American Studies

Doug Schowengerdt - Queer Art and American Cultural History

After graduating with honors in American Studies and a minor in Art History, Doug quickly began making work influenced from the concepts explored in their research and writing. Currently, Doug works as a cultural correspondent for the brand consultancy agency, the projects*, and lives in Berlin, Germany while pursuing a Master’s in American Studies (Amerikanistik) from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Area of Concentration Courses

African American Studies 111 - Race, Class, and Gender in the United States
LGBT 146 - Cultural Representations of Sexuality
Gender and Women's Studies 126 - Film, Feminism, and the Avant-Garde
History of Art 186C - Art in the Later 20th Century
History of Art 192H: Seminar:: Modern/Contemporary Art
History of Art 192T - Seminar: Evolutionary Aesthetics and the History of Art


The Authenticity of the Faux: A Queer Sensibility to Art Making

Doug’s honors thesis explores the associations between queerness and artificiality through analysis of several contemporary artworks made by queer Americans, connecting them with the historical treatment of queer people in modern U.S. and Western culture. Artificiality is a perceivable quality in art which relates to the artist’s conceptual engagement with their respective subject matter, artistic medium, or material. Therefore, Doug argues, artificiality relates to many kinds of art production across disciplines, industries, and identities. The concept of artificiality serves as an example of a queer artistic sensibility, meaning a manner of producing, perceiving, or engaging with art which signifies or favors queerness. While not comprehensive for all queer artists, artificiality proposes a theory of interpreting art unrestricted by style or material which links many forms of queer artistic production beyond mere subject matter or identity.

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