department of History
  • 3502 Trousdale Parkway
  • Social Sciences Building (SOS) 153
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 90089-0034