Catherine Damman 



Informed by feminist, queer, disability, and critical race studies, my research and teaching focus on the relationships between form, labor, and value in modern and contemporary art.

Currently I teach art history at Columbia University as a Core Lecturer. Previously, I was at Wesleyan University, as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, and before that, an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at their Center for the Humanities. While there, I was also on faculty of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance graduate program. I completed my PhD at Columbia 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.

I am finishing my first monograph, which radically reconceptualizes the formation of “performance” in American discourses of the 1970s. The book argues that one of the primary contradictions shaping our contemporary lives––the simultaneous rise of affective labor and the social mandate for authenticity, each deeply gendered and racialized––was likewise at the root of performance as an artistic form. This work has been supported by a 2020 Terra Foundation Research Grant.

My most recent publication is the first scholarly consideration of Carl Cheng’s sculptural work in the late 60s and early 70s. The article, on the art world’s fantasies about industry, capitalist crisis, and Asian American racialization, appears in the spring 2021 issue of Panorama

In addition to my academic research, I write criticism and essays on contemporary art and performance and am a frequent contributor to Artforum. My writing can also be found in Bookforum, BOMB, 4Columns, Frieze, Art in AmericaArt Journal, The Germanic Review, ASAP/Journal, and Women & Performance, as well as in commissioned texts for the Walker Art Center, the ICA London, the Hammer Museum, LACMA, and MoMA PS1.