Kimberly Kay Lamm

Kimberly Kay Lamm

Associate Professor in the Program of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies

External address: 
112 East Duke Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90760, Durham, NC 27708-0760
(919) 684-9661


My research fields include contemporary feminist art, contemporary poetry, feminist theory, and 19th- and 20th-century US Literature. I recently completed Addressing the Other Woman: Textual Correspondences in Feminist Art and Writing (Manchester University Press), an interdisciplinary project that brings the work of artists (Adrian Piper, Nancy Spero, and Mary Kelly) and writers (Angela Davis, Valerie Solanas, and Laura Mulvey) together to argue that text and writing are crucial parts of women's art practices from the 1960s and 1970s.

I am currently working on a new book tentatively titled "Inheriting Letters of Exile." This project examines the artwork of Mona Hatoum, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Lorna Simpson produced in the 1980s and 1990s in relationship to the work of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and the reading practices she sets forth in "Can the Subaltern Speak?"

I have a long-standing research interest in the relations between contemporary poetry and feminist thought and am developing a book project that analyzes the work of five poets—Barbara Guest, Susan Howe, Ann Lauterbach, Rosemarie Waldrop, and Claudia Rankine—who have contributed substantially to the field of contemporary poetry and women’s place within it. This book, tentatively titled "A Sense of Arrangement" traces how these poets' engagement with the excesses of vision and sound aligns with current feminist scholarship on sound, affect, and sensation.

I am also interested in the place of clothing and fashion in African American cultural production. I recently published essays on the "soundsuits" of contemporary artist and choreographer Nick Cave; the attention to women's clothing in the documentary photography of Gordon Parks; and the "written garments" that appear in the fiction of Jessie Fauset. 

My research is drawn to the styles, objects, and practices that can be identified by through the term "femininity," which has led to my interest in girl cultures and fashion. I am a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program, and have published art criticism in The Brooklyn Rail, curated exhibitions of contemporary art (most notably, "Imaginary Arsenals" for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) and written catalog essays for a number of contemporary artists.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Washington 2007

Selected Grants

"Fabricating Truths: Sartorial Self Fashioning and the Legacies of Slavery" awarded by Cornell University (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2021

Lamm, K. “The poetics of black aesthetics.” Contemporary Literature, vol. 55, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2014, pp. 168–81. Scopus, doi:10.1353/cli.2014.0004. Full Text

Lamm, K. K. “Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture.” Cultural Critique, vol. 50, 2012, pp. 215–18.

Lamm, K. K. “On Barbara Guest.” Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, edited by Ed Foster, vol. 38, 39, 40, Oct. 2010, pp. 162–72.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of Alice Notley’s In the Pines.” Talisman: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, edited by Ed Foster, vol. 36–37, 2008, pp. 23–27.

Lamm, K. K. ““Ghosts of Kingdom Come.” Review Essay of Kate Meads’ Quizzing the Dead and Ingrid Wendt’s Blow the Candle Out.Cold Mountain Review, vol. 32, no. 2, Appalachian State, 2004.

Lamm, K. K. “Then and Now: Reading the Texts of Race.” College Literature, vol. 32, no. 4, 2002.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of Tim Dean’s Beyond Sexuality.” Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society., vol. 7, no. 1, 2002, pp. 150–54.

Lamm, K. K. “The Question of Race in the American Avant-Garde.” Contemporary Literature, vol. 50, pp. 831–39.

Lamm, K. K. “Gestures of Inclusion, Bodily Damage, and the Hauntings of Exploitation in Global Feminisms (2007).” Feminist Art History Now: Radical Critiques of Theory and Practice, edited by Lara Perry and Victoria Horne, I.B. Tauris, 2017.

Lamm, K. K. “The Midwife’s Clothing: Jessie Fauset In and Out of Fashion.” Crossings in Text and Textile, edited by K. Joslin and D. Wardrop, University of New Hampshire Press, 2015.

Lamm, K. K. “Girly Men Ballads: (Il)legible Identities in Charles Bernstein and Gertrude Stein.” The Salt Companion to Charles Bernstein, edited by William Allegrezza, Salt Publishing, 2013, pp. 57–84.

Lamm, K. K. “Fair Realism: The Aesthetics of Restraint in Barbara Guest’s Collaborations.” Collaborations in New York School Poetry: The Color of Vowels, edited by Mark Silverberg, Palgrave MacMillan, 2013, pp. 113–40.

