Johnathan David Katz



Jonathan David Katz (born 1958) is an American activist, art historian, educator and writer. He is currently the director of the doctoral program in Visual culture studies at State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also the former executive coordinator of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale University. He is a former chair of the Department of Lesbian and Gay studies at the City College of San Francisco, and was the first tenured faculty in gay and lesbian studies in the United States. Katz was an associate professor in the Art History Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he also taught queer studies. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1996.

Katz is the founder of the Harvey Milk Institute, the largest queer studies institute in the world, and the Queer Caucus for Art of the College Art Association.

Katz co-founded Queer Nation San Francisco. He has made scholarly contributions to queer studies the focus of his professional career. He was the first artistic director of the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco and has published widely in the United States and Europe.

His forthcoming book, The Homosexualization of American Art: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and the Collective Closet, will be published by the University of Chicago Press. An internationally recognized expert in queer postwar American art, Katz has recently published "Jasper Johns' Alley Oop: On Comic Strips and Camouflage" in Schwule Bildwelten im 20. Jahrhundert, edited by Thomas Roeske, and "The Silent Camp: Queer Resistance and the Rise of Pop Art," in Plop! Goes the World, edited by Serge Guilbaut.  In 1995, Katz was kicked out of Rauschenberg conference at the Guggenheim for mentioning Rauschenberg's relationship with Johns.

Katz was co-curator with David C. Ward and Jenn Sichel of the exhibition "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" at the National Portrait Gallery, the first major museum exploration of the impact of same-sex desire in the creation of modern American portraiture. David Wojnarowicz's video "A Fire in My Belly" was removed from the exhibition on November 30, 2010, causing controversy. Katz was not consulted before the work's removal.