Writing


Current Book Projects


A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall
(University of North Carolina Press, 2019)

A Wall of Our Own examines representations of the Berlin Wall across American literature, art, and popular culture from 1961 to the present. Through examples from a variety of media, the book traces the multifaceted story of how the Berlin Wall emerged as an integral part of the cultural imagination in the United States during the Cold War, especially related to matters of race, gender, sexuality, and national belonging. It also looks at the wall’s current afterlife as a dispersed monumental ruin and digitally rendered artifact in popular culture, as Americans continue to express their own evolving notions of freedom and repression through identifications with Berlin. The chapters in A Wall of Our Own focus on photographer Leonard Freed, activist and author Angela Davis, sculptor Shinkichi Tajiri, and poet Audre Lorde.

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia
Co-Edited with Ken Lum
(Temple University Press, 2019)

Monument Lab is a public art and history project based in Philadelphia that comprises a team of curators, artists, scholars, and students. In 2017, Monument Lab teamed with Mural Arts Philadelphia, a renowned public arts organization, to produce a citywide exhibition organized around a central question: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? This line of inquiry was aimed at building civic dialogue about place and history as forces for a deeper questioning of what it means to be Philadelphian in a time of renewal and continuing struggle. The exhibition included prototype artworks by twenty leading contemporary artists, joined by adjacent learning labs, across the five foundational central squares of the city, five neighborhood parks, and a handful of satellite locations in museums, civic institutions, and the borderlands of public and private spaces. This book is a compendium of the exhibition and a critical reflection of the proceedings, including contributions from interlocutors and collaborators.


Public Art & History Books

Editor/Historical Advisor
Stephanie Syjuco: American Rubble (Micromonuments) – Stephanie Syjuco, Paul M. Farber, Susanne Slavick, Joshua Clover, Salamishah Tillet, and Camilo Vergara (Haverford College Hurford Humanities Center, 2016)

Essay: Reading Rubble

The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall – Paul M. Farber, Hope Harrison, and Jonathan Borofsky (Haverford College Cantor Fitzgerland Gallery, 2015)

Essay: Crossing Over

Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia – Paul M. Farber, Ken Lum, A. Will Brown (Penn Institute for Urban Research, 2015)

Essay: The Time is Now: Proposing Monuments for Philadelphia

Made in Germany (New Critical Edition with Re-Made: Reading Leonard Freed) – Leonard Freed, Florian Ebner, and Paul M. Farber (Steidl Verlag, 2013)

Essay: "Open Door: Leonard Freed in Germany

• This Is the Day: The March on Washington – Leonard Freed, Julian Bond, Michael Eric Dyson, and Paul M. Farber (Getty Publications, 2013)

 Afterword: "In Leonard Freed's Footsteps"

• Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990 – Nathan Benn, Richard Buckley, and Paul M. Farber (powerHouse Books, 2013)

Essay: "The Unintentional Archive"

• Criticism, Special Issue: The Wire (Co-Edited with Robert LeVertis Bell) – Frederic Jameson, Paul Allen Anderson, Mark Anthony Neal, Adrienne Brown, James Braxton Peterson, Chris Love, Hua Hsu, and Leigh Claire La Berge (Criticism, 2011)

Editors' Preface
Essay: "The Last Rites of D'Angelo Barksdale: The Life and Afterlife of Photography in The Wire"


Selected Essays

• "Reflecting Forward: Jamel Shabazz and Historical Time" in Jamel Shabazz, Pieces of a Man: Photographs 1980-2015 (ArtVoices, 2016)

• “The Future of Monumentality: Monument Lab as Public History and Social Practice" in Art & the Public Sphere (Special Issue: Ethics and Social Practice) (2016)

• “Requiems, Reports, Resurrections: Archives and the Alchemy of Historical Inquiry” (Co-Written with Tayana Hardin and Grace Sanders Johnson) in Reconstruction (Special Issue: Archives on Fire) (2016)

“Queering the U.S. and the World: A Roundtable” (Co-Written with Mark Bradley, Laura Belmonte, Julio Capo, Shanon Fitzpatrick, Melani McAlister, David L. Minto, Michael Sherry, Naoko Shibusawa, and Penny Von Eschen) in Diplomatic History, 2016

• "On Exile: Tajiri's America" in Shinkichi Tajiri: Universal Paradoxes (Leiden University Press, 2015)

• "'I Cross Her Borders at Midnight': Audre Lorde's Berlin Revisions" in Audre Lorde's Transnational Legacies (University of Massachusetts Press, 2015)

• "I Have a Meme: Photography, Memory, and Digital Commemorations" in In Media Res: Race, Identity & Pop Culture in the 21st Century (Bucknell University Press, 2014)

"Exhibit Review, National Museum of Crime & Punishment" in Museums & Social Issues (Special Issue: Rethinking Incarceration, 2012)


Opinion/Editorial

• "Public Art in an Age of Urban Renewal" in PlanPhilly (March 2016)

• "What Cities Can Learn From Refugees Resettled at a Former Cold War Airport" in Next City (November 2015)

• "Die-Ins Demand We Bear Witness" in the Guardian (December 2014)