Lamm, K. K. “Ceci N’est Pas Keith/ Ceci N’est Pas Rosmarie: Writing Another Language for Feminist Poetics.” Another Language: Contemporary American Poetic Experiment in a Changing World, edited by Kornelia Freitag and Katerina Vester, LIT Verlag, 2009, pp. 259–69.

Lamm, K. “Portraits of the past, imagined now: Reading the work of Carrie Mae Weems and Lorna Simpson.” Unmaking Race, Remaking Soul: Transformative Aesthetics and the Practice of Freedom, 2007, pp. 103–40.

Lamm, K. K. “Portraits of the Past, Imagined Now: Reading the Work of Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems.” (Un)Making Race, Re-Making Soul: Transformative Aesthetics and the Practice of Freedom, edited by Angela Cotton and Christa Acampora, SUNY Press, 2007.

Lamm, K. K. “All Together/Now: Writing the Space of Collectivities in the Poetry of Juliana Spahr.” American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics, Wesleyan University Press, 2007, pp. 133–56.

Lamm, K. K. “Portraiture.” Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography, edited by Lynne Warren, Routledge, 2006, pp. 1062–64.

Lamm, K. K. “Modernism.” Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography, edited by Lynne Warren, Routledge, 2006, pp. 1288–92.


Lamm, K. “‘I Want to Wear It’: Fashioning Black Feminism in Mahogany (1975).” Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 33, no. 98, Oct. 2018, pp. 428–46. Scopus, doi:10.1080/08164649.2019.1567257. Full Text

Lamm, Kimberly. The Tender Buttons of Avant-Garde Self-Assertion: Teaching Gertrude Stein's Feminism. Edited by Deborah Mix and Logan Esdale, Modern Language Association, Jan. 2018.

Lamm, K. ““The Will to Adorn”: Nick Cave’s Soundsuits and the Queer Reframing of Black Masculinity.” Critical Arts, vol. 31, no. 3, May 2017, pp. 35–52. Scopus, doi:10.1080/02560046.2017.1383494. Full Text

Lamm, K. “Between the open and the hidden: Clothing, segregation, and the feminine counter-archive in the photographs of Gordon Parks.” Critical Arts, vol. 29, Jan. 2015, pp. 134–49. Scopus, doi:10.1080/02560046.2015.1102266. Full Text

Lamm, K. “Texting girls: Images, sounds, and words in neoliberal cultures of femininity.” Women and Performance, vol. 25, no. 2, Jan. 2015, pp. 111–27. Scopus, doi:10.1080/0740770X.2015.1057016. Full Text

Lamm, K. “Modern spectacle and American feminism's disappointing daughters: Writing fantasy echoes in The Portrait of a Lady.” Feminist Theory, vol. 15, no. 2, Jan. 2014, pp. 179–96. Scopus, doi:10.1177/1464700114528771. Full Text

Lamm, K. K. “Out of the Garbage, the Collage of Me: Alice Notley's Culture of One.” Golden Handcuffs, vol. 1, no. 15, 2012.

Lamm, K. K. “Ready-Made Baroness: The Gendered Language of Dadaist Dress.” Jacket 2, July 2011.

Lamm, K. “A future for Isabel Archer: Jamesian Feminism, Leo Bersani, and aesthetic subjectivity.” Henry James Review, vol. 32, no. 3, Jan. 2011, pp. 249–58. Scopus, doi:10.1353/hjr.2011.0023. Full Text


Lamm, K. K. Review of Voyages. Nottingham University, Department of Culture, Film and Media and Institute for Screen Industries Research, Nov. 2001.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of "Picasso and the Allure of Language".” The Brooklyn Rail, Dec. 2010.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of "Mickalene Thomas: She’s Come Undone".” The Brooklyn Rail, May 2009.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of "Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection".” The Brooklyn Rail, Apr. 2009.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of "Reflecting on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video".” The Brooklyn Rail, 2009.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of "Whitfield Lovell: Kith and Kin".” The Brooklyn Rail, Nov. 2008.

Lamm, K. K. “Review of "Ghada Amer: Love Has No End".” The Brooklyn Rail, Sept. 2008.

Lamm, K. K. Like Going Underwater. 2008.