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T. J. Demos

Department Chair
Professor, and Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History and Visual Culture
Director, Center for Creative Ecologies
Contemporary art and visual culture; environmental arts and political ecology; social movement aesthetics and activism; documentary and new media.
Research Interests: 

T. J. Demos is the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Endowed Chair in Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. Demos is the author of several books, including Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Sternberg Press, 2017); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology (Sternberg Press, 2016); The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013) – winner of the College Art Association’s 2014 Frank Jewett Mather Award – and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2013). He recently co-edited The Routledge Companion on Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change (2021), was a Getty Research Institute Fellow (Spring 2020), and directed the Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar research project Beyond the End of the World (2019-21). Demos was Chair and Chief Curator of the Climate Collective, providing public programming related to the 2021 Climate Emergency > Emergence program at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Maat) in Lisbon. His new book, Radical Futurisms: Ecologies of Collapse, Chronopolitics, and Justice-to-Come, 2023, is now out from Sternberg Press.

Porter College, Room 209
Selected Publications: 

T. J. Demos, Radical Futurisms: Ecologies of Collapse / Chronopolitics / Justice to Come  (Berlin: Sternberg Press, Forthcoming: 2023).

T. J. Demos, Emily Eliza Scott, Subhankar Banerjee, eds., The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change (New York: Routledge, 2021).

T. J. Demos, Beyond the World's End: Arts of Living at the Crossing (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020).

T. J. Demos, Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2017).

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

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

Curated Exhibitions:

Beyond the World's End, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, March 2020 - June 2021.

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.

Teaching Interests: 

Contemporary art and visual culture that addresses: radical politics and socio-environmentalism; political and media ecology; decolonial and anticapitalist theory and practice; race and representation; social and economic justice; trans-regionalism and globalization; emancipatory and eco-socialist horizons.

Honors and Awards: 

T. J. Demos has been the recipient of numerous distinguished fellowships and prestigious awards, including: the Mellon Sawyer Seminar fellowship (2019-21); a Getty Research Institute fellowship (2020); 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