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T. J. Demos

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History of Art and Visual Culture
Director, Center for Creative Ecologies
Affiliated with Rachel Carson College, Colleges Nine and Ten, the Environmental Studies Department, Latin American and Latino Studies, and the Sustainability Studies Minor.
Research Interests: 

T.J. Demos writes widely on modern and contemporary art and his essays have appeared in magazines, journals, and catalogues worldwide. His published work centers broadly on the conjunction of art and politics, examining the ability of artistic practice to invent innovative and experimental strategies that challenge dominant social, political, and economic conventions. He has served on the Art Journal editorial board (2004-08), and currently is on the editorial board of Third Text, and on the advisory board of Grey Room. Demos is Director of the forthcoming Center for Creative Ecologies at UC Santa Cruz. Check out his personal website, for more info and links to many essays.


Professor Demos’ current research focuses on contemporary art and visual culture, investigating in particular the diverse ways that artists and activists have negotiated crises associated with globalization, including the emerging conjunction of post-9/11 political sovereignty and statelessness, the hauntings of the colonial past, and the growing biopolitical conflicts around ecology and climate change.

Porter College, Room 209
Selected Publications: 

T.J. Demos, Decolonizing Nature: Contempoary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016)

T.J. Demos, Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013)

T.J. Demos, The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2013)

T.J. Demos, Dara Birnbaum: Technology / Transformation: Wonder Woman (Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press and Afterall Books, 2010)

T.J. Demos, The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007)

T.J. Demos and Hilde Van Gelder, eds., In and Out of Brussels: Figuring Postcolonial Africa and Europe in the Films of Herman Asselberghs, Sven Augustijnen, Renzo Martens, and Els Opsomer (Leuven, Belgium: University of Leuven Press, 2012).


Curated Exhibitions:

Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, Nottingham Contemporary (UK), co-curator, January-March, 2015.

Specters: A Ciné-Politics of Haunting, Screening series of experimental independent and artistic films, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain, November-December, 2014.

Uneven Geographies: Art and Globalisation, Nottingham Contemporary (UK), co-curator, May-July, 2010.

Zones of Conflict, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, November 2008-February 2009.

Teaching Interests: 

Professor Demos teaches numerous classes in the areas of his research: contemporary art, activism and visual culture, in relation to postcolonial and corporate globalization and social-justice oriented political ecology.

Honors and Awards: 

T.J. Demos has been the recipient of numerous distinguished fellowships and prestigious awards, including: the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism (2014); a UC Santa Cruz Arts Research Institute grant (2016-17); multiple awards from the Centre for Study of Contemporary Art, which he helped co-found at University College London (2012-15); a Fondation Fernand Willame (Belgium) Research Fellowship (2010-11); a Flemish Academic Centre for Science and the Arts (VLAC) Fellowship through the Royal Academies, Brussels (2009-10); a University College London Futures Grant (2009); a British Art and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Workshop Grant (2008-09); and a Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writing Grant (2007-08).

Education and Training: 
Ph.D., Columbia University