France Family Distinguished Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
Ph.D., University of California - Berkeley 1987
M.A., University of California - Berkeley 1976
B.A., San Jose State University 1970
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: http://shuffle.rauschenbergfoundation.org/exhibitions/nasher/ 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.
ExpertiseContemporary global experimental art and theory, destruction in art and trauma studies, artists’ writings, and visual studies
NEW COURSE: FALL 2020
Special Topics in Art History - ART ACTIVISM FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Course description: This course surveys the multiple ways in which artists in the United States have approached social change through the lens of art as a form of activism from the 1960s to the present. We will consider artists’ activism from the perspectives of Native Americans, African Americans, Feminists, LBGTQIA artists and collectives like ACT UP, groups such as GAAG (The Guerilla Art Action Group), artists working for climate change, disabled artist activists, and the multi-cultural movement for social change in Black Lives Matter. We will also think about how individual artists have critiqued the “military industrial, congressional, complex,” as well as the art establishment, museums, and more. We will examine major theoretical frameworks, key movements, and concepts, and explore how the personal, the social, and the political change in art over time.
Course Goals/Objectives: By the end of this course you will be able to…
- Identify and analyze works of activist artists;
- explain the social, political, cultural, and aesthetic importance of such art;
- understand critical theoretical approaches used to interpret works of activist art;
- discuss how the social and political roles of art change through time;
- talk and write with confidence about works of art.
Stiles, K. “Selected Comments on Destruction Art.” Boek Voor De Instabiele: Book for the Unstable Media, edited by Alex Adriaansens, Rotterdam: V2-Organization, 1992, pp. 43–75.
Stiles, K. “Thresholds of Control: Destruction Art and Teminal Culture.” Out of Control, Linz, Austria: Ars Electronica & Landesverlag, 1991, pp. 29–50.
Stiles, K. “Tuna and Other fishy Thoughts on Fluxus Events.” FluxAttitudes, Buffalo & New York: Hallwalls and the New Museum, 1991, pp. 25–34.
Stiles, K. “Raphael Montañez Ortiz's Physio-Psycho-Alchemical Art.” Raphael Montañez Ortiz, El Museo Del Barrio, 1988.
Stiles, K. “The Luciferian Marriage: Government/Corporate/Media ’Fact’ as Entertainment.” The Un/Necessary Image, edited by Peter D. Agostino and Antonio Muntadas, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1983, pp. 28–31.
Stiles, K. “Come and Go.” Coming and Going NEW YORK (Subway), PARIS (Metro), San Francisco (BART), Washinton (METRO): Peter D’Agostino, San Francisco: Not for Sale Press, 1982, pp. 76–81.
Stiles, K. “Trans-Europ Express-Expressed.” Alph-Trans-Chung: Peter D-Agostino, Dayton: Wright State University Press, 1980, pp. 55–58.
Stiles, K. “Brief essays on American painters.” 2 Jahrzehnte Amerikanische Malerei 1920-1940, Dusseldort, West Germany: Stadische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, 1979, pp. 66&76&116&122-.
Stiles, K. “1.1.78 - 2.2.78: Roberta Breitmore.” Roberta Breitmore Is Not Lynn Hershman, San Francisco: De Young Memorial Museum, 1978, pp. 5–14.