I am Professor of Feminism, Art and Theory, and Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training: Feminism, Sexual Politics, and Visual Culture at Loughborough University, UK.
Initially I trained as a painter (University of Newcastle upon Tyne). I have an MA by thesis in Cultural History (Royal College of Art): thesis title The Subtle Abyss: Body-Image and Sexuality in Contemporary Feminist Art. For my PhD I was fortunate to be supervised by Prof. Griselda Pollock at the University of Leeds; my thesis was Becoming Beauty: The Implications of the Writings of Luce Irigaray for Feminist Art Practices.
After some years working in arts administration and part time teaching, I gained a lectureship in 1992 at the University of Ulster teaching the history and theory of contemporary art to studio Fine and Applied Art students. I was promoted to my first chair there, as Professor of the Politics of Art, and appointed as Head of School, Art & Design. I became Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA, USA in 2005; then Dean, School of Art and Design, Middlesex University UK in 2012; and moved to my present position in Loughborough in 2017. While at Ulster I led Art & Design to a 5* ranking in RAE 2001; and while at Middlesex I led Art & Design to be the University's highest ranking unit in REF 2014.
My publications include Reading Art, Reading Irigaray: The Politics of Art by Women (2006); Feminism-Art-Theory 1968-2014 (2015); TheArt of Feminism (2018; co-authors: Luci Gosling; Amy Tobin); A Companion to Feminist Art (2019; co-ed: Maria Buszek). My current book project is Feminism/Art: A History (forthcoming). Please click on my 'books' and 'essays' pages for further listings.
I am the UK Principal Investigator for Feminist Art Making Histories (FAMH): an oral history and digital humanities project funded by the Irish Research Council and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (2021-2024), working with Irish PI Dr Tina Kinsella (IADT); Co-I Dr Elspeth Mitchell (University of Leeds), and Dr Amy Tobin (University of Cambridge). Please click on the 'FAMH' page for more information.
My board memberships have included: The Andy Warhol Museum; Silver Eye Centre for Photography; The Mattress Factory Museum; Quantum Theatre. I have served on the editorial board for The Art Journal and the editorial advisory group for n.paradoxa. Other roles have included: heading the Creative Entrepreneurs project, to retain artists in post-industrial Pittsburgh; being on the advisory board for the AHRC-funded research project Black Artists and Modernism, led by Prof. Sonia Boyce; membership of the Higher Education Committee of the Association for Art History.