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Benjamin Young

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History

Benjamin J. Young is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History. In Fall 2019, he will teach Global Photography as well as Masters Colloquium II: Critical Issues in Contemporary Art. His research focuses on contemporary art and the history of photography, especially with the ways they intersect with the everyday life of state power, labor, and globalization. In addition to his monographic dissertation on the artwork of American photographer Allan Sekula, which he is turning into a book, he has also written on the work of artists such as David Antin, Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Harun Farocki, Fred Lonidier, Martha Rosler, and Carrie Mae Weems, among others. He is currently working on a catalogue essay about LaToya Ruby Frazier’s recent photographs of the closing of the General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio. He has also begun a research project on the politics of contemporary art and documentary photography in Israel-Palestine, which addresses the role of images in decolonization struggles, human-rights activism, portraiture after humanism, and emerging discourses of forensic aesthetics.

More About Me

Ben received a PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, in May 2018. He has taught the history of art at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT, SUNY), the New School, New York University, and the School of Visual Arts (SVA). He is also managing editor of Grey Room (MIT Press), a quarterly scholarly journal of art, architecture, media, and politics.


“‘Decolonize This Place’: Realism and Humanism in Photography of Israel-Palestine,” in “Disassembled” Images: Allan Sekula and Contemporary Art, ed. Alexander Streitberger and Hilde Van Gelder (Leuven University Press, forthcoming).

“Documents and Documentary: San Diego, c. 1973,” in The Uses of Photography: Art, Politics, and the Reinvention of a Medium, ed. Jill Dawsey, exh. cat. (San Diego: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Oakland: University of California Press, 2016).

“<a href=””>Hostile Takeover</a>,” questionnaire, Fear of Content, 9th Berlin Biennale (September 2016).

“Editors’ Introduction” and “Arresting Figures,” in “Allan Sekula and the Traffic in Photographs,” special issue, ed. Marie Muracciole and Benjamin J. Young, Grey Room 55 (Spring 2014).

“On Strike: Allan Sekula’s Waiting for Tear Gas,” in Sensible Politics: The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism, ed. Yates McKee and Meg McLagan (New York:Zone Books, 2012).