Main Content

Heather M. O'Brien-Takahashi

Heather M. O'Brien-Takahashi, Assistant Professor


Heather M. O’Brien-Takahashi is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. She works in film/video, photography, and installation to build encounters with familial archives, constructs of nationhood, and the illusion of accurate memory.

Her work has been exhibited and presented internationally at venues such as the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Los Angeles, San Francisco Camerawork, The Middle Eastern Studies Association Conference, The University Art Galleries at UC Irvine, Sursock Museum Beirut, The Society for Photographic Education Conference, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, The International Center of Photography NY, Beirut Art Center, The Modern Language Association Conference, Baxter St. at The Camera Club of NY, The Western Political Science Association Conference, The Photographic Center Northwest, The Center for Photography at Woodstock, The International Conference of Photography & Theory in Cyprus, and Parsons/The New School NY.

She has received grants from The Mellon Foundation, The European Commission ERASMUS+, The American University of Beirut Research Board, California State University Long Beach, and the Feminist Center for Creative Work Los Angeles.

O’Brien-Takahashi has been awarded residencies with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Santa Fe Art Institute, Marble House Project, Women’s Studio Workshop, Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Sommerakademie Paul Klee Bern, Switzerland, Bemis Center, The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning NY, and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

Her projects and writing have been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, X-TRA Journal of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Conveyor Magazine, Hyperallergic, Humble Arts Foundation, Evergreen Review, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Past teaching experience includes The American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland, The University of the Aegean, Greece, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, California State University, Long Beach, Citrus College, CA, and Moorpark College, CA.

Heather M. O'Brien-Takahashi

Office: COMM 1050B


  • Queer Narratives in Film, Literature, & Visual Culture
  • Film as Text: The Essay Film
  • Third Cinema & Experimental Film
  • Cinema Production & Cinematography
  • Still Photography & Alternative Photographic Histories
  • Graduate Colloquium: Research and Writing Methods
  • MFA Studio Art Practice: Critique


MFA, California Institute of the Arts


Expanded cinema and psychoanalysis, essay and experimental film, decoloniality, installation, video art, photography, third cinema, gender studies, and queer theory.