Carmen Merport

Carmen Merport is a PhD candidate and a Senior Fellow of the Chicago Center for Teaching. She was also a Mellon Foundation Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago in 2016-2017. Carmen received her BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010. Her fields of study include twentieth-century American literature and visual culture, affect theory, contemporary art history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Her dissertation, “Ripped from the Pages of Life: Sensation, Banality, and the Politics of Representation in Postwar American Art" examines the political implications of the work of Andy Warhol, James Baldwin, ASCO, and General Idea in the context of the photojournalistic aesthetics developed by American mass-circulation picture magazines in the twentieth century.

Research Interests: 

20th-Century American Literature; Aesthetic Theory; Literature and Visual Art


American Cultures, 20th/21st Century 


  • “Reading Color: Looking Through Language in Warhol,” forthcoming in Criticism.
  • “(Re)pose/(Death)mask: The Visual Language of the Photographic Portrait,” There was a whole collection made: Photography from Lester and Betty Guttman, exhibition catalogue for the Smart Museum, University of Chicago.

Teaching Experience

  • Lecturer for “Queer Arts After Stonewall” (co-taught with Lauren Berlant) (2015), “Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality" (co-taught with David Simon) (Spring 2018)
  • Course Assistant for “Shakespeare II” (2014), “Introduction to Fiction” (2015), “Contemporary Graphic Narratives (2015),” "The Nuclear Age" (2017)