Todd Cronan

Todd Cronan

Associate Professor

Office: M27 Carlos Hall
Phone: 404-727-0513

Mailing Address:

Art History Department
Emory University
M27 Carlos Hall
Atlanta, GA 30322

Curriculum Vitae


Todd Cronan (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2005)

Research Interests

Mid-Century Modern Los Angeles; European Art between 1880 and 1950; Matisse & Picasso; the international avant-garde between 1914 and 1923; philosophical and theoretical problems around intention, chance, affect, form and skepticism.

Selected Publications


Against Affective Formalism: Matisse, Bergson, Modernism (Spring 2014)

  • Interview: Todd Cronan by Jeremy Gilbert-RolfeBOMB Magazine (May 5, 2015)
  • Tank Forum with responses by Harry Cooper, Lisa Florman, Karla Oeler, Blake Stimson, Michael W. Clune, (Summer 2015)
  • Review in Art History by Charlotte de Mille
  • Review in Art Journal by Matthew Jackson and Our Literal Speed
  • Review in Theory & Event by Michelle Menzies
  • Review in the Los Angeles Review of Books by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe
  • Review in The Journal of European Studies by Robert Lethbridge
  • Review in The Burlington Magazine by Lee Hallmann
  • Review in sehepunkte 17 (2017), 2 by Hanni Geiger
  • Review in affectsphere, May 12, 2016 by Brooke Clark
  • Discussion in Pop Theory, "Affect theory and its disaffections," Jan. 2, 2018 by Clive Barnett


“More Neoliberal Aesthetics: Pamela M. Lee's September 11, 1973” (with Charles Palermo), 23 (Winter 2018)

"Class into Race: Brecht and the Problem of State Capitalism," Critical Inquiry 44, no. 1 (Autumn 2017): 54-79. (Click here for PDF)

"Between Culture and Biology: Schindler and Neutra at the Limits of Architecture," Émigré Cultures in Design and Architecture, eds. Alison Clarke and Elana Shapira (Bloomsbury, 2017).

"Rodchenko's Photographic Communism," Photography and Failure: One Medium's Entanglement with Flops, Underdogs and Disappointments, ed. Kris Belden-Adams (Bloomsbury, 2017).

"Why Architecture Matters as Art as Never Before: Le Corbusier, Tony Smith and the Problem of Use," 21 (Summer 2017)

"Orthodoxy" (with Charles Palermo), World Picture 12 (2017)

"Does the Left Need Spinoza?," Politics, Religion & Ideology 17:1 (Jan. 2016): 90-92. Reply to Knox Peden.

Killing "Max Ernst" in Nothing but the Clouds Unchanged: Artists in World War I (Getty Research Institute, 2014)

Response to Kaja Silverman's The Miracle of Analogy, (Spring 2014)

"The Political Ontology of Unemployment: Why No One Need Apply" 10 (Fall 2013)

"'Seeing Differently' and 'Seeing Correctly': Bertolt Brecht For and Against Abstraction," Brecht Yearbook, vol. 37, ed. Theodore Rippey (Dec. 2013): 96-120

"Art and Political Consequence: Brecht and the Problem of Affect," Special issue on Bertolt Brecht, 10 (Fall 2013)

"On Previsualization," co-written with James Welling, in See the Light: Photography, Perception, Cognition, ed. Britt Salvesen (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2013)

  • Review by Diarmuid Costello in Critical Inquiry

"Photography & Chance," entry, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, new edition, Oxford UP, 2014

"Paul Valéry," entry, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, new edition, Oxford UP, 2014

"'Danger in the Smallest Dose': Richard Neutra's Design Theory," Design and Culture, 3:2 (July 2011): 165-191

"Money is in the Eye of the Beholder," editorial, (Summer 2011)

"Paul Valéry's Blood Meridian, Or How the Reader became a Writer," 1 (February 2011)

"Merleau-Ponty, Santayana and the Paradoxes of Animal Faith," British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18:3 (2010): 487-506

"Georg Simmel's Timeless Impressionism," New German Critique 106 (2009): 83-101

"'Primordial Automatism': George Santayana's Later Aesthetics," Overheard in Seville 25 (2007): 20-27

"Looking Into Surfaces," in David D. Kim (ed.), Georg Simmel in Translation, (Cambridge Scholars Press,2006), 229-261

Translation and Introduction to Max Horkheimer, "Schopenhauer and Society," qui parle 15:1 (2004): 81-96


"Wölfflin and the Promise of Anonymity," review of Principles of Art History: The Problem of the Development of Style in Early Modern Art, 100th Anniversary edition, CAA Reviews (May 11, 2018). 

