For a current-ish full CV, click here.

Education

2014 Ph.D., Sociology, Yale University
2011 M.Phil., Sociology, Yale University
2010 M.A., Sociology, Yale University
2005 Critical Studies, Malmö Art Academy, Lund University
2002 B.F.A., Studio Art, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
1999 B.A., Psychology, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Employment

2017- Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, Lund University, Sweden
2015-17 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala
University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publications

Book

Gerber, Alison. 2017. The Work of Art: Value in Creative Careers. Stanford University Press.

Refereed articles

Gerber, Alison and Clayton Childress. 2017. “The Economic World Obverse: Freedom Through Markets After Arts Education.” American Behavioral Scientist 61(12): 1532–1554.

Gerber, Alison and Clayton Childress. 2017. “I Don’t Make Objects, I Make Projects: Selling Things and Selling Selves in Contemporary Artmaking.” Cultural Sociology 11(2):234-254.

Childress, Clayton and Alison Gerber. “What’s a Creative Writing MFA For? The Uses of a ‘Useless’ Credential in the U.S. Literary Field”. Professions and Professionalism 5(2).

Klett, Joseph, and Alison Gerber. 2014. “The Meaning of Indeterminacy: Noise Music as Performance.” Cultural Sociology 8(3):275-290. *Nominated for the Sage Prize for Innovation and Excellence

Other publications

Gerber, Alison. 2017. “Newspaper Refuses To Give An Artist Credit For Her Work.” Hyperallergic.

Gerber, Alison. 2015. Review of Pierre-Michel Menger, The Economics of Creativity: Art and Achievement Under Uncertainty. Organization Studies 36(8):1115-1117.

Gerber, Alison. 2014. “The Audit of Venus.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 58(1).

Gerber, Alison. 2014. “Bad Art Is Good For Us All.” The Enemy 1(3).

Gerber, Alison. 2014. “Archiving Exchange, Mapping Value.” Art Practical 5(4).

Gerber, Alison. 2014. “The Tax Collectors vs. the Artists.” Minneapolis Star Tribune April 3, A13.

Gerber, Alison and Matthias Revers. “The Library of Affecting Social Science.” Contexts 11(1):76-77.

Gerber, Alison. 2011. “Real, Not-Real.” Pp. 66-71 in Private Investigations: Paths of Critical Knowledge Production in Contemporary Art. Büchs’n’Books, Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, ed. Andrei Siclodi

Gerber, Alison. 2006. “Objects and Facts.” Pp. 58-59 in Cabinet of Curiosities: A Meditation on the University in an Installation by Mark Dion. University of Minnesota Press, ed. Colleen Sheehy.

8/10: I’ve updated some old working papers and uploaded two new ones over at SocArXiv, everyone’s favorite preprint / working paper / postprint / open science platform. I’ve received great feedback on papers I’ve posted there, it’s super easy and fast, and making your work as open as possible is the right thing to do. Check out SocArXiv (or your own field’s nonprofit open access repository) and get postin’.

8/5: In the coming month or so I’ll be at ASA and 4S presenting on new work. Holler if you’d like to meet up, and I’ll see you soon-

4/11: We’ve had our first Kvällssamtal at Landskrona Foto and four more lie ahead – a series of conversations prompted by themes from the Bourdieu exhibition. I’ll moderate one; they’ll all be great. Obs, these are all in Swedish. We’ll produce a podcast with excerpts from these conversations in collaboration with Radio AF in Lund, but you don’t wanna wait till those come out – see you in Landskrona!

Krig och social omvandling 11/4
Socialt arv och ungdomars kulturengagemang 25/4
Eliterna 2/5
Kvinnor, fotografi och arkivet 9/5
En skola i kris? 15/5

[pictured above: Anna Hedlund (researcher in social anthropology at Lund University) in conversation with Claes JB Löfgren (journalist at Sveriges Television) with moderator Håkan Silverup (doctoral candidate in sociology at Lund University)]

4/9: Richard Barlow’s installation Erebus at Landskrona Foto is finished and guys, it is gorgeous. Here’s what we wrote about it:

Temporary and fragile, Richard Barlow’s chalk drawings illuminate existential and environmental concerns in beautiful site-specific installations. Barlow’s wide-ranging work uses drawing, painting, and installation to investigate issues specific to the history and form of photography and its signification of documentary truth. In a new work for Landskrona Foto, Barlow will create a wall drawing based on his time at the Arctic Circle residency: collaging multiple photographs of the receding pack ice, he first produces apparently seamless documentary images, and then uses them to produce an intricately detailed large-scale chalk drawing. The ephemeral nature of the chalk drawings maps onto the fragility of the natural world; the drawing, like the ice, is threatened by the presence of its viewers, and will eventually disappear.

