Makeda Best


Makeda Best is a historian of photography. She is currently revising a book on the Civil War era photographer Alexander Gardner. She previously co-edited the volume titled Conflict, Identity and Protest in American Art (2015). Recent publications include a journal article on photography, memory and Hiroshima for a special issue of Critical Military Studies and an article on touch and George Eastman's first mass market for the Journal of Propaganda and Decorative Arts. Other forthcoming articles include an essay on soldier photography for the anthology Truth in the Public Sphere. She appears in, wrote for, and advised the multidisciplinary pedagogical resource, Essential Lens - Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum, produced by Oregon Public Television and Annenberg Learning. She is currently at work with OPB and Annenberg Learning on a supplement to the series. Her broader interests include documentary photography, war photography, the photographic book, protest prints, and social reportage. She has worked previously as an Assistant Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and received fellowships and grants from the Duke University Rubenstein Special Collections Library, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Phillips Collection, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She received her BA from Barnard College, BFA and MFA in studio photography from the California Institute of the Arts, and MA and PhD from Harvard University in the fields of American Art and the History of Photography. 

Assistant Professor, Visual Studies
Assistant Professor, Visual and Critical Studies

BA, Barnard College; BFA, MFA, California Institute of the Arts; MA, PhD, Harvard University