Martha A. Sandweiss

Professor of History, Emerita
Office Phone
302 Dickinson Hall

Martha A. Sandweiss is a historian of the United States, with particular interests in the history of the American West, visual culture, and public history. She received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University and began her career as a photography curator at the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth, TX. She later taught American Studies and History at Amherst College for twenty years before joining the Princeton faculty in 2009.

Sandweiss is the author or editor of numerous books on American history and photography. Her publications include Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception across the Color Line (2009), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History and the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, and Print the Legend: Photography and the American West (2002), winner of the Organization of American Historians’ Ray Allen Billington Award for the best book in American frontier history and the William P. Clements Award. Her other works include Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace (1986), winner of the George Wittenborn Award for outstanding art book, and the co-edited volume The Oxford History of the American West (1994), winner of the Western Heritage Award and the Caughey Western History Association prize for the outstanding book in western history.

At Princeton, Sandweiss is the Founder and Director of The Princeton & Slavery Project, a collaborative public history project that explores the historical connections between the university and the institution of slavery. She also teaches courses on the history of the American West, narrative writing, public history, and how to work in historical archives. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Rockefeller Foundation, she consults widely on matters related to the use of visual images for historical research and writing. The immediate past-president of the Western History Association, she has also served on the boards of the Organization of American Historians, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Society of American Historians.

Photo credit: Sameer Khan / Fotobuddy LLC

Area of Interest
Native American
Public History
Race & Ethnicity
Visual Culture
Home Department & Other Affiliations
17th & 18th Centuries
19th Century
20th Century
21st Century
American West
North America
United States