Dr. Mark Bernhardt

Mark_3810Associate Professor

352 Dollye M.E. Robinson Building

B.A. University of California, Berkeley, 1999
California State University, Sacramento, 2001
Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, 2006

Curriculum Vitae



Mark Bernhardt grew up in Vacaville, California. After high school, Mark attended the University of California, Berkeley and received his Bachelor’s degree in History in 1999. While studying at Berkeley he became interested in the history of the American West and journalism, two fields in which he continues to do research. He earned his Master’s degree in History from California State University, Sacramento in 2001. His Master’s thesis examined the early newspaper career of William Randolph Hearst, a San Francisco publisher who built one of the nation’s largest media empires in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this time, Mark learned to play the steel drum at a local community college and performed with the school’s band.  
He left Sacramento for southern California in 2001 to attend the University of California, Riverside. While at Riverside he worked as a teaching assistant for the Women’s Studies department and was mentored by Dr. Christine Gailey and Dr. Amalia Cabezas. This sparked his interest in Gender Studies, another of his current research fields. In 2004, he won the department’s Teaching Assistant of the Year Award. He also earned several fellowships and research grants, which allowed him to conduct research in San Francisco and New York. Under the direction of Dr. Brian Lloyd, Dr. Molly McGarry, and Dr. Jonathan Green, he completed his dissertation, “Picturing the News: The Spectacle of Gender and Politics in the Pictorial Journalism of Crime and War, 1836-1935,” and earned his Ph.D. in History in 2006. His dissertation analyzed how pictures published with the newspaper coverage of high-profile murder cases and wars during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries reflected ideas about gender, race, and class. After graduating, he taught classes for both the History and Women’s Studies departments at the University of California, Riverside.

In 2007, Dr. Bernhardt was hired by the History department at Jackson State University. He has taught classes on late nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. History, the American West, Sexuality in the United States, U.S. Media History, World War II, and courses examining how films have engaged with a variety of historical social and political issues. After receiving tenure in 2013, Dr. Bernhardt was appointed Graduate Program Coordinator for the History department. In 2015, Dr. Bernhardt was awarded the College Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching and Advising and the University Excellence Award for Teaching and Advising. He won the Mississippi Humanities Council Teaching Award in 2016. After the 2016-2017 academic year, Dr. Bernhardt was promoted to professor. Outside the classroom he has served as the advisor for Phi Alpha Theta, the honors society for the field of History. As advisor he has worked with students to prepare papers to present at the organization’s state conference through workshops and individual mentoring. Dr. Bernhardt organized the state conferences in 2012 and 2014, which were hosted by Jackson State University, and co-organized the conference for 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Mark and his wife enjoy traveling, fish-keeping, karate, and binge-watching television shows, and Mark is pursuing his goal to visit every Major League Baseball stadium (27 out of 30 so far).

Research Interests

My work covers a wide range of topics and media but has some major themes: how ideas about masculinity and race influenced media discourse about war and U.S. westward expansion, the ways in which media portray the perceived nature of the transnational North American West as shaping the lives and identities of those who live or venture there, and what media depictions of people (real and fictional) reveal about gender, race, and class intersectionality in U.S. society.


Courses Taught:

United States, 1876-1917

United States, 1917-1941

United States, 1941-Present

U.S. Media History

Filmmakers’ Responses to Political Debates and Policies in the United States, 1900-Present

Filmmakers’ Responses to Social Change and Conflict in the United States, 1900-Present

Sexuality in the United States

Frontier in American History

World War II

Filmmakers’ Interpretations of World War II


Senior Research Seminar

World Civilizations to 1650

World Civilizations since 1650


Professional Memberships:

American Historical Association

American Journalism Historians Association

American Studies Association

Organization of American Historians

Phi Alpha Theta

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association

Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Western History Association



Book Chapters

“A Hillbilly, a Bum, and an Old Woman Meet a Screwball Redhead: Lampooning the Poor in I Love Lucy.”  Representing the Other Half: Essays on Poverty in American Popular Culture.  Editor, Wylie Lenz.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017 (Forthcoming).

“Reading between the Lines: The Penny Press and the Purpose of Making Violence News.”  Violence in American Popular Culture: Representations of Violence in Popular Culture Genres, Volume 2.  Editor, David Schmid.  New York: Praeger, 2016.  29-48.

“Chivalry, Militarism, and Journalism.”  The Power of the Word: The Sacred and the Profane.  Editor, Patsy Daniels.  Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.  59-100.

“What’s Black and White and Re(a)d all over? Racial Imagery in the New York Press Coverage of the Mexican-American and Spanish-American Wars.”  NAAAS and Affiliates International Research Forum 2014.  Editor, Lemuel Berry, Jr.  Scarborough, ME: National Association of African-American Studies and Affiliates, 2014.  1-48.


“Three Bumps in the Road: The U.S.-Mexico Borderlands and Border Regulation in Breaking Bad” (Submitted to Journal of the West).

“‘I’m in the Empire Business’: Markets, Myth, Race, and the Conquest of the American West in Breaking Bad” (Submitted to Journal of Popular Culture).

“‘Where were their Guardian Angels?’ Tracing the Seduction of ‘Fallen Women’ in Antebellum New York City.” (New York History, Revise and Resubmit Request).

 “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell: Relocation to the West and the Transformation of Identity in A History of Violence and Dead Man.”  Journal of the West 55:3 (Summer 2016): 38-46.

“What Kind of Parents are You? The Discussion of Expectations for Parents in the Press Coverage of the Lindbergh Kidnapping.”  Journalism History 42:3 (Fall 2016): 142-53.

“‘Boys are Running off to the Wars by Scores’: Promoting Masculinity and Conquest in the Coverage of the Mexican-American War.”  American Journalism 33:2 (Spring 2016): 189-213.

“Taking Sides in the ‘Bloodless Croton War’: The Coverage of the Croton Aqueduct Strike and Labor’s Relationship with the Penny Press.”  New York History 97:1 (Winter 2016): 9-33.

“Red, White, and Black: Opposing Arguments on Territorial Expansion and Differing Portrayals of Mexicans in the New York Sun’s and New York Herald’s Coverage of the Mexican War.”  Journalism History 40:1 (Spring 2014): 15-27.

“Washington Irving’s Western Adventure: Masculinity, Race, and the Early American Frontier.”  Journal of the West 52:1 (Winter 2013): 17-24.

Book Reviews

“Bernhardt on Colley – The Stories Behind the Famous Photographs from World War II.”  H-War, May 2016.

“Bernhardt on Hake – Screen Nazis: Cinema, History, and Democracy.”  H-War, August 2013.

Teaching Material:

American Journalism: Teaching Our Journal.  “‘Boys are Running off to the Wars by Scores’: Promoting Masculinity and Conquest in the Coverage of the Mexican-American War.”  Spring 2016.