Department of Art and Art History People

Carma Gorman

Associate Professor


headshot of Carma Gorman

Associate Professor Carma R. Gorman earned her B.A. in art history at Carleton College in 1991 and her Ph.D. in the history of art at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1998. Gorman is a past president of the Design Studies Forum (an affiliated society of the College Art Association). She founded the group’s announcement list in 2001, and still manages the list, which has since grown to nearly 900 subscribers. She is also an associate editor, and the lead reviews editor, of the peer-reviewed journal Design and Culture.

Gorman has published reviews and articles on American design of the “long” twentieth century in American Quarterly, Design and Culture, Design Issues, Journal of Design History, Studies in the Decorative Arts, and Winterthur Portfolio. Her primary-source anthology The Industrial Design Reader (2003), which Richard Buchanan described as “an essential text in design history courses,” appears on reading lists at numerous U.S. and foreign universities. Her American Quarterly article on body mechanics and streamlining was one of ten essays reprinted in the Organization of American Historians’ anthology The Best American History Essays 2008. With David Raizman, she co-edited a collection of essays called Objects, Audiences, and Literatures: Alternative Narratives in the History of Design (2007; paperback 2009). Gorman is currently writing a book that surveys American design from 1890 to the present, focusing particularly on the ways in which the USA’s unique legal system has shaped the behavior of American manufacturers, designers, and consumers.

During her fifteen years on the faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Gorman regularly taught courses on the history of industrial design and the history, theory, and criticism of graphic design, in addition to a wide range of other courses in the history of art and design. At UT, in addition to teaching courses in design history, theory, and criticism, she is particularly interested in working with students whose projects relate to design history, universal design, feminism, religion, intellectual property, safety, or the quantified self.