One Way Cul-de-Sac: Benjamin Buchloh's Art History,” review of Formalism and Historicity, Art History 41:2 (April 2018): 392-94.

Architects in the Hands of an Angry God: Charles and Ray Eames on Things,” Los Angeles Review of Books (May 25, 2016)

"Operation Adorno," review of The Challenge of Surrealism The Correspondence of Theodor W. Adorno and Elisabeth LenkRadical Philosophy 194 (Nov/Dec 2015): 50-52.

“War and Commas,” review of Hanns Eisler in Conversation with Hans Bunge, Brecht, Music and Culture, Radical Philosophy 189 (Jan./Feb. 2015): 52-55.

"The Meaning of Pain: Paul Scheerbart's Lesabéndio," Radical Philosophy 185 (May/June 2014): 64-65

"Photography at the End of Modernism," review of Aperture Magazine Anthology-The Minor White Years, 1952-1976, History of Photography (spring 2014): 204-206.

"Neoliberal Art History," review of David Joselit, After Art. Radical Philosophy 180 (July/Aug. 2013): 50-53

"Literally Conceptual," review of Lisa Siraganian, Modernism's Other Work. Radical Philosophy 177 (Jan./Feb. 2013): 51-54

"The Theater of Censored Poverty," Responses and reply to Cronan, "You are all proletarians," (Fall 2012)

"You are all proletarians," Review of Adorno and Horkheimer, Towards a New Manifesto, Radical Philosophy 174 (July/August 2012), pp. 31-33

"Radically Private and Pretty Uncoded," Review of Affect Theory ReaderRadical Philosophy 172 (March/April 2012), pp. 51-53

"Mysterious Exchange: On Susan Sidlauskas's Cézanne's Other: The Portraits of Hortense," 1 (February 2011)

Review Essay of Michael Fried's Menzel's Realism: Art and Embodiment in 19th Century Berlin, Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte 4 (2006): 578-92

Clement Greenberg's Late Writings, qui parle 14:2 (2004): 205-12

"Shaken Realism," Review Essay of Michael Fried, Menzel's Realism, qui parle 14:1 (2003): 123-58


Minor White at The Portland Art Museum

Schindler and Neutra at The University of Applied Arts, Vienna as digital publisher, NYU

Photographic Seeing (with Simon Critchley), Parsons

Current Projects

Contributing Editor to

Translation (with Bridget Alsdorf) of Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe's "Ecrits sur l'art" (forthcoming from Fordham University Press)

Todd Cronan is the author of Against Affective Formalism: Matisse, Bergson, Modernism (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2014) and articles on photographic "previsualization," orthodoxy, Brecht, Adorno, Merleau-Ponty, Santayana, Simmel, Valéry, Max Ernst, Rodchenko, Minor White, Le Corbusier, R.M. Schindler, Richard Neutra and the Eameses. He recently drafted a book on art and politics between the Wars—Between Affect and Alienation: Rodchenko/Eisenstein/Brecht—and is finishing up a study of The Meaning of California Modern on the mid-century architecture of Schindler, Neutra, Raphael Soriano and the Eameses. He is in the early stages of a book (co-written with Charles Palermo) on the films of Billy Wilder and a catalog essay on Vincent Van Gogh. Certain basic theoretical issues are focusing elements in his work including the nature of intentionality, meaning, chance, and autonomy. He is also a founder and editor-in-chief of He advises topics on all aspects of the European avant-garde (painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and film) as well as North American painting, photography and architecture.