Comparative American Studies
Department Chair:
Wendy Kozol, Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-5290
Fax: (440) 775-8644

King 141
10 N. Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1095

Wendy Kozol

Wendy Kozol

Professor/Chair of Comparative American Studies (1992)
Affiliate of GSFS

Contact Information


Rice Hall 112
(440) 775-6679

Personal Office Hours:
or by appointment

Wendy Kozol

Wendy Kozol, Professor

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College, 1980
  • Master of Arts, Univ California Los Angeles, 1986
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Univ Minnesota Minneapolis, 1990

Wendy Kozol is a professor of Comparative American Studies. Her research and teaching interests include feminist theories and methodologies, visual culture studies, transnationalism and popular media, citizenship, militarization, and human rights activism. Courses she offers include "Visible Bodies and the Politics of Sexuality," and "Debating Citizenship" and “Expanding the Archive.”

In fall 2014, she published Distant Wars Visible: The Ambivalence of Witnessing (University of Minnesota Press). This book brings a new perspective to questions about conflict photography and visual advocacy, whether in support of U.S. military objectives or in critique of the nation at war.  Exploring the tensions between spectacle and empathy provoked by gazing at military violence and suffering, this study addresses how contingencies and contradictions in visual culture shape the politics and ethics of witnessing.  

Other recent publications include:
Rebecca Adelman and Wendy Kozol.  “Banality: Discordant Affects and the Ethics of Spectatorship.” Theory & Event, vol. 17, issue 3 (2014).
“Witnessing Genocide and the Challenges of Ethical Spectatorship.” In Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography, eds. S. Brophy and J. Hladki. University of Toronto Press, 2014.
“Witnessing Precarity: Photojournalism, Women’s/Human/Rights, and the War in Afghanistan.” In The Violence of the Image: Photography and International Conflict, ed. Liam Kennedy and Catlin Patrick.  London: I.B. Tauris, 2014.
“Battlefield Souvenirs and the Affective Politics of Recoil." Photography & Culture 5, 1 (March 2012).