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Kristine Stiles, France Family Distinguished Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies and Information Science + Studies and Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies and Professor of Theater Studies and Professor in the Program of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

Kristine Stiles

Kristine Stiles (Ph.D. 1987, University of California at Berkeley) is an historian of contemporary art and artists’ writings. She specializes in experimental art, from performance and conceptual art to violence, destruction, and trauma. Her theoretical interests include Trauma Studies, German Studies, Visual & Media Studies, Feminism, Race and Gender studies, and International Comparative Studies. Among the courses that Professor Stiles has taught at the undergraduate and graduate level are Global Art and Its Ethics Since 1945; Performance and Performativity; Art & Text: Conceptual Art; Trauma in Art, Literature and Film; Introduction to Visual Culture; Theories of Visual & Media Studies; Documentary Photography of the Nuclear Age; and Curating World Art. In recognition of her distinguished contribution to undergraduate and graduate teaching, Professor Stiles received Duke University’s Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring in 2011, and the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Award for Undergraduate Teaching in 1994. 

Professor Stiles is the recipient of numerous awards, among them an Honorary Doctorate of Arts at Dartington College & University of Plymouth, England; a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship; a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Grant; National Endowment for the Humanities Travel Grant; a United States Department of Education, Global Course Development Grant for her course on Documentary Photography, Social Activism, and the Nuclear Age; a United States Information Agency Grant for development of “American Studies & the Romanian Transition to Democracy,” a faculty exchange between Duke University and  Bucharest University, a grant co-authored with Julie Tetel (Department of English); and the J. William Fulbright, Foreign Scholar, Teaching Grant to Romania (which she declined due to professional demands in the USA).

Her latest book is Concerning Consequences: Studies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma (University of Chicago Press, 2016). With Peter Selz, she edited the first edition of Theories & Documents of Contemporary Art (University of California Press, 1996), she revised, expanded, and edited its second edition in 2012. She edited, annotated, and wrote the survey essay for Correspondence Course: An Epistolary History of Carolee Schneemann and Her Circle (Duke University Press 2010). Professor Stiles is also the author of Raphael Montañez Ortiz: Years of the Warrior, Years of the Psyche, 1968-1988 (El Museo del Barrio, 1988), a publication that includes her extensive annotated bibliography on the artist. Stiles was a practicing artist, some of whose work may be found her artist’s book Questions, with essays by Lynn Hershman, Kathy O’Dell, and Richard Irwin. San Francisco: KronOscope Press, 1982.

For full list (and pdfs) of Stiles’ articles, see Publications. Recent essays published by Professor Stiles include: “Destruction in Art,” in Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, ed., Oxford Bibliographies in Art History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. Monograph length annotated bibliography; “Introduction: Walking on the Edges, Peter d’Agostino’s World-Wide-Walks,” and “COME & GO,” World-Wide-Walks, Peter d’Agostino; Crossing Natural-Cultural-Virtual Frontiers, Edited by Peter d’Agostino and David I. Tafler (Bristol, UK: Intellect Books, 2019), 3-31, 185-194; “Ion Grigorescu’s Gift” and “Acute Civility in Dan Perjovschi’s Core Drawings,” in Gabriela Gantenbein, ed. Textures of Thought: Geta Bratescu, Ion Grigorescu, Dan Perjovschi (Vienna, Austria: Passagen Verlag, 2015), 86-111, 151-178; “The Dangerous Mind of Kathryn Andrews, Hobo,” in Kathryn Andrews: Run For President (Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2015): 98-127; “Ron Rozzelle, Painting as a Trust,” in Ron Rozzelle. Greenville, NC: Greenville County Museum, 2015; “Landscape of Tremors: Toward Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Cultural and Intellectual History,” in Peter Weibel, ed., CIVIC RADAR: Lynn Hershman Leeson Retrospective (Ostfildern, Germany:  Hatje Cantz, 2016); “Necessity’s Other: Charlotte Moorman and the Plasticity of Denial and Consent,” Far Out! Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde (Evanston, IL: Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, 2016); “Destruction Art,” “Anti-Art,” and “Fluxus,” and (with Kathy O’Dell) “Bodies in Action,” in Gabrielle Cody and Meiling Cheng, eds., Reading Contemporary Performance: Theatricality Across Genres (New York: Routledge Press, 2016); “Destruction in Art,” in Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, ed., Oxford Bibliographies in Art History (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016); “Bruce Conner’s Eyes,” in Bruce Conner (New York and San Francisco: Museum of Modern Art, New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2016); “DIAS, Wiener Aktionismus, ZOCK,” in La révolte des anges sortis des limbes. The Revolt of the Angels from Limbo. La revuelta de los ángeles salidos del limbo (Mexico City, Mexico: Fundación Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, 2016). “Carolee Schneemann’s Correspondence,” in Ron Hanson and Kenneth White, eds., Carolee Schneemann: Unforgivable (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2016); and “Peter d’Agostino Walking the World,” in Peter d’Agostino’s World-Wide-Walks: Crossing Natural-Cultural-Virtual Frontiers (London: Intellect Books, 2016).

