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Eve Meltzer

Associate Professor
(212) 998-7339
1 Wash Pl, Room 424

Office Hours
Thursday By Appt and Sabbatical
Friday By Appt and Sabbatical

B.A., Visual Arts, Brown University, 1993
M.A., Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, 1998
Ph.D., Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, 2003

Eve Meltzer is associate professor of Visual Studies at Gallatin and is an affiliated faculty member in NYU’s Department of Art History. She received her MA and PhD in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of contemporary art history and criticism, the history and theory of photography and video, material culture, and a range of philosophical and theoretical discourses including psychoanalysis, structuralism, phenomenology, and affect theory. Her first book, Systems We Have Loved: Conceptual Art, Affect, and the Antihumanist Turn (University of Chicago Press, 2013) situates the conceptual art movement in relation to the field of structuralist thought, reframing two of the most transformative movements of the 20th century and their common dream of the world as a total sign system. Her second book, tentatively titled Not-Me, Mine, Ours: Belonging and Psychic Life After Photography, wagers that the relationship between the psyche and the camera is more intimate, complex, and important than we have yet to describe, particularly as it pertains to claims of belonging. Organized around four cases--Andrew Jarecki’s film, Capturing the Friedmans (2003), Raoul Peck’s documentary I Am Not Your Negro (2016), the artist Candice Breitz’s video installation, Treatment (2013), and the photographs taken at Abu Ghraib--the book investigates the ways in which scenes of subjection operate photographically both in us and around us, making us adhere in particular ways, always libidinous (mine), though sometimes negating and even hateful (not-me), to one another (ours).   Meltzer’s course offerings include “The Photographic Imaginary,” “The Thingliness of Things,” “Race in the Visual Field: James Baldwin, America, and the Moving Image,” “Psychoanalysis and the Visual,” “What Was Conceptualism, and Why Won’t It Go Away?” and “Feeling, in Theory.”    

Grants & Fellowships


Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship

Eve Meltzer was awarded a Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library to complete research towards and the writing of one chapter “Psyche Obscura, Camera Lucida: James Baldwin, America, and the Moving Image,” of her book-in-progress, Not-Me, Mine, Ours: Belonging After Photography.



Eve Meltzer's Systems We Have Loved

Eve Meltzer's Systems We Have Loved: Conceptual Art, Affect, and The Antihumanist Turn was published by University of Chicago Press.

Teaching and Research Interests

contemporary art, theory, and criticism; history and theory of photography; history and theory of video; psychoanalysis; structuralism; phenomenology; affect theory; discourses on materiality and material culture  

Recent News


Eve Meltzer contributed the essay “Subjects” to A Concise Companion to Visual Culture, (Wiley, 2021).

“To Capture and To Hold: Camera, Psyche, and Belonging in Capturing the Friedmans,” drawn from Meltzer’s current book project, will be published in The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Visual Culture in 2019.

Meltzer’s review of The Place of the Visual in Psychoanalytic Practice: Image in the Countertransference will appear in The International Journal of Psychoanalysis in 2019.

Meltzer published a review of the film, Eva Hesse, titled “To Conjure Hesse” in Art Journal in the fall of 2016.


Meltzer spoke about her essay "Subjects," published in A Concise Companion to Visual Culture (Wiley, 2021), to a group of graduate students in Art at the University of Wisconsin in April 2021.

Meltzer delivered “Systems We Have Loved” at The Center for Humanities and Information at Penn State University in April 2018.

She also presented “Systems We Have Loved” at 1:1 Systems Theory in Practice Since WWII at Yale University in April 2017.

Meltzer gave a talk titled “Group Photo: Towards a Psycho-Photographic Theory of Belonging,” drawn from her current book project, for the “Art in the Age of Things” Lecture series at The University of Illinois at Chicago in April 2017.

Eve Meltzer