Paul M. Farber, PhD is Director of Monument Lab. He also serves as Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Public Art & Space at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design.
Farber's research and curatorial projects explore transnational urban history, cultural memory, and creative approaches to civic engagement. He is the author of A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) which tells the untold story of a group of American artists and writers (Leonard Freed, Angela Davis, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Audre Lorde) who found refuge along the Berlin Wall and in Cold War Germany in order to confront political divisions back home in the United States. He is also the co-editor with Ken Lum of Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia (Temple University Press, 2019), a public art and history handbook designed to generate new critical ways of thinking about and building monuments. Additionally, Farber has edited a new critical edition of photographer Leonard Freed’s Made in Germany (Steidl Verlag, 2013), co-edited a special issue of the journal Criticism on HBO's series, The Wire (Wayne State University Press, 2011), and contributed essays and advised the production of visual culture books including Leonard Freed's This Is the Day: The March on Washington (Getty Publications, 2013), Nathan Benn's Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990 (powerHouse, 2013), and Jamel Shabazz's Pieces of a Man (ArtVoices, 2016).
In addition to his work with Monument Lab, Farber was curator of Points of Connection (2020), Making Home Movies (2019), the traveling exhibition The Wall in Our Heads: American Artists and the Berlin Wall (2014–2016) and Stephanie Syjuco: American Rubble (2014). He has been invited to lecture and lead workshops for Americans for the Arts, the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Barnes Foundation. He previously served as the inaugural Scholar in Residence for Mural Arts Philadelphia. His work on culture has also previously appeared in The Guardian, Museums & Social Issues, Diplomatic History, Art & the Public Sphere, Vibe, and on NPR. He was included on Dell's inaugural #Inspire 100 list, a group of "world changers" who use technology to empower social change.
Farber earned a PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan and a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.