It’s worth a visit, I promise. See you in Landskrona-

3/8: Happy to see another thoughtful review of my book, this in the AJS by Elise Herrala. She reads the book, as I’d intended, as an inquiry into value in working life more generally, writing that The Work of Art offers insights beyond the art world into the valuation of labor for the nontraditionally employed” and calls the book “an important and much-needed contribution to the neglected question of how artist value their work and time.. a well-written account that paints a nuanced portrait of art as work and pushes forward sociological thinking about valuation, especially in nontraditional employment.” This academic book-writing process is a crazy one – reviews and citations start to come out over a year after the thing is printed – and I’m really grateful to Dr. Herrala for her thoughts and care, and for all who have taken the time to let me know what they think!

3/6: Lots going on here in southern Sweden, especially if you’re interested in photography and knowledge! Why not join us at our conference April 5-6 in Landskrona? Or join us for the opening of Pierre Bourdieu In Algeria: Testimonies of Uprooting at Landskrona Foto the evening of April 6? Or come by some of the five evening seminars we’ve organized? Like I said: lots going on. Hope to see you there!

1/20: Happy to see a kind review of my book by Hannah Wohl appearing in Contemporary Sociology this month! It’s a great overview of the argument chapter by chapter for those of you who might not want to read the whole thing ;). She calls the book “methodologically rigorous, theoretically insightful, and engagingly written” and says that I make a “strong contribution to the sociology of valuation.” Aw, shucks! They couldn’t have picked a better reviewer – Hannah’s own work on creativity is awesome, and I’m grateful for her close reading of my work. Check it out.

12/8: A couple of days from now I’ll be in Helsinki for a symposium on Creativity in Art and Science featuring some pretty amazing folks at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. It’s been put together by Ugo Corte with Susanna Lindberg, Matthias De Groof, & Kirsi Tirri and should be great. Register if you’re planning to come so they know how many snacks to pick up, and see you soon-

10/10: Tomorrow I’ll be in Copenhagen speaking at a conference on Visual Social Sciences and Digital Media Politics at the Center for Anthropological, Political, and Social Theory at the University of Copenhagen. Get in touch if you wanna talk related issues but can’t make it!

10/3: Hey friends. I’m involved in putting together a maybe conference maybe workshop it depends on what you wanna do, all about **Photography as / and knowledge.** I’m pasting the call below. Holler if you want to talk about possibilities. It will be good. Hope to see you there.

Photography as / and knowledge

Photographs are unusually rich objects of inquiry and media for communication. As photographs capture detail indiscriminately, they always contain far more than the photographer intends. Diverse perspectives approach photographs in different ways: they are fine art objects, historical records, and chemical traces all at once, conveying both concrete, stable evidence and possibilities for infinite interpretation. An interdisciplinary research environment has been developing around these issues in recent years at Lund University, with contributions from disciplines across the University as well as community partners.

With an opening April 4th, the Department of Sociology at Lund University in cooperation with Landskrona Foto will host the exhibition Pierre Bourdieu In Algeria: Testimonies of Uprooting. In connection to the exhibition the Department of Sociology will arrange a conference with the purpose of exploring photography as a base for knowledge.

The planned conference aims to build a strong Scandinavian research network around the photographic image, including multidisciplinary academic and artistic perspectives. The design of the conference will be based on participants’ contributions. We welcome proposals for paper presentations, workshops, and other activities for a two-day conference on the photographic image to take place April 5-6 2019 at Landskrona Foto in Landskrona, Sweden. Conference participation is free of charge, but participants will need to cover any necessary travel and accommodation expenses. If you are interested in joining us in April, please submit your idea for participation or an abstract (no more than one page) to Britt-Marie Johansson at

britt-marie.johansson@soc.lu.se

before November 5th 2018. Acceptances and a preliminary program will be available in November.