Senior Fellow for the Humanities
Diane O’Donoghue is the Senior Fellow for the Humanities at Tisch College. She joined the Tufts faculty in 1991, teaching in the Department of Visual and Critical Studies (in affiliation with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts) in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She served for two terms as department chair and has been a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award. She is an art historian (Ph.D. Harvard University) who specialized in the Bronze Age of China and has taught courses on the visual cultures of Asia, as well as on theories of representation, gender, and art criticism.
It was in the course of writing Reflection and Reception: The Origins of the Mirror in Bronze Age China (Stockholm: Östasiatiska Museet, 1990) that she began to recognize that, in addition to serving as cultural and political documents, excavated objects produced meanings of depth and surface, of materiality and memory. To pursue these questions from another perspective, she became an affiliate scholar at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where she was a Silberger Scholar, and was elected to membership and appointed to the faculty. Dr. O’Donoghue has been the Fulbright/Sigmund Freud Scholar of Psychoanalysis at the University of Vienna and the Freud Museum.
She has received the CORST Prize, for her writing on psychoanalysis and archaeology, from the American Psychoanalytic Association, and was awarded a second Fulbright Fellowship for Austria, where she was affiliated with the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She was the Ortner-Chopin Visiting Professor, also in Vienna, in 2010, and the Scholar-in-Residence at the Erikson Institute for the spring semester of 2014. She is currently completing a book project that investigates the role of visual cultures in Freud’s construction of the unconscious. A recipient of the Felix and Helene Deutsch Prize for writing on Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, she has published on a variety of cultural objects—ruins, maps, “antiquities,” and illustrated books—as they informed the psychoanalytic theories of mind. She serves on the editorial board of American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences.
Dr. O’Donoghue was a Tisch College Faculty Fellow in 2013-2014. Her project involved the work of the descendants’ organization that she co-founded in Vienna in 2009 to advocate for the restoration of Jewish cemeteries in Austria. Along with other activities, they organize reparative public projects to counter the effects, from the Nazi era onward, of anti-Semitic and racist desecrations of burial sites and memorials. Read more about that project here.
Reading Oxford Street is a site-specific installation that has been created as part of the “These Words” project by the artist Sam Ekerstrom-Lang. Through projections, viewers will see images of the community bulletin board (c1900-1970) at their original site at Oxford and Beach Streets, along with examples of the rich variety of material produced only steps away, at the storied Shanghai Printing Company. All the material on view here is in the collection of Tisch’s community partner in this project, the Chinese Historical Society of New England, and the event has been funded through the Tisch College Community Research Center and Mass Humanities.
The Oxford Street installation is part of the current “These Words” exhibition, on view until October 30, in the windows of the China Trade Center at Two Boylston Street and the Tufts University Health Sciences Bookstore, 116 Harrison Street. You can read more about it here.