Nicole L. Woods

Assistant Professor, Modern and Contemporary Art History


113 Decio
Notre Dame, IN 46556

ph: 574.631.1501



B.A., with distinction, Art History, University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., Ph.D., Visual Studies and Critical Theory, University of California, Irvine


Nicole L. Woods is a historian of modern and contemporary art history, criticism, and theory with a focus on the neo-avant-garde, performance and conceptual art, gender studies, critical race theory, taste cultures, and the history of photography.  Her current book project is the first in-depth study of the pioneering and diverse practice of American Fluxus artist, Alison Knowles (b.1933).  A second project surveys the convergence of feminism, political radicalism, and expanded media practices in the late 1960s-2000s. Woods’s present research also includes a consideration of the widespread use of food as an object of consumption and critique in the work of several late 20th century artists, including Knowles, Martha Rosler, Gordon Matta-Clark, Tom Marioni, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.  She is currently finishing separate articles on Mary Kelly, Bob Thompson, and Gabriel Orozco. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Art Journal, Performance ResearchX-TRA: A Contemporary Art Quarterly, Radical Philosophy,, and the Walker Art Center.

Woods's teaching surveys the history of modern and contemporary art, especially in Western Europe and North America. Courses include: Global Modernism; 20th Century Modernism; 19th Century European Painting; Contemporary Art and Theory, 1945-2000; Performance Art and Time-Based Media; Pop/Fluxus/Minimalism; and the History of Photography. Specialized seminars have covered topics such as: activism and post-studio art practice; performance, gender, and the body; the historical avant-gardes; institutional critique and conceptual art.  Before joining the AAHD department at Notre Dame, she taught at the University of California, Irvine and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. 

Her research has been supported by The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.