Allan Trachtenberg is one of the most esteemed figures in contemporary photographic history and cultural studies. He received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship for his continuing work on Wright Morris. Other honors include fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation. Trachtenberg is the Neil Gray, Jr. Professor Emeritus of English and American studies at Yale University, where he taught for thirty-five years.
In this interview with James Hugunin, Trachtenberg discusses his interest in photographic history and the "problem of the daguerreotype.” “The photograph as an object is steeped in a number of cultural experiences,” he notes. “It’s a focal point, a materialization.”
A historic interview conducted in 1988, edited in 2013.