ALAN THOMAS is a publisher and photographer in Chicago. He was raised in Germany, Yugoslavia, and Virginia, and received his B.A. (in English) at Princeton University, where he studied photography with Emmet Gowin and Frederick Sommer. He also holds an M.Phil. from Oxford University, where he studied British documentary literature and photography of the 1930s.
Thomas is Editorial Director for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago Press, where he acquires and develops books in the humanities. He has published many books related to photography and visual studies, including criticism by Michael Fried, Susie Linfield, Walter Benn Michaels, and W. J. T. Mitchell, as well as works by the photographers James Welling, Ashley Gilbertson, Susan Meiselas, Alan Cohen, and Jed Fielding. For more information, visit his University of Chicago Press page.
As a photographer, Thomas has work in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographer’s Project and Catherine Edelman Gallery’s Chicago Project. In 2012, his one-person show at the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Calcutta, surveyed photographs made over two decades in Chicago, Tokyo, and Calcutta. He has also exhibited at the Catherine Edelman Gallery and the Illinois State Museum in Chicago; the Flak Photo Midwest Print Show in Madison, WI; Photo Works Gallery in Glen Echo, MD; and other venues. Thomas is a regular contributor to the online journals Design Observer and Places, which published his photographic series Chicago Self-Park (2010), Open Secrets: Photographs of Japan (2010), The Blue Corvette (2011), Approaching Calcutta (2013), and Signs, Signs (on the January 2017 Women's March in Chicago). His recent writings on photography include essays on Lee Friedlander, Terry Evans, and Laura McPhee.