Nicole L. Woods is a historian of modern and contemporary art history, criticism, and cultural theory at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on the Euro-American neo-avant-gardes, performance and conceptual art, intersectional feminism, taste cultures, and the history of photography and time-based media. Her current book project is the first in-depth study of the diverse practice of pioneering Fluxus artist, Alison Knowles (under contract, University of Chicago Press). She is the scholarly consultant for the first retrospective of Knowles’s life and work (Berkeley Art Museum, fall 2020). A second project surveys the convergence of feminism, political radicalism, and expanded media art practices in the late 1960s-1970s. Woods’s interdisciplinary approach includes a reexamination of the widespread use of food as an object of consumption and critique in the work of several visual artists, including Martha Rosler, Gordon Matta-Clark, Bonnie Shirk, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. She is presently writing an article on African-American painter Bob Thompson and his role in early Happenings. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Art Journal, Performance Research, X-TRA: A Contemporary Art Quarterly, Radical Philosophy, caa.reviews, and the Walker Art Center.
Before joining the AAHD department, Woods taught at the University of California, Irvine and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Her teaching surveys the history of modern and contemporary art, especially in Western Europe and the Americas. Courses include: Global Modern/Contemporary Art; 20th Century Modernism; 19th Century European Art; Performance Art and the Body; Pop/Fluxus/ Minimalism; and the History of Photography. Specialized seminars have covered topics such as: social activism and post-studio art practice; the historical avant-gardes; institutional critique and conceptual art.
In 2014, Woods founded two lecture series Art | Vision | Agency and Trends in Contemporary Art. Both series aim to connect some of the most innovative scholars, designers, artists, curators, gallerists, and editors with the larger Notre Dame community.
Woods is concurrent assistant professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theater, and the Program in Gender Studies. She and her students regularly organize An Evening of Avant-Garde Cinema in collaboration with Browning Cinema at DPAC.
B.A., with distinction, Art History, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., Ph.D., Visual Studies and Critical Theory, University of California, Irvine
113 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
306 Riley Hall of Art
Notre Dame, IN 46556