BRIGID DOHERTY, Associate Professor of German and Art & Archaeology, joined the faculty at Princeton in 2003. Prior to that, she was Associate Professor of the History of Art and Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she held the inaugural Research Forum Visiting Professorship at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and in 2006-2007 she was the David and Roberta Logie Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and an Affiliate Scholar at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. At Princeton, she is a member of the Steering Committees of the Programs in Media & Modernity and European Cultural Studies. Her research and teaching focus on the interdisciplinary study of modern and contemporary art and literature, with special emphasis on relationships among the visual arts, literature, and aesthetic and psychoanalytic theory in German modernism.
With her German Department colleagues Michael W. Jennings and Thomas Y. Levin, Doherty co-edited a volume of writings by Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility and Other Writings on Media, which was published by Harvard University Press in 2008. Also in 2008, she participated in Manifesta 7: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, in Trento, Italy, contributing a project called "The Museum of Learning Things," which examined ways in which avant-garde artists and philosophers Germany and Austria in the 1920s variously engaged, adapted, and set out to renovate techniques of teaching and learning that had been developed in the nineteenth-century under the rubric of "Anschauungsunterricht" (a term that has been translated, since the mid-nineteenth century, as "instruction in perception," "object-teaching," "teaching through the senses," "and training the senses"). An exhibition of the “Learning Things” project at a US venue is in the planning stage.
Doherty's current research is connected most directly to two book projects. The first, "Homesickness for Things," explores how, in 20th-century German modernism and its present-day aftermath, objects, among them persons and works of art, become containers for fantasies of return to a maternal body or family home (each broadly conceived, in material as well as symbolic terms). The project further investigates how such fantasies come, in turn, to provide a basis for various ethical and political positions with regard to our understanding of history. "Homesickness for Things" situates the work of writers and artists, including the early 20th-century poet Rainer Maria Rilke and contemporary artist Hanne Darboven, in relation to theories of "projective identification" and related phenomena of thinking, feeling, and intersubjectivity in psychoanalysis. The second book project is a monograph on the work of contemporary artist Rosemarie Trockel, in progress with the working title, “Monsters: Resemblance and the Ends of Reverie in the Art of Rosemarie Trockel.”
While on leave in Fall 2011, Doherty is a Fellow at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung in Berlin. She will return to Princeton for Spring 2012, when she will teach FRS 144: “Things Come to Life. Explorations in Modern and Contemporary Art,” and GER 520/ART 588: “Psychoanalytic Turns in Art History and Literary Criticism.”
RECENT PUBLICATIONS (since 2008)
Walter Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility and Other Writings on Media. Co-edited with Michael W. Jennings and Thomas Y. Levin, Harvard University Press, 2008.
“End Note — Rosemarie Trockel,” MAP 24 (Winter Issue, December 2010).
“What Is There To Be Learned from Kitsch?” Cabinet 39 (November 2010).
“Between the Artwork and its ‘Actualization’: a Footnote to Art History in Benjamin’s ‘Work of Art’ Essay,” Paragraph 32:3 (2009).
“Rosemarie Trockel: Eiserner Vorhang / Safety Curtain. Flip-book Special,” Pidgin 7 (2009).
Book Chapters and Exhibition Catalogue Essays
"Rosemarie Trockels Monster," in Rosemarie Trockel: Zeichnungen, Collagen und Buchentwürfe, ed. Anita Haldemann (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2010), pp. 102-35. Also, in English, as "Rosemarie Trockel’s Monsters," in Rosemarie Trockel: Drawings, Collages and Book Drafts, ed. Anita Haldemann (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2010).
“The Work of Art and the Problem of Politics in Berlin Dada,” reprinted in Weimar Publics/Weimar Subjects: Rethinking the Political Culture of Germany in the 1920s, ed. Kathleen Canning, Kerstin Barndt, Kristin McGuire (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2010).
“Animated Origins, Origins of Animation,” in Animism (Berlin: Sternberg, 2010).
“László Moholy-Nagy. Constructions in Enamel. 1923,” in Bauhaus 1919-1933, ed. Barry Bergdoll and Leah Dickerman (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2009).
Rosemarie Trockel: Eiserner Vorhang / Safety Curtain 2008-2009. Museum in Progress in collaboration with Staatsoper Wien. Vienna, 2008.
“Learning Things,” in Manifesta 7: Companion, ed. Adam Budak (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2008).
“The Museum of Learning Things,” in Manifesta 7: Index, ed. Anselm Franke and Hila Peleg, exhibition catalogue to Manifesta 7: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2008).