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Jonah Westerman

Assistant Professor of Art History

Jonah Westerman’s research focuses on global histories of performance since the mid-20th century with an emphasis on how artists have sought to renew art’s social role and critical capabilities. He is especially interested in practices that probe the boundary between art and life through experimental approaches to embodied and durational experience, intermedial processes of production, and audience participation. His work also explores the institutional components that create contexts of reception—from galleries and museums to the political expectations placed on artworks by official government bodies, academic and critical orthodoxies, and audiences. For the academic year 2016–17, he was the Chester Dale Senior Fellow in Art History at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; from 2014 to 2016, he was the Arts and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Researcher at Tate in London. 

Recent publications include “Crowd Control” in the Summer 2019 issue of Artforum, the co-edited book Histories of Performance Documentation: Museum, Artistic, and Scholarly Practices (Routledge, 2018), several essays in the Tate Research online publication Performance at Tate: Into the Space of Art (, 2017), which he also co-designed and co-edited; as well as an essay about performance and museums to be published in the forthcoming edited volume, The Bloomsbury Companion to Performance Art