Mark Denaci

Associate Professor Art and Art History Department

Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies
University of Rochester, 2001

M.A. in Visual and Cultural Studies
University of Rochester, 1998

M.A. in Art History
Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Museum of Art Joint Program, 1995

M.A. in European Studies
Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), 1992

B.Ph. in Interdisciplinary Studies
Miami University (Oxford, OH), 1991

Mark Denaci

Current professional research interests

I am interested in the ways in which art can be understood to occupy a kind of "perverse" space between categories such as "means of expression," or "timeless" on the one hand, and "mute object" or "historically specific" on the other. My writing and research tends to involve areas in which art intersects with other categories of experience that can be seen to occupy similarly "perverse" spaces, such as gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. Currently, I am working on two projects: one is a study of the motif of the empty bed in contemporary art, and its relationship to queer desire; the other is a study of Amsterdam as a peculiarly perverse space. The latter project relates to some other recent essays I've written on the paradoxes of Cuban-American art and its relationship to postmodernist criticism.

Recent publications/conferences/exhibitions

Engaging Ambivalence: Alberto Rey's The Aesthetics of Death in Alberto Rey: Life, Death and Beauty, exh. cat. (Lexington, Virginia: Staniar Gallery, Washington and Lee University, 2009).

Challenging Orthodoxies: Cuban-American Art and Postmodernist Criticism, Negotiating Identities: Cuban-American Literature and Art, ed. Isdabel Alvarez Borland and Lynette M. F. Bosch (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2009).

The Image of Fetishism: Derrida and the Truth in Art, Travelling Concepts III: Memory, Image, Narrative, ed. Nancy Pedri (Amsterdam: ASCA Press, 2003).

Bloodletting, Travelling Concepts II: Meaning, Frame, and Metaphor, ed. Joyce Goggin and Michael Burke (Amsterdam: ASCA Press, 2002).


Review of Derrida (2002 documentary film by Amy Ziering Kaufman and Kirby Dick), Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture, eds. Margot Bouman, Lucy Curzon, Tai Smith, and Catherine Zuromskis.

Conference/Symposium Presentations

February, 2010, "Empty Beds: Works of Art and the Projection of Queer Desire," delivered at the College Art Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois

November, 2009, "Amsterdam as New Babylon," delivered at "Imagining Amsterdam," University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

November, 2007, Alberto Rey’s ‘Aesthetics of Death; delivered at ?Alberto Rey: Cuban-American Artist,? Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

February, 2004, Response paper, ?Cultural Crossings? panel, College Art Association Conference, Seattle, Washington

March, 2002, The Image of Fetishism: Derrida and the ?Truth? in Art,? delivered at ?Travelling Concepts III: Memory, Image, Narrative,? Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

March, 2001??Bloodletting,? delivered at ?Travelling Concepts II: Meaning, Frame, and Metaphor? Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

April, 2000 ‘Bloodletting,’ delivered at the 60th Annual Institute of Fine Arts/Frick Collection Symposium on the History of Art, New York City

Invited Speaking Engagements

October, 2004?Panelist, ‘Why Is Queer Art Queer?’ at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY

December, 2003 “Transmogrifying Sexuality: An Introduction to Matthew Barney,” delivered at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York

National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar Participation

June 15-July 10, 2009, ?Queer Theory Now and Then: Debates in Gender and Sexuality? at the State University of New York at Potsdam (Seminar Leader: Judith Halberstam)

June 11-30, 2006, “Negotiating Identities: Cuban-American Philosophy, Art, and Literature,” at the University of Buffalo (Seminar Leader: Jorge Gracia). Delivered presentation, “Postmodernism and Cuban-American Art,” on June 20th

Professional associations membership

College Art Association
College Art Association Queer Caucus

Classes taught:

FA 117 Western Survey II (Renaissance to Contemporary)
FA 211 African-American Art and Visual Culture
FA 248 Nineteenth-Century European Art
FA 252 Modern European Art
FA 254 History of Contemporary Art
FA 348 Art Today
FA 430 SYE: Critical Theory and the Visual Arts

Personal interests

Music (rock, jazz, avant-garde); foreign and independent film; politics; martial arts

Favorite quotes:

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
- Aldous Huxley

Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.
~ H. L. Mencken

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