Catherine Damman 



Informed by feminist, queer, disability, and critical race theory, my research and teaching focus on the shifting entwinements of genre, labor, and value in the history of modern and contemporary art.

Questions that animate my work include: How does a political commitment get articulated in aesthetic form and what are the ramifications of an audience’s  encounter with that act of translation? How do differing modes of artistic labor accrue value or array themselves such that they rebuke its extant criteria? How do artists negotiate the conditions of their work’s reception, that is, the institutional molds through which their ideas are necessarily extruded? Most often, I think about these questions through the knotted histories of experimental dance, theater, film, music, and the visual arts. I also have a growing research focus on contemporary art of the Asian diaspora. 

I completed my Ph.D. in Art History at Columbia University in 2018, and my doctoral research was supported by a two-year Chester Dale Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art (2016–2018). I am an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Humanities (2018–2020). My current research has been supported by a 2020 Terra Foundation Research Travel Grant.

Committed to public scholarship, I write contemporary art and performance criticism, and am a frequent contributor to Artforum. My writing can also be found in Bookforum, BOMB, 4Columns, Art in America, Art Journal, The Germanic Review, and Women & Performance, and in commissioned texts for the Walker Art Center, the ICA London, the Hammer Museum, LACMA, and MoMA PS1.