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 art, gender studies, 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 contemplation, consumption, and display in the work of several late 20th century artists, including Knowles, Martha Rosler, Gordon Matta-Clark, Tom Marioni, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.  Her essays and criticism have appeared in Performance Research, X-TRA: A Contemporary Art Quarterly, Radical Philosophy, and A review of Charlotte Moorman’s recent retrospective is forthcoming from Art Journal.  

Woods's teaching surveys the history of modern and contemporary art, especially in Western Europe and North America. Courses include: 19th Century European Painting; 20th Century Modernism; Contemporary Art, 1945-2000; Art of the 1960s; Postwar American Art; Dada and Surrealism; Avant-Garde Women; Gender and Performance Art; 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; and 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. 

In Fall 2017, Woods holds the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellowship at The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  At CASVA, she will complete the final chapter of her book, Performing Chance: The Art of Alison Knowles In/Out of Fluxus.