Wesleyan portrait of Catherine  Damman

Catherine Damman

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow


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BA Loyola Marymount University
MA Columbia University
MPHIL Columbia University
PHD Columbia University

Catherine Damman

A scholar of modern and contemporary art history, Catherine Damman specializes in the entwined histories of experimental dance, theater, film, music, and the visual arts over the long twentieth century. 

She received her Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University in 2018, and her doctoral research was supported by a two year Chester Dale Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Her book manuscript, The Work of Art in the Age of Half-Hearted Reproducibility, theorizes the uneven, often contentious formation of “performance” in American discourses—both artistic and academic—in the 1970s. Informed by marxist-feminist, queer, and critical race perspectives, the project argues that as performances of self and emotion were increasingly conscripted into the demands of a service-based economy, artists cannily manipulated "performance" as a genre, catalyzing new versions of old anxieties about authenticity and originality, long the purview of modernist art history—from the photograph to the readymade.

She frequently writes about contemporary art and performance for Artforum. Her writing can also be found in BookforumBOMB, 4Columns, Art in AmericaArt JournalThe Germanic Review, and Women & Performance, and in commissioned texts for the Walker Art Center, the ICA London, the Hammer Museum, LACMA, and MoMA PS1. 

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Spring 2020
CHUM 325 - 01
The Work of Art Against Work