As a curator, Stiles’ most recent exhibition was Rauschenberg: Collecting & Connecting (2014-15) at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2014, with an online catalog was published by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation:   Stiles also curated the mid-career retrospective of the Romanian artists Dan and Lia Perjovschi, and edited and wrote the survey essay for the catalog: States of Mind: Dan & Lia Perjovschi (Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2007). She curated and wrote the catalog for the exhibition Jean Toche: Impressions from The Rogue Bush Imperial Presidency (John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary & International Studies at Duke University, 2009). Among other curatorial work, she served as a curator and judge for the IVth Nicaraguan Biennial, Managua, Nicaragua, with Virginia Perez-Ratton and Osvaldo Sanchez, 2003. Stiles has served as a curatorial consultant to the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, the Mead Art Museum, the Neuberger Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, among many other museums and galleries.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  A251 Smith Whse Bay 10, Box 90766, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 684-2467
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2022):

    Nasher 119, M 10:15 AM-12:45 PM
    Class Bldg 103, W 08:30 AM-11:00 AM
    (also cross-listed as ARTHIST 344.01, GSF 276.01, ISS 275.01, LIT 222.01, THEATRST 235.01)
  • ARTHIST 590S.02, SPECIAL TOPICS Synopsis
    Nasher 119, M 10:15 AM-12:45 PM

Ph.D.University of California - Berkeley1987
M.A.University of California - Berkeley1976
B.A.San Jose State University1970

Contemporary Art (1945 - Present)
Modern Art
Visual Studies/Visual Culture
Art History
Performance Studies
Theory & Criticism
Documentary Photography
Cultural Studies
Animal Studies
Trauma Studies
20th Century Art
Social Art Practice & Participatory Art
Research Interests:

Current projects: I continue to work on a comprehensive survey of world art since 1945 with Professor Kathy O'Dell, Associate Dean, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

My research concerns all aspects of global contemporary art and theory, with a focus on artists writings and experimental art, from conceptual and performance art to installation and art and technology. I continue to work on destruction in art and feminism, as well as in the fields of trauma studies and visual and cultural studies. Two areas in which my research is growing are curatorial studies and practices, and animal studies with a concentration on horses.

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Ivana Bago  
  • Katherine deVos Devine  
  • Sarah J. Dickens  
  • Camila Maroja  
  • Young Ji Lee  
  • Kency Cornejo  
  • Jasmina Tumbas  
  • Erin Hanas  
  • Mitali Routh  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Stiles, K; Selz, P, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (2012), University of California Press (2nd, revised, expanded edition edited by Kristine Stiles.)
  2. Stiles, K, Correspondence Course, An Epistolary History of Carolee Schneemann and Her Circle (2010), Duke University Press (With an Introduction and extensive annotations by Kristine Stiles.)
  3. States of Mind: Dan & Lia Perjovschi (2007), Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; distributed by Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina (With contributions by Andrei Codrescu, Marius Babius and Ruxana Marcoci.)
  4. “Cloud with its Shadow: Marina Abramovic” in Marina Abramovic, in Marina Abramovic (2008), Phaidon, London
  5. Stiles, K, Burden of Light, in Chris Burden (2007), Newcastle England: Merrell and Locus Plus
  6. Stiles, K, Teaching a Dead Hand to Draw, Kim Jones, War and Art, in Kim Jones: A Retrospective (2007)
  7. Stiles, K, Conversation with William Pope.L, in The Voice of Images (2012), pp. 181-193, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
  8. Stiles, K, Uncorrupted Joy: International Art Actions, in Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979, Paul Schimmel Edition (1998), pp. 226-238, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art [pdf]
  9. Stiles, K, Metzger's Fierce, Poignant, and Prescient Manifestos, in Rett Kopi: Documents the Future (2006), pp. 157-166, Rett Kopi
  10. Stiles, K, Performance, in Critical Terms for Art History, 2nd Edition, edited by Nelson, R; Shiff, R (2003), pp. 75-97, Chicago: University of Chicago
Selected Invited Lectures

  1. “Ever so Far at Close Shooting Range: Warhol’s Polaroid Photographs", November 1, 2010, Department of Art History at the Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.    
  2. “Whose Ethics? Principles and Standards in Age of Global Art", 2010, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar    
  3. “Global Techniques of Performance”, 2010, Internationale Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst, Salzburg, Austria.    
  4. “World Trends and Contemporary Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art”, 2010, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis.    
  5. “Eastern European Performance in the 1970s and early 1980s”, 2010, Museum of Modern Art, New York City.    
  6. “Mind Control and Remote Viewing, Uses and Abuses of Traumatic Dissociation”, 2010, University of California, Santa Cruz    
  7. “‘Props for the Memory’, or Joseph Beuys and the Legacy of Fascism", 2010, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia.    
  8. “Ever so Far at Close Shooting Range: Warhol’s Polaroid Photographs”, 2009, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University    
  9. “Wild Artists and Radical Events: Writing about Experimental Art, Trauma & Artist’s Writings”, 2009, Chautauqua Lecture series, Duke University    
  10. "Thinking about Artists' Writings", December 4, 2008, at, Budapest, Hungary    

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