Professor Brown’s research concerns the relationship between visuality and the body in the twentieth century United States. Her work in photography studies concerns two overlapping areas: the relationship between photography and political economy (including production, distribution, marketing, advertising, and sites of commercial leisure); and the relationship between photography and gender (including trans* representation), race, and sexuality. Her books include The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929 (Hopkins, 2005); Cultures of Commerce: Representation and American Business Culture, 1877-1960 (Palgrave 2006; co-editor) and Feeling Photography (Duke, 2014 co-edited with Thy Phu). She is currently working on three projects: a history of the commercial modeling industry in the twentieth century U.S. (under contract with Duke); editing a special issue of Photography and Culture on “Queering Photography” in collaboration with Sara Davidmann and Bruno Cechel; and a LGBTQ oral history/queer archives project in the US and Canada. Brown presented on her Transpartners Project at “Feeling Photography: A Workshop on Affect and Transmedia,” on April 15th, 2016 at UCSD. She is also a volunteer and board member at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
(forthcoming) “Photography, Euphoria, and Queer Futurity: Rupert Raj’s Trans* Family Albums, 1971-1988,” under review (July 2014).
(forthcoming) “Queering Glamour in Interwar Fashion Photography: The “Amorous Regard” of George Platt Lynes,” under review (July 2014).
Co-edited with Bruno Cechel and Sara Davidmann, special issue “Queering Photography,” Photography and Culture 7, no. 3 (November 2014).
“The Commodification of Aesthetic Feeling: Race, Sexuality and the 1920s Stage Models,” Feminist Studies 40, no. 1 (2014): 65-97.
Co-editor with Thy Phu, Feeling Photography (Durham: Duke University Press, March 2014).
“From Artist’s Model to the ‘Natural Girl’: Containing Sexuality in Early Twentieth Century Modeling,” Fashion Models: Modeling as Image, Text, and Industry, eds. Joanne Entwistle and Elizabeth Wissinger (London: Berg, 2012).
“Labor, Management, and Photography as ‘Social Hieroglyphic’: N.C.R. and the Social Museum Collection,” The New Social Order, ed. Deborah Martin Koa (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).
“Black Models and the Invention of the U.S. ‘Negro Market,’ 1945-1960,” Inside Marketing: Practices, Ideologies, Devices, eds. Detlev Zwick and Julien Cayla (Oxford University Press, 2011): 185-211
“De Meyer at Vogue: Commercializing Queer Affect in WWI-era Fashion Photography,” Photography and Culture 2, no. 3 (November 2009): 253-275.
“Welfare Capitalism and Documentary Photography: N.C.R. and the Visual Production of a Global Model Factory” History of Photography 32, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 137-151.
“Marlboro Men, Modeling, and Outsider Masculinities in Postwar America,” Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers, ed. Reggie Blaszczyk (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007): 187-207. Paperback edition released in 2009.
Co-editor, Cultures of Commerce: Representation and American Business Culture, 1877-1960 (New York: Palgrave/MacMillan, 2006).
The Corporate Eye: Photography and the Rationalization of American Commercial Culture, 1884-1929 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005). Recipient of the prize in the best book in Business, Management & Accounting from the Association of American Publishing.
“Racializing the Masculine Body: Eadweard Muybridge’s Locomotion Studies, 1883-1887,” special issue: “Visuality and Gender,” Gender and History 17, no. 3 (November 2005): 1-30.