Chance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, 2010
Chance is one of a series documenting major themes and ideas in contemporary art. The spontaneous, unexpected or random event is a vital component in numerous works of Expressionism,
Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus and conceptual photography. And the camera snapshot seems intrinsically implicated in the workings of chance. This anthology analyses the meaning of these
strategic spaces of uncertainty, poised between intention and outcome, and provides a new critical context for chance procedures in art since 1900.
Margaret Iversen (with Stephen Melville), Writing Art History: Disciplinary Departures, The University of Chicago Press, 2010
Faced with an increasingly media-saturated, globalized culture, art historians have begun to ask themselves challenging and provocative questions about the nature of their discipline.
Why did the history of art come into being? Is it now in danger of slipping into obsolescence?
Margaret Iversen and Stephen Melville address these questions by exploring some assumptions at the discipline's foundation.
Their project is to excavate the lost continuities between philosophical aesthetics, contemporary theory, and art history.
Margaret Iversen (with Diarmuid Costello), Photography after Conceptual Art, Wiley, 2010
Photography After Conceptual Art presents a series of original essays that address substantive theoretical, historical, and aesthetic
issues raised by post-1960s photography as a mainstream artistic medium. Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2011, this book
tracks the efflorescence of photography as one of the most important mediums for contemporary art and explores the relation between recent art,
theory and aesthetics.
Beyond Pleasure: Freud, Lacan, Barthes, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007
In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud observed that the life-enhancing pleasure principle seems disrupted by something internal to the
psyche. He took into account the possibility of a 'death instinct' bent on returning the living organism to its origin of undifferentiated matter.
In Beyond Pleasure: Freud, Lacan, Barthes, Margaret Iversen uses the writing of Freud, Lacan, the Surrealists, and Roland Barthes to
elaborate a theory of art beyond the pleasure principle.
Alois Riegl: Art History and Theory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1993
This is the first general introduction to the work of the celebrated Austrian who brought complex philosophical considerations to bear on art and
its history. Ranging easily over diverse fields and among a large group of thinkers, Margaret Iversen establishes Riegl's relevance to recent critical
thinking while clearly delineating his extraordinary critical powers. She is equally concerned to relate Riegl's work to contemporary theoretical interests,
arguing that he pioneered an approach to art history that took into consideration the role of the spectator.