Thomas Love is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University working between contemporary art history, German studies, gender and sexuality studies, and critical race theory.
Approaching the queer critique of identity as an aesthetic problem, Love asks how queers represent their outsider status absent signs of gay or lesbian identity. This research takes form in his dissertation, titled “Queer Exoticism: Strategies of Self-Othering in West Germany, 1969-1994,” which argues that in seeking to critique conservative European norms and visualize their own alterity, White West German queers resorted to stereotypes of racial and ethnic difference. He identifies this queer exoticism within different social contexts and across media in post-1960s West Germany including the tattooing and body modification of Albrecht Becker, the lesbian-feminist films of Ulrike Ottinger, and the neo-expressionist paintings of die neue Wilde [The New Savages].
Love has taught at the Berlin University of the Arts, Northwestern University, and the University of Mainz. His research has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He has been a fellow in the Paris Program in Critical Theory and the Whitney Independent Study Program. His work has been published in Art in America and is forthcoming in the Art Institute Review and The Germanic Review.
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