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Name: Rachel Somerstein
Academic Rank: Assistant Professor
Department: Digital Media & Journalism

Expertise Keywords: 9/11, anniversary journalism, Berlin Wall, collective memory, Media Studies, photography, photojournalism, Public memory, visual culture

Available For: interviews, essays, speaking

Expertise: I research visual culture and collective memory, focusing on how the mass media amends, edits, and circulates photographs and television programming about the past. I take a longitudinal approach to this work, looking through electronic and print archives to see how the mass media's version of a given history has changed over time. Recent peer-reviewed publications include a piece about Israeli and Palestinian film (Visual Studies) and the mass media's commemoration of 9/11 (Journalism). For my dissertation, I looked at how NBC Nightly News commemorated the opening of the Berlin Wall from 1990 through 2009. I also have more than a decade of experience writing about visual art. My work on photography and art and politics has appeared in publications including ARTnews, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism, Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, n+1, and Wired.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 845-257-3089
E-mail Address:
Communication & Marketing: 845-257-3245
Personal Web Site:


Cornell University B.A. 2004 English, History
Syracuse University Ph.D. 2014 Mass Communications
New York University M.F.A. 2009 Creative Writing


Somerstein, R. 2015. "Newspapers Commemorate 11 September: A cross-cultural investigation." Journalism, 16(3), 359-375.

Somerstein, R. 2014. "On liminality and loss: A decade of Israeli and Palestinian Film." Visual Studies, 29(1), 94-98.