Tom McDonough

Associate Professor and Chair
Associated Faculty, Comparative Literature

Tom McDonough is a writer and critic based in upstate New York and Toronto whose work addresses the intersections of art and political struggle in the postwar era, with a special emphasis on France. He is widely known for his books on the Situationist International, which include "The Beautiful Language of My Century": Reinventing the Language of Contestation in Postwar France, 1945-1968 (2007); Guy Debord and the Situationist International: Texts and Documents (2002); and The Situationists and the City (2009). McDonough's essays on contemporary art and photography have appeared in journals such as Afterall, Artforum, and OSMOS, where he is a contributing editor. He is Associate Professor of Art History at Binghamton University, State University of New York, teaching the history of the European avant-gardes and modern art and architecture.

Selected Publications:

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

"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.

"Fluid Spaces: Constant and the Situationist Critique of Architecture." In The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond, edited by Catherine de Zegher and Mark Wigley, 93-104. Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 2001.

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

Recent lectures and conference papers:

2014 "Looking Back on Society of the Spectacle, the Film," Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Seattle, WA
Paper: "Theoretical Westerns"

2014 "Pierre Huyghe Symposium," The Artist's Institute, New York, NY
Paper: "Snow White Lucie, The Third Memory, No Ghost Just a Shell"

2014 "Interiors and Exteriors: Avant-Garde Itineraries in Postwar France," Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Keynote: "From Hunger Strike to Human Strike"

2013 "Discussions in Contemporary Culture: Monuments, Monumentality, Monumentalization," Dia Art Foundation, New York, NY
Paper: "Dispersal / Dissemination / Monumentality"

2013 "After Marker," Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Paper: "Les statues meurent aussi"

2013 "MoMA Forum on Contemporary Photography," Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Participant in discussion with Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Anna Ostoya, Lisa Oppenheim, and Andrés Mario Zervigón; video accessible at

2013 "Andrzej Wróblewski – From Within / From Without," Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej, Warsaw, Poland
Paper: "On the Death of Stalin: Wróblewski and 'Mourning News'"; video accessible at

2013 Lecture, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway
Title of paper: "Human / Capital: Labour and horror in the work of Cindy Sherman"; video accessible at

2013 "Fogo Island Dialogues: Belonging to a Place," Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada
Paper: "Extraterritorial"

2013 "Lire Debord," Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
Paper: "New Forms of Community: The Conference as Form within the Situationist International"

2013 "Constellations. Art and the Experience of Modernity," Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
Paper: "Three Images in Crisis"

Dissertations supervised:

Recently completed PhDs

Recent courses taught:


Art History & Visual Culture
Intro to Architecture
What is an Image?
European Avant-Garde


French Cultural Politics

Last Updated: 1/6/15