UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

People / Faculty

Permanent Faculty

Damon Young

Associate Professor of French and Film & Media

film theory; digital media; global art cinema (with a focus on French and francophone); gender and sexuality studies; critical theory


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Damon Young is co-appointed with the department of French and is affiliated faculty in the Program in Critical Theory, the Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. He teaches courses on digital media and film theory; global art cinema; and sexuality and queer studies. His first book, Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies, appeared in the Theory Q series at Duke in 2018. It explores how fears and fantasies about women’s and queer sexualities—as figures for social emancipation or social collapse–shaped French and US cinema since the mid-1950s. It also considers the way cinema produces a new model of the private self as it challenges the novel’s dominance in the twentieth century.

That latter idea is the basis for his current book project, "After the Private Self," which explores the media and technological grounds of the moden and postmodern self, from Rousseau's Confessions to the networked subjectivities of online media. 

Recent publications include:

"Ironies of Web 2.0" (in "How to Be Now," a special issue of Post-45, edited by Sarah Chihaya, Joshua Kotin, and Kinohi Nishikawa);

"A Man with a Mother: Tarnation and the Subject of Confession," forthcoming in I Confess: Constructing the Sexual Self in the Internet Age, eds. Thomas Waugh & Brandon Arroyo;

"Teorema's Death Drive," forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Queer Cinema, eds. Amy Villarejo & Ronald Gregg ;

"Gag the Fag, or Tops and Bottoms, Persons and Things," in Porn Studies 4.2 (2017);

"Queer Love," in Gender: Love, ed. Jennifer Nash, Macmillan 2017

Visage/Con: Catherine Breillat and the Antinomies of Sex” (in Qui Parle 24.2, 2016);

"The Vicarious Look, or Andy Warhol's Apparatus Theory" (in Film Criticism 39.2, 2015);

The Cultural Logic of Contemporary Capitalism, a special issue of Social Text (June 2016), co-edited with Nico Baumbach and Genevieve Yue.

Before joining the Berkeley faculty, Damon Young was assistant professor and postdoctoral scholar in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan. Other honors include the ACLA Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Prize, for Making Sex Public; a DAAD fellowship (2010-11), the Norman Jacobson Memorial Teaching Award (2012) and the UC President's Society of Fellows, as well as the University of Sydney Medal. With Ramzi Fawaz, he is co-founder of the group "Sexual Politics, Sexual Poetics" (queerandnow.tumblr.com/mission). 

Read an interview in Film Quarterly here


Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies