Kaja Silverman (born September 16, 1947)[1] is an American art historian and critical theorist. She is currently the Katherine and Keith L. Sachs Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in English from Brown University. Thereafter, she taught at Yale University, Trinity College, Simon Fraser University, Brown University, the University of Rochester and for many years was the Class of 1940 Professor in the Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship[2] in 2008, and is currently the holder of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award.[3]



Her writing and teaching at the moment are focused primarily on photography, contemporary art, and painting.[4] She is currently writing the second volume, A Three-Personed Picture: or the History of Photography Part 2, of a three part revisionary history and theory of photography. The first volume, Miracle of Analogy, was published in 2015.

Silverman has written extensively on a wide range of figures including artists: Jean-Luc Godard, Gerhard Richter, Marcel Proust, Ranier Maria Rilke, Terrence Malick, James Coleman, Jeff Wall, Chantal Akerman, John Dugdale (photographer), and thinkers: Jacques Lacan, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Lou Andreas-Salomé.

Silverman co-wrote Speaking About Godard with the German artist and filmmaker Harun Farocki, her life partner from 1992-1999.

George Baker of UCLA says of Flesh of My Flesh: "This is an extraordinary book: Silverman's magnum opus. In some respects it is sui generis, and yet its stakes are so high they could almost be called universal. In my opinion, this is the kind of book that one comes across only a few times in one's life. It is that important."


  • The Subject of Semiotics (Oxford University Press, 1983)
  • The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema (Indiana University Press, 1988)
  • Male Subjectivity at the Margins (Routledge Press, 1992)
  • The Threshold of the Visible World (Routledge Press, 1996)
  • Speaking About Godard (New York University Press, 1998; with Harun Farocki)
  • World Spectators (Stanford University Press, 2000)[5]
  • James Coleman (Munich: Hatje Cantz, 2002; ed. Susanne Gaensheimer)
  • Flesh of My Flesh (Stanford University Press, 2009)[6]
  • The Miracle of Analogy: or The History of Photography, Part 1 (Stanford University Press, 2015)[7]


  1. ^ Birthdate is sourced through Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF).
  2. ^ "Kaja Silverman". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04.
  3. ^ "UPenn Press Release".
  4. ^ "Kaja Silverman Penn faculty webpage".
  5. ^ World Spectators - Kaja Silverman
  6. ^ Flesh of My Flesh - Kaja Silverman
  7. ^ The Miracle of Analogy - Kaja Silverman

External linksEdit