Kaja Silverman

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Katherine Stein Sachs CW'69 and Keith L. Sachs W'67 Professor of Art History
305 Jaffe

Kaja Silverman is the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of nine books: The Miracle of Analogy, or The History of Photography, Part 1 (2015); Flesh of My Flesh (2009); James Coleman (2002); World Spectators (2000); Speaking About Godard (1998); The Threshold of the Visible World (1996); Male Subjectivity at the Margins (1992); The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema (1988); and The Subject of Semiotics (1983). 

Silverman’s new book, The Miracle of Analogy, published by Stanford University Press March 7, 2015 is the first volume in a two-volume reconceptualization of photography. The Miracle of Analogy is primarily focused on the nineteenth century and some of its contemporary progeny. The second volume, The Promise of Social Happiness, will be primarily focused on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular emphasis on Pictorialism, photo-painting, and large-format photography. 

Before joining the History of Art Department at Penn, Silverman taught at Berkeley for many years. Earlier in her career, she taught at the University of Rochester, Brown University, Simon Fraser University, Trinity College, and Yale University.

Silverman was recently awarded a Distinguished Achievement Award by the Mellon Foundation, and has been using it to fund a series of conferences, lectures, public conversations and artist residencies, along with a Knut Asdam exhibition, that included a commissioned work. All of these events have taken place at the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration either with the ICA, the Slought Foundation, or the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Courses Taught: 
  • ARTH 287 Contemporary Art
  • ARTH 787 Installations, Projections, Divagations
  • ARTH 787 The Pencil of Nature