For a current-ish full CV, click here.

Education

Ph.D., Sociology. Title: Art Work? Tradition, Rationalization, and the Valuation of Contemporary Artistic Practice. Supervisor: Julia Adams. Committee: Frederick Wherry, Amy Wrzesniewski, Rene Almeling. Degree awarded December 13, 2014
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. “Black Hole Suns: Binarism and Gravity in Cultural Fields.” Culture Unbound. Forthcoming (in press).

Gerber, Alison. “The Smell of Others: Olfactory claims and the public sphere.” The Senses and Society. Forthcoming (accepted).

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. Review of Gary Alan Fine, Talking Art: The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education. Contemporary Sociology. Forthcoming (in press).

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.

Teaching

2017-present: Lund University, Sweden. 682 hours. Teaching in the Department of Sociology and the Graduate School. Development of a new course on qualitative analysis for the Graduate School. Supervision of BA student theses. Courses include Preconditions for Planning- Introduction to Sociology, Qualitative Analysis and Coding, Social Psychology, The Sociology of Human Development, Managing Sustainability, and Society and Collective Behaviour

2015-2017: Uppsala University, Sweden. 856 hours. Teaching in the Departments of Sociology, Social and Economic Geography, and Business Studies. Development of a new course in the analysis of social and economic organization for a new interdisciplinary MA program. Supervision of BA and MA students, outside reader for PhD theses (Su-Hyun Berg, Chiara Valli). Courses include Introduction to the Social Analysis of Economic Life, Method and Analysis, Master’s Thesis Course in Cultural Geography, Marketing and Organizations, and Economic Geography

2010-2014: Yale University, USA. Teaching fellow in the Department of Sociology. 736 hours. Courses include Foundations of Modern Theory, Sex and Gender in Society, Health of the Public, The Evolution of Beauty, and The Arts and Popular Culture

10/30: I obviously think you should probably read Gary Alan Fine’s Talking Art: The Culture of Practice and the Practice of Culture in MFA Education. If you want to know why, and where I think we should go from here, check out my review of the book over at Contemporary Sociology.

10/16: As has become our custom, the brilliant Anna Lund & I are organizing the panels for the working group on cultural sociology for Sociologidagarna (the Swedish Sociological Association’s biennial conference). Hit me up w/ questions, send us an abstract, + see you in March… Visit the Sociologidagarna website for more information.

The working group for cultural sociology welcomes submissions that focus on the cultural dimensions of social life with diverse points of departure: both cultural perspectives on the social in general and sociological perspectives on cultural objects and institutions. Papers might focus on cultural sociology in practice – diverse empirical investigations – as well as theoretical and methodological issues. We look forward to diverse perspectives and generative conversations when we meet at this year’s Sociologidagarna.

Fokus för arbetsgruppen i kultursociologi är det sociala livets kulturella dimensioner, såväl avseende kulturella perspektiv på sociala fenomen som sociologiska perspektiv på kulturella objekt och institutioner. Inom ramen för denna breda kultursociologi välkomnas papers med olika ingångar. Det kan handla om kultursociologi i praktiken, dvs empiriska undersökningar inom olika fält, men även teoretiska och metodologiska papers. Vi ser fram emot flera givande och mångdimensionella diskussioner under de kommande Sociologidagarna (språk: engelska).

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-