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Renn receives TAA Publication Grant

Melissa RennIndependent scholar and researcher Melissa Renn received a TAA Publication Grant to support her forthcoming essay, “‘The Famous Iwo Flag-Raising’: Iwo Jima Revisited,” which will be published in History of Photography in early 2015.

“As an independent scholar and curator, the grant provided funding which helped offset the fees connected with reproducing news images and Life magazine spreads in my article. I am very grateful to TAA for their generous support,” said Renn.

Renn’s essay revisits Joe Rosenthal’s iconic 1945 Associated Press photograph of US soldiers raising an American flag at Mount Suribachi. “Although the photograph has been the subject of countless books and articles, none have discussed in depth the circumstances surrounding its publication in Life magazine,” she said. “First published in American newspapers in February 1945, Rosenthal’s photograph of Iwo Jima was not published in Life until a month later, due in part to the editors’ skepticism surrounding its authenticity.” Drawing upon new archival research, her essay recounts the initial response of Life’s editors to the image, and reveals why they delayed publication. “Both building on and in dialogue with previous scholarship surrounding the production, reproduction, and reception of this historic and controversial photograph, my article provides a powerful case study of how quickly a single image can be transformed from a documentary war photograph into a patriotic representation of American triumph in war, and ultimately into a universal, international symbol of victory,” said Renn.

TAA members can apply for a grant of up to $1,000 to offset expenses incurred in publishing already accepted print scholarly journal articles and academic books, including academic journal page costs or university press subventions; the cost of preparing artwork, charts, diagrams, or images to be included in accepted journal articles or academic books; and journal reprint costs. (Non-members can apply for grants of up to $250.) Learn more about TAA’s Publication Grant program or apply.