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Tom McDonough

Associate Professor

Office: Fine Arts 220A
Phone: (607) 777-2847
Specialization: European avant-gardes, modern art and architecture, 20th-century French culture and intellectual life, radicalism in the arts, public space, flânerie, boredom.

TOM McDONOUGH is an art historian, writer, and critic based in upstate New York and Toronto. He is widely known for his work on the Situationist International, including the books "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). He also writes extensively on contemporary art, with recent essays focusing on Cao Fei, Theaster Gates, Philippe Parreno, Adam Pendleton, Wolfgang Tillmans, Danh Vo, Christopher Williams, and Haegue Yang. His articles have appeared in journals such as Afterall, Artforum, Bomb, Canadian Art, OCTOBER, Parkett, and OSMOS, where he is a contributing editor. Boredom, his anthology in the "Documents in Contemporary Art" series from the Whitechapel, appeared in 2017. In addition to Binghamton, he has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Harvard.

Selected Publications

"Unrepresentable Enemies: On the Legacy of Guy Debord and the Situationist International." Afterall no. 28 (Autumn / Winter 2011): 43-55.

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.

"Calling from the Inside: Filmic Topologies of the Everyday." Grey Room no. 26 (Winter 2007): 6-29.

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.

"Delirious Paris: Mapping as a Paranoiac-Critical Activity." Grey Room no. 19 (Spring 2005): 6-21.

"No Ghost." October no. 110 (Fall 2004): 107-13

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

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

"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.

"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.

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Recent lectures and conference papers

"Night of Ideas: To Sleep or Not to Sleep," Art Museum, University of Toronto, Canada 
Participant in conversation on "To dream or not to dream" alongside Rebecca Comay, James Carpenter, and Sharon Sliwinski
"L'oeuvre de Theaster Gates," 7e Festival de l'histoire de l'art, Fontainebleau, France
Participant in roundtable discussion with Jean-Pierre Criqui and Daniel Soutif
Lecture, South London Gallery, London, UK
Title of paper: ". . . speaking to absent things: On some recent films by Amie Siegel"
"Hands Off Our Revolution: The Role of Art and Activism Today," International Center of Photography, New York, NY
Contributor alongside Rachel Libeskind, Katie Holten, Quito Ziegler, Lynne Tillman, and others
"The (Object as) Exhibition as Event: From the 1990s to Now," College Art Association Annual Conference, New York, NY
Paper: "Decivilizing Rituals"

Dissertations supervised

Recently completed PhDs

Recent courses taught


Introduction to Art History II
Modern Art
European Avant-Gardes


French Cultural Politics

Last Updated: 2/1/18