Diane O’Donoghue is the Director of the Program for Public Humanities and Senior Fellow for the Humanities at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. She is also Visiting Professor of Public Humanities at Brown University's John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and a scholar member and faculty of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, where she is Chair of their new Division of Interdisciplinary Studies. An art historian, she has chaired the Department of Visual and Critical Studies (now Visual and Material Culture) at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, and since joining Tisch College in 2015 her scholarship and public-facing projects frequently intersect. Her specialization in the visual culture and archaeology of early China helped facilitate a bilingual, archival exhibition ("These Words") in Boston’s Chinese neighborhood, and an interest in connections between archaeology and psychoanalysis brought her to Vienna, where she became involved in descendant advocacy for Nazi-era restitution of a large Jewish cemetery. This latter work in turn inspired aspects of her recent book, On Dangerous Ground: Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious, winner of the 2019 Robert S. Liebert Award from Columbia University; previous writings have received the Loewenberg, Deutsch, and Silberger Prizes. Her scholarship now extends to contested sites of memorialization, constructions of public memory and amnesias, and forensic ethics. For an essay that relates these issues to the COVID-19 pandemic, refer here.
Professor O’Donoghue and her colleague, Bridget Conley, of the World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School at Tufts organized a series of five panels during the 2020-2021 academic year. These presentations introduced twelve speakers who addressed, from various perspectives, ethical issues concerning human remains. Recordings of all the panels are available on the project’s site.
In the current academic year (2021-2022), with funding from the Tisch College Community Research Center, the Program for Public Humanities will develop and install a new bilingual exhibition—"Endurance Streets (耐力街道): Resilience and Response in Boston’s Chinese Community”—in partnership with the Chinese Historical Society of New England.
"Amnesias of a Freudian Kind." American Imago: Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences, 78, no.1 (Spring 2021): 55-77.
“What Readers Matter? Challenging the Disappearance of the Branch Library in Boston’s Chinese Neighborhood.” In Doing Public Humanities, edited by Susan Smulyan. New York: Routledge, 2020.
On Dangerous Ground: Freud’s Visual Cultures of the Unconscious. New York; London: Bloomsbury, 2019.
“Sigismund’s Wolves.” American Imago, 76, no.4 (Winter 2019): 553-567.
“Image, Loss, Delay.” In Grief and Its Transcendence: Memory, Identity, Creativity, edited by Adele Tutter and Léon Wurmser. New York; London: Routledge, 2016, 88-94.
“Liquiphophia und der Schauplatz der Psychoanalyze.” In Verflüssigungen: Ästhetische und semantische Dimensionen eines Topos, edited by Kassandra Nakas. Berlin; Munich: Wilhelm Fink. 2015, 45-56.