Tara Kohn

Assistant Professor of Art History
"My research and teaching focus broadly on the history of modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on migration, transnationality, shifting constructs of race and ethnicity, the history of photography and the history of the book. Working across national divides and along global networks, I consider how artistic responses to past legacies of dislocation can deepen our understanding of what it means to live as shocks of racial violence and fears around immigration continue to surge up, ever more urgently, in the present."
Morgan 23A

Teaching Philosophy

My interest in the writing of history influences the shape and structure of my courses; my students learn to become aware of the cracks, the absences, the myths and the often-invisible structures of power that underlie visual culture. In my classes, questions about the piecing together of history—the seams of construction hidden beneath the surface of historical narratives that often appear to be seamless—emerge and reemerge in different forms throughout our discussion.


2013 - Ph.D. in art history, University of Texas at Austin
2007 - M.A. in art history, University of Texas at Austin
2005 - B.A. in art history, theater and dance, Bowdoin College

Selected Publications

"Translation and Re-Vision: On the Resurgence and Resurfacing of Alter Kacyzne's Photographic Texts." In Jewish Translation/Translating Jewishness, edited by Tara Kohn and Magdalena Waligórska. (Berlin: DeGruyter Press, 2018), 279-300.

"Elevated: Along the Fringes of 291 Fifth Avenue," Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. 4, no. 2 (Fall 2018). [Honorable Mention for the Director's Essay Prize at the National Portrait Gallery]

"An Eternal Flame: Alfred Stieglitz on New York's Lower East Side," American Art. 30, no. 3 (Fall 2016), 112-128.

Courses Taught

A History of Western Art from Prehistory to the Renaissance
A History of Western Art from the Renaissance to the Present
A History of Non-Western Art
Theoretical Frameworks for the Visual Arts
Professional Practices in the Visual Arts
Art and Catastrophe: Visual Responses to Trauma


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