Catherine Quan Damman

  • Talk: Catherine Quan Damman, March 4, 2024, 6:30-8:00pm, Farkas Hall, Room 203. 


  1. Mar 4, 2024, 6:30 – 8 pm
Farkas Hall, Room 203


Join us for a talk with art historian and critic Catherine Quan Damman, entitled "The Ramos Amendment." This event is co-presented with Theater, Dance and Media in TDM’s Perspectives on Performance series. Click here to RSVP.

The talk is drawn from Damman's book project, Performance: A Deceptive History, which radically reshapes our understanding of performance by offering an archival account of its constitutive moment: the 1970s. It argues that performance—as both a distinct artistic form and nascent object of academic study—emerged as a consequence of period-specific anxieties about the legibility of affective labor. The decade saw a rapidly expanding service economy conscript the manufacture and management of workers’ feelings and personalities into a greater proportion of waged labor than ever before. Artists at the varied intersections of Blackness, queerness, and femininity were at the vanguard, both artistic and political, in theorizing the gendered and racialized dynamics of this shift. Their performance work, the book reveals, gave form to one of contemporary racial capitalism’s most enduring social problems.

Catherine Quan Damman is the Linda Nochlin Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she teaches and advises graduate work on feminist and queer approaches to global modern and contemporary art. She is completing her first monograph, Performance: A Deceptive History, which received a 2022–2023 ACLS Fellowship. As a critic, she is a Contributing Editor at BOMB and a former frequent contributor to Artforum.