Damon Young

French, Film and Media

Damon R. Young is associate professor in French and Film & Media, and also affiliated with the Berkeley Center for New Media. His work brings critical theory into conversation with film, media, and visual studies, as well as queer theory and cultural studies. His first book, Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies (Theory Q, Duke UP, shortlisted for the 2019 ASAP Book Prize), examines how fears and fantasies about women’s and queer sexualities—as figures for social emancipation or social collapse–shaped the intertwined trajectories of French and US cinema, and placed sexuality at the center of our contemporary social and political imaginaries. Professor Young’s current book project, After the Private Self, explores the technical and technological ground of subjectivity across a changing media landscape, from the intimacy of the written diary, through the invention of photographic portraiture, to the simultaneous hypertrophy and disappearance of the “self” in digital media cultures.

Some recent publications include: “Ironies of Web 2.0” (in Post-45); “Safe Spaces”; “Teorema’s Death Drive,” forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Queer Cinema; “In Defense of Psychoanalytic Film Theory,” forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Film Theory; “The Vicarious Look, or Andy Warhol’s Apparatus Theory” (in Film Criticism); “Gag the Fag, or Tops and Bottoms, Persons and Things,” (in Porn Studies); and The Cultural Logic of Contemporary Capitalism, a special issue of Social Text (June 2016), co-edited with Nico Baumbach and Genevieve Yue.

Before joining the Berkeley faculty, Damon Young was assistant professor and postdoctoral scholar in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan. Professor Young serves on the editorial board of Representations and Critical Times, and is part of the editorial collective, Bully Bloggers, a “queer word art group.”