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David SerlinDavid Serlin

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication

Affiliated Faculty in Science Studies, Critical Gender Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Group in Cognitive Science



Ph.D. in American Studies, New York University (1999)


Historical and cultural approaches to architecture, urbanism, and the built environment; disability, technology, and the politics of design; material culture and museum studies; gender/sexuality studies and queer theory; histories of the senses.



  • Window Shopping with Helen Keller: Architecture and Disability in Modern Culture(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming).
  • Keywords in Disability Studies. (New York: NYU Press, forthcoming). Co-Editor.
  • Imagining Illness: Public Health and Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Editor.
  • Replaceable You: Engineering the Body in Postwar America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). Winner of the 2005 Alan Bray Memorial Book Award from the Modern Language Association.
  • Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: NYU Press, 2002). Co-Editor.
  • Policing Public Sex: Queer Politics and the Future of AIDS Activism (South End Press, 1996). Co-Editor. Winner of the 1997 Gustav Meyers Center Award for a Book on the Subject of Human Rights in North America.

Edited Journals

  • Co-Editor (with Amy Chazkel), special issue on “New Approaches to Enclosures.” Radical History Review 109 (Winter 2010).
  • Co-Editor (with Amy Chazkel), special issue on “Enclosures: Fences, Walls, and Contested Spaces.” Radical History Review 108 (Fall 2010).
  • Co-Editor (with Kevin Murphy and Jason Ruiz), special issue on “Queer Futures.” Radical History Review 100 (Winter 2008).
  • Co-Editor (with Teresa Meade), special issue on “Disability and History.” Radical History Review 94 (Winter 2006).
  • Co-Editor (with Kavita Philip and Eliza Jane Reilly), special issue on “Homeland Securities.” Radical History Review 93 (Fall 2005). Winner of the 2005 Award for Best Special Issue from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
  • Co-Editor (with Eliza Jane Reilly), special issue on “Race, Nation, and Cultural Memory.” Radical History Review 90 (Fall 2004).

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Broken Circuit” (with Lauren Berlant and Sina Najafi). In Reading/Feeling, ed. Tanja Baudoin, Frédérique Bergholtz, and Vivian Ziherl (Amsterdam: Idea Books, 2013), 375-383.
  • “How to Be Yourself in Public.” In Zoe Wool, ed., “Soldier Exposures in Technical Publics,” http://publicbooks.org/artmedia/soldier-exposures-and-technical-publics (2013).
  • “On Walkers and Wheelchairs: Disabling the Narratives of Urban Modernity.” Radical History Review 114 (Fall 2012), 19-28.
  • “Carney Landis and the Psychosexual Landscape of Touch in Mid-Twentieth-Century America.” History of Psychology 15:3 (August 2012), 34-42.
  • “Architecture and Social Justice.” Boom: A Journal of California 2:1 (Spring 2012), 53-54.
  • “Touching Histories: Personality, Disability, and Sex in the 1930s.” In Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow, eds., Sex and Disability (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012), 145-162.
  • “Pissing Without Pity: Disability, Gender, and the Public Toilet.” In Harvey Molotch and Laura Norén, eds., Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (New York: NYU Press, 2010), 167-185.
  • “Performing Live Surgery on Television and the Internet Since 1945.” In David Serlin, ed., Imagining Illness: Public Health and Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 223-244.
  • “Introduction: Toward a Visual Culture of Public Health: From Broadside to YouTube.” In David Serlin, ed., Imagining Illness: Public Health and Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), xi-xxxvii.
  • “The Other Arms Race.” In Lennard J. Davis, ed., The Disability Studies Reader, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2006), 49-65.
  • “Disabling the Flâneur.” Journal of Visual Culture 5:2 (August 2006), 193-208.
  • “Disability, Masculinity, and the Prosthetics of War, 1945 to 2005.” In Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra, eds., The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 155-183.
  • “Can a Building Be Jewish?” Architecture 93:7 (July 2004), 23-26.
  • “Crippling Masculinity: Queerness and Disability in U.S. Military Culture, 1800-1945.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 9:1/2 (Winter/Spring 2003), 149-179.
  • “Rethinking the Corporate Biosphere: The Social Ecology of Sustainable Architecture.” In David Gissen, ed., Big and Green: Sustainable Urban Architecture for the 21st Century (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003), 136-145.
  • “Engineering Masculinity: Veterans and Prosthetics After World War Two.” In Katherine Ott, David Serlin, and Stephen Mihm, eds., Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: NYU Press, 2002), 45-74.
  • “From Sesame Street to Schoolhouse Rock: Urban Pedagogy and Soul Iconography During the 1970s.” In Richard Green and Monique Guillory, eds., Soul: Black Power, Politics, and Pleasure (New York: NYU Press, 1998), 105-20.
  • “Weegee and the Jewish Question” (with Jesse Lerner). Wide Angle 19:4 (Fall 1997), 94-108
  • “The Twilight (Zone) of Commercial Sex.” In Dangerous Bedfellows, eds., Policing Public Sex: Queer Politics and the Future of AIDS Activism (Boston: South End Press, 1996), 45-52.
  • “Christine Jorgensen and the Cold War Closet.” Radical History Review 62 (Spring 1995), 136-165. [Reprinted in Kathy Peiss, ed., Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2002), 384-393.]
  • “The Dialogue of Gender in Melville's The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids.” Modern Language Studies 25:2 (Spring 1995), 80-87.

Recent Fellowships, Awards, and Honors

  • Research Fellowship, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2013
  • Research Award, Science, Technology, and Society Program, National Science Foundation, 2011
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, 2009-2010
  • Residential Fellowship in Architectural Criticism, The MacDowell Colony, 2009


  • Advanced Approaches to Science Studies
  • American Television in the 1970s
  • Architecture as Communication
  • Conceptualizing Gender: Theories and Methods
  • Gender and Institutions
  • Historical Methods in Communication Research
  • Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • The Politics of Bodies
  • Smell, Touch, Taste: Communication and the Senses