Professor, History, Art History and Critical Studies
University of Southern California
Director, Visual Studies Research Institute
Courtesy Appointment in the Department of French and Italian
Curriculum Vitae


Vanessa R. Schwartz is Professor of History, Art History and Film at the University of Southern California where she also directs the Visual Studies Research Institute and the Graduate Certificate program. An historian of modern visual culture, she was trained in Modern European History with a concentration on France and urban culture at Princeton (Phi Beta Kappa, 1986) and UC Berkeley where she received her PhD in 1993. She is the author of It’s So French! Hollywood, Paris and the Making of Cosmopolitan Film Culture (University of Chicago, 2007) and Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in fin-de-siècle Paris (University of California, 1998) and Modern France: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011). In Spring 2015, the 48 essay volume she co-edited with Jason Hill, Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News will be published by Bloomsbury. She is currently writing a single-authored book, Jet Age Aesthetics: Media and the Glamour of Motion. Other major editorial projects include three special issues of journals: with Lynn Hunt, “The History Issue” of The Journal of Visual Culture (2010), “Caught in the Act” volume 26 (Nov. 2010) of Etudes Photographiques with Thierry Gervais and Christian Delage and “Urban Icons” in Urban History (Cambridge, 2006) with Phil Ethington, which includes a multi-media companion. She has been a fellow at the Getty Research Institute, The Humanities Research Institute, UCI, the Warren Center, Harvard; an invited professor at Stanford, McGill and Paris I- The Sorbonne. She was honored with a Mellon graduate mentoring award and was the recipient of the Raubenheimer Award, USC Dornsife’s highest faculty recognition.