Kristine Stiles

Kristine Stiles

France Family Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies


  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 1987

  • M.A., University of California at 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, and specializes in interdisciplinary experimental art, from performance and conceptual art to violence, destruction, and trauma in art. Her theoretical interests include Trauma Studies, Theater Studies, German Studies, Visual & Media Studies, Feminism, Race and Gender studies, and International Comparative Studies; she is increasingly interested in animal studies with a focus on horses. 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: “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.


Contemporary global experimental art and theory, destruction in art and trauma studies, artists’ writings, and visual studies


Concerning Consequences: Studies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma
Concerning Consequences: Studies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma, by Kristine Stiles, France Family Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies,  published by... read more »
Rauschenberg, Looking Long and Thinking Hard
During an interview with Robert Rauschenberg and his dealer Leo Castelli in 1977, the writer and impresario Barbaralee Diamonstein read aloud Rauschenberg’s famous 1959... read more »
Correspondence Course: An Epistolary History of Carolee Schneemann and her Circle
Creator of such acclaimed works as the performance Meat Joy and the film Fuses, for decades the artist Carolee Schneemann has saved the letters she has written and received.... read more »
Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings (Second Edition, Revised and Expanded by Kristine Stiles)
First published in 1996, this irreplaceable resource has now been updated, revised, and expanded by Kristine Stiles to represent thirty countries and more than one hundred... read more »

Stiles, K. "Negative Affirmative: San Francisco Bay Area Art, 1974-1981." Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981. Ed. P Schimmel. Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 2011. 27-43.

Stiles, K. "7.47 a.m. (The Traumatic Visual Vocabulary of Maurice Benayoun’s So.So.So. Somebody Somewhere Some time)." Maurice Benayoun / OPEN ART 1980-2010. CDA d’Enghien and Les Nouvelles éditions Scala), 2011. 83-87.

Wischmeyer, PE. "Preface." July 2010. xiii-xiv. Full Text

Stiles, K. "Foreword, Or, Unbuckling the Belt of Fluxus through Billie Maciunas’ Experiences." Billie Maciunas, The Eve of Fluxus. Arbiter Press, 2010. ix-xvi. (Foreword)

Stiles, K. "Irregular Ways of Being in Time." The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia 1860-1989. Ed. A Munroe. New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim, 2009. 333-345.

Stiles, K. "The Trinity Session." Future Species: Hybrids, Exoskel, Cybor Living Makeover Madness. Toronto: Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 2009. 35-38.

Stiles, K. "Cloud with its Shadow: Marina Abramovic." Marina Abramovic. London: Phaidon, 2008. 33-94. (Essay)

Stiles, K. "Come and Go." California Video. The J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Research, 2008.

Stiles, K. "Shaved Heads and Marked Bodies: Representations from Cultures of Trauma." On Violence: An Anthology. Ed. B Lawrence and A Karim. Duke University Press, 2007. 522-538. (Essay)

Stiles, K. "Burden of Light." Chris Burden. Newcastle England: Merrell and Locus Plus, 2007.


Stiles, K. "Survival Ethos and Destruction Art." Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture 14:2 (March 1992): 74-102.

Stiles, K. "Unbosoming Lennon: The Politics of Yoko Ono's Experience." Art Criticism 7:2 Spring (1992): 21-54.

Stiles, K. "Readings: Performance and Its Objects." Arts 65:3 (November 1990): 35-47.


Stiles, K. "Sticks and Stones: The Destruction in Art Symposium." Arts 63.5 (January 1989): 54-60.

Stiles, K. "Not Just an 'Other' Exhibition." High Performance 11 (October 1988): 34-38.

Stiles, K. "Rodforce: Thoughts on the Art of Sherman Fleming." High Performance 10:2 (July 1987): 34-39.

Stiles, K. "Imploring Silence: Words and Performance Essence, A Polemic." High Performance 8.1 (April 1985): 33-36.


Spring 2018

Special Topics in Arthist (ARTHIST 790S.01)
Smith Wrhs A290, W 08:30 AM-11:00 AM
Theories Visual/media Studies (VMS 327S.01)
Smith Wrhs A290, M 08:30 AM-11:00 AM

Fall 2017

Global Art Since 1945 (ARTHIST 381S.01)
Nasher 119, Th 01:40 PM-04:10 PM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.001)
Smith Wrhs A266, TuTh 08:30 AM-09:45 AM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.01D)
Smith Wrhs A266, F 10:20 AM-11:10 AM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.02D)
Smith Wrhs A266, F 11:45 AM-12:35 PM

Spring 2016

Theories Visual/media Studies (VMS 327S.02)
Smith Wrhs A266, Th 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Special Topics (ARTHIST 590S.01)
Smith Wrhs A266, Tu 08:45 AM-11:15 AM
Theories Visual/media Studies (VMS 327S.01)
Smith Wrhs A266, Th 08:45 AM-11:15 AM

Fall 2015

Performance and Performativity (VMS 710S.01)
Smith Wrhs A266, W 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.001)
Smith Wrhs A266, MW 10:05 AM-10:55 AM

Spring 2015

Global Art Since 1945 (ARTHIST 381D.001)
Smith Wrhs A266, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
Global Art Since 1945 (ARTHIST 381D.01D)
Carr 106, Tu 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
Global Art Since 1945 (ARTHIST 381D.02D)
Carr 135, Th 03:20 PM-04:10 PM
Theories Visual/media Studies (VMS 327S.01)
East Duke 204A, M 01:25 PM-03:55 PM

Fall 2014

Trauma in Art, Lit., Film & Vc (ARTHIST 557S.01)
East Duke 204A, W 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.01)
East Duke 108, MW 10:05 AM-10:55 AM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.01D)
East Duke 204A, F 10:05 AM-10:55 AM
Introduction to Visual Culture (VMS 202D.02D)
East Duke 204A, F 11:45 AM-12:35 PM
Trauma in Art, Lit., Film & Vc (VMS 557S.01)
East Duke 204A, W 03:05 PM-05:35 PM

Spring 2014

Experimental Art in a Global (VMS 722S.01)
East Duke 204A, Tu 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Topics Modern Art (ARTHIST 590S-8.02)
East Duke 204A, M 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Topics Modern Art (ARTHIST 590S-8.03)
TBA, Tu 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Experimental Art in a Global (ARTHIST 722S.01)
East Duke 204A, Tu 03:05 PM-05:35 PM