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Tom McDonough

Associate Professor and Chair
Associated faculty, Comparative Literature

Tom McDonough teaches the history and theory of contemporary art, as well as modern architecture and urbanism. His most recent book is the anthology The Situationists and the City (Verso, 2009); other publications include “The Beautiful Language of My Century”: Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945-1968 (MIT Press, “OCTOBER Books,” 2007), and the anthologies Guy Debord and the Situationist International: Texts and Documents (MIT Press, “OCTOBER Books,” 2002) and The Invisible Flâneuse? (Manchester University Press, 2006). He has published regularly in journals such as Afterall, Art in America, Artforum, Documents, Grey Room, OCTOBER, and Texte zur Kunst. In 2008-2009 he was Visiting Associate Professor in the History of Art Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and in Summer 2009 he ran a research seminar on “Berkeley, Paris, Berlin: 1967-1972” at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris. McDonough has been a visiting scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, a Getty Postdoctoral Fellow, and a recipient of an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. He is currently writing Sowing the Wind, a history of the Situationist International, which is forthcoming from Reaktion Books. McDonough is an editor at Grey Room.

Selected Publications:

The Situationists and the City: A Reader. London and New York: Verso, 2009.

“Metastructure: Experimental Utopia and Traumatic Memory in Constant’s New Babylon.” Grey Room no. 33 (Fall 2008): 84-95.

"The Beautiful Language of My Century": Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945-1968. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, Coll. “OCTOBER Books,” 2007, 2011.

With Aruna D’Souza. The Invisible Flâneuse? Gender, Public Space and Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris. Manchester: Manchester University Press, Coll. “Critical Perspectives in Art History,” 2006, 2010.

"No Ghost." October no. 110 (Fall 2004): 107-130.

Guy Debord and the Situationist International: Texts and Documents. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, Coll. “OCTOBER Books,” 2002, 2004.

“The Crimes of the Flaneur.” October no. 102 (Fall 2002): 101-122.

“Rereading Debord, Rereading the Situationists.” October no. 79 (“Guy Debord and the Internationale situationniste: A Special Issue,” guest edited by Tom McDonough) (Winter 1997): 3-14.

“The Naked City: The Dérive in Situationist Paris.” In Situacionistes: Art, Política, Urbanisme, 54-66. Barcelona: Museu d’Art Contemporani, 1996.

“Situationist Space.” October no. 67 (Winter 1994): 58-77.

Recent lectures and conference papers:

2012  “The Artists’ Congresses: A Congress,” dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany
Paper: “First Acts: The Founding of the Situationist International, Cosio d’Arroscia, July 1957”; interview about the talk at

2012  Lecture, Office of International Affairs Graduate International Colloquium, Modern Culture and Media Department, Brown University, Providence, RI
Title of Paper: “‘Boredom Is Counterrevolutionary’: Guy Debord and the Sociology of Boredom”

2012  “Mediatic Networks in Postwar Paris: Art, Sound, and Film in Motion,” Grey Art Gallery and Department of Art History, New York University, New York
Paper: “No Success Like Failure: Exhibition Practices of the Situationist Internatioanal, 1960-1964”

2012  23rd Annual Hilla Rebay Lecture, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Title of Paper: “The Artist as Typographer”; video accessible at

2011  “From Guerilla Cinema to Essay Film to Video Installations: Harun Farocki’s Practices,” Museum of Modern Art, New York
Participant in panel discussion with Harun Farocki, Ayreen Anastas, and Rene Gabri, moderated by Sabine Breitwieser

2011  Lecture, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico Title of Paper: “Boredom and / as Resistance in the Situationist International” Also delivered at Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, NY

2011  “Call the Witness,” Roma Pavilion, 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Paper: “Campo nomadi: Constant’s Design for a Gypsy Camp”; video accessible at

2011  Lecture, Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna, Austria
Title of Paper: “Unrepresentable Enemies: Reassessing the Legacy of the Situationist International”

Dissertations and theses supervised:

Barberi, Christine H. “Subject, Memory and Space in Walter Benjamin’s Autobiographical Writings” (MA, Art History, Binghamton University, 2003)

Batuman, Bülent. “Spaces of Counter-Hegemony: Turkish Architects and Planners as Political Agents in the 1970s” (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, 2006)

Becker, Natasha. “The Johannesburg Biennials, South Africa, 1995-1997” (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, in progress)

Dogan, Cagatay. "Representations of Istanbul in Postwar Turkey: Remembering and Forgetting" (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, in progress)

Goldenberg, Helen. "An Examination of the Playrooms in Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style Houses" (MA, Art History, Binghamton University, 2012)

Keefer, Jeannine. “Politicization of Space: Urban Campus, Urban Renewal and Development in the Temple and University City Areas of Philadelphia in the Modernist Era” (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, in progress)

Kelleher, Philip. "Fashion Moda and the South Bronx" (MA, Art History, Binghamton University, in progress)

Kennedy, Jennifer. "The Jeune Fille as Spectacle and Representation." (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, in progress)

Kilinc, Kivanc. “Constructing Women for the Republic: The Spatial Politics of Gender, Class, and Domesticity in Ankara, 1928-1952” (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, 2010)

Liang, Samuel Yunxiang. “Ephemeral Households, Splintered City: Mapping Leisure in the Sojourners’ Shanghai, 1870-1900” (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, 2006)

Mallory, Trista Elizabeth. “Parsing the Practice: Critique of the Institution, or Institution as Critique?” (MA, Art History, Binghamton University, 2009) (with Aruna D’Souza)

Scott, Victoria H.F. “Silk-screens and Television Screens: Maoism and the Posters of May and June 1968” (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, 2010)

Shin, Chunghoon. "Art as Spatial Critique: South Korean Visual Arts Since the Late 1960s" (PhD, Art History, Binghamton University, in progress)

Williams, Teresa. “Forecasted: Conceptual Methods and Workable Solutions” (MA, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, 2000)

Recent courses taught:


Art in Europe, 1945-1975

Constructs of Modernism

Introduction to Architecture


Everyday Life & Moving Image

Modes of Production

Radical Spatial Theory in France, 1955-1975

Revisiting the New Art History

Spectacle Culture

Theory and Methods

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Last Updated: 8/9/12