For a current-ish full CV, click here.


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


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



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.

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

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

8/20: Like books, speak Swedish? I’ll be at Bokmässan talking about my new book with Evelina Stenbeck on Friday September 28th – see you there!

6/8: To close out our year at the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies we (the Advanced Study Group on The Roles of Photography in Academic Research and Communication) held a two-day workshop on cartography, collaboration, and data: the year behind us and the years ahead. Thanks especially to all our guests and to Bull.Miletic for our public program, The Aerial View in Motion.

5/31: Good news! We’ve been awarded 450,000 crowns in funding from the Crafoord Foundation to support our work in the Rädda Bildarvet (aka Rädda Bildminnet) project. It’s a collaboration between the sociology department at Lund University and Landskrona Foto, and we’re focused on photographs as data + practice across disciplines, the development of new search + discovery tools for digitized images, and the value + valuation of photographic cultural heritage. Thanks much to Crafoordska!

5/29: A new network at Lund University for research on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning just launched, and I’ve been really impressed at the level to which the social sciences and humanities are represented in the network and how central their voices are, along with the math and computer science folks you’d expect. There’s a proto-website where you can find out more, and if you’re interested you should definitely put a “save the date” in your calendar for the next fika-to-fika all-day meetings on September 26 and November 22.

4/27: Clayton and I wrote up a summary of our American Behavioral Scientist article (preprint available here) for the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) DataBrief; you can read our overview here. I also gave a talk to the SNAAP+ Leadership Forum yesterday, which is a pretty great group of art school folks from all over the country; I think it was recorded, and I’ll link to it once I can. Thanks much to SNAAP for letting us peek into their data, and especially to Associate Research Director Alex Frenette for helping us with the numbers and for his kind welcome last night.

3/22: There’s a thoughtful review of my new book in the Culture Section’s winter newsletter. Thanks to Whitney Johnson for taking the time to read and write about my work!

3/19: Was happy to present preliminary work on the Rädda Bildminnet project and plans for the future together with Landskrona Foto at a seminar on photographic preservation and access as part of the National Archives’ 400th birthday tour. Very roughly, our work includes a couple of interconnected projects, including the development of new digital search and discovery tools for digitized images and an investigation of photography as data and practice across disciplines in academic research. Get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more about what we’re doing or working with us!