Director of Graduate Studies for the Committee on Social Thought, Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, Art History, and in the College

Office: Foster 317
Phone: (773) 702-8410


Andrei Pop (B.A. Stanford, Ph.D. Harvard, Art History) has published a book entitled Antiquity, Theatre, and the Painting of Henry Fuseli (Oxford, 2015) on the romantic painter and writer Henry Fuseli, a translation of Karl Rosenkranz’s 1853 Aesthetics of Ugliness, and an edited volume on the history and theory of ugliness. His second monograph, A Forest of Symbols, concerns pictures as logical objects linking fantasy and fiction to activities like formulating and testing hypotheses, particularly during the late nineteenth century revolt against empiricism in art and mathematics. The symbol, understood both sensuously and conceptually, proved a focal point for investigating how the means of representation make possible a shared world of reasons and, what is more difficult, experiences. In the same vein, Pop is interested in the relation of art and science, in dramatic and narrative art (particularly in the classical tradition), and in how modernity deals with the past. These interests intersect with others in the logic of fiction, art historiography, cartoons, comics and caricatures, popular music and science fiction, beauty and ugliness. In short, Pop studies various aspects of the nature of art and what role it plays in the good life and the bad. 

Selected Publications


 A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century (Zone Books, 2019).

Antiquity, Theatre, and the Painting of Henry Fuseli (Oxford, 2015).

Articles and Essays

"Cubic Form: Carl Einstein's Realist Definition of Sculpture", Philosophy of Sculpture (2019).

"Ennemies de l'Absolu? Mirbeau, Rodin, et Le Jardin des supplices", Cahiers Octave Mirbeau (2019).

"Goya and the Paradox of Tolerance", Critical Inquiry (2018).

“Enlightenment Sexual Anthropology: Three Writers and a Caricaturist,” Enlightenment Liberties (2018).

"Die Objektivität des Erhabenen", Ästhetische Kategorien (2017).

"Classicism and Mystery", Classicisms, Exh. Cat. Smart Museum (2017).

"Of Monsters and Machines: Picturing Psychic Complexity", Retour des Ténèbres, Exh. Cat. Musée Rath, Geneva (2016).

"Sculpture and Illusion", Sculpture on the Move, Exh. Cat. Kunstmuseum Basel (2016).

"Why the Vienna School Still Haunts Art History", Oxford Art Journal (2015).

Antiquity, Theatre, and the Painting of Henry Fuseli (2015). 

Karl Rosenkranz, The Aesthetics of Ugliness [1853] (2015), translated and ed. with Mechtild Widrich.

Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (2014), ed. with Mechtild Widrich.

“Iconology and the Logic of Belief: a Case Study of Anselm’s Chapel, Canterbury,” IKON 7 (2014).

“Masks, Modernity, Egoism: Theatrical Practice in James Ensor and Maurice Maeterlinck,” The Art of Theatre: Word, Image, and Performance in France and Belgium, c.1830-1910 (2013).

“Henry Fuseli: Greek Tragedy and Cultural Pluralism,” Art Bulletin Vol.94, No.1 (2012).

“Das Einleuchtende am Bild: der andauernde Wert von Wittgensteins früher Bildtheorie,” Kategorien zwischen Denkform, Analysenwerkzeug und historischem Diskurs (2012).

“Sympathetic Spectators: Henry Fuseli’s Nightmare and Emma Hamilton’s Attitudes,” Art History, Vol.34, No.5 (2011).

How to do Things with Pictures: A Guide to Writing in Art History (2008).


Can We Be Sure of God's Existence? Anselm's Proslogion

Poe's Tales of the Arabesque and the Grotesque

Winckelmann: Enlightenment Art Historian and Philosopher

Goya and Manet

Frege's Foundations of Arithmetic as Philosophy and Literature

Beauty and Ugliness 

Symbolism between Universality and Solipsism

Sculpture: Thing or Artificial Life?

Perspective as a Challenge to Art History

Rethinking the Social History of Art 

The History of Art History

Art as Theatre, 1700-1900

Painting: A Paradigmatic Art

Henry Fuseli, Romantic Revolutionary

Garrick and Greek Tragedy

Classicism between Reflection and Revolution

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