Kristine Stiles

Kristine Stiles

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

External address: 
Smith Warehouse Bay 10, A251, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90766, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 684-2467


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:   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.

Education & Training

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

  • M.A., University of California - Berkeley 1976

  • B.A., San Jose State University 1970

Stiles, Kristine. Concerning Consequences Studies in Art, Destruction, and Trauma. University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Stiles, K., and Peter Selz. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings. University of California Press, 2012.

Stiles, K. States of Mind: Dan & Lia Perjovschi. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2007.

Stiles, K. Chris Burden. New York: Zwirner & Wirth Gallery, 2006.

Stiles, K. AmaLia Perjovschi. Soros Foundation, 1996.

Stiles, K. Dan Perjovschi’s Postcards From America. Pont La Vue Press, 1995.

Stiles, K. Questions. KronOscope Press, 1982.

Collier, J. H. Introduction. Vol. 30, 2016, pp. 1–2. Scopus, doi:10.1080/02691728.2015.1133392. Full Text

Stiles, K. “'I’m Ready.' Thinking About Artists’ Writings in a Global Context.” Not a Day without a Line: Understanding Artists’ Writings, edited by Helen De Prester, Academia Press, 2013, pp. 177–203.

Stiles, K. “Performance Art.” Oxford Bibliographies in Art History, edited by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Stiles, K. “Wangechi Mutu’s Family Tree.” Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, edited by Trevor Schoonmaker, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, 2013.

Stiles, K. “Forward.” The Reflexive Photographer, edited by Rosie Miller et al., School of Arts & Media at Salford University, 2013.

Stiles, K. “The Ideal Gifts of Istvan Kantor.” PERMANENT REVOLUTION: The Art of Istvan Kantor, edited by L. Feesey, The Istvan Kantor Collective, 2013.

Stiles, K. “Comments on my first interview with Gustav Metzger.” Gustav Metzger, Years without Art, 2012, pp. 39–39.

Stiles, K. “Conversation with William Pope.L.” The Voice of Images, Palazzo Grassi, 2012, pp. 181–93.

Stiles, K. “Peter d’Agostino’s World-Wide-Walks / between earth & sky.” Peter d’Agostino: World-Wide-Walks [Paseos a Nivel Planetario] / between Earth & Sky [Entre La Tierra y El Cielo] / 1973 – 2012, Bizkaia de la UPV/EHU, 2012, pp. 22–34.

Stiles, K. “Negative Affirmative: San Francisco Bay Area Art, 1974-1981.” Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, edited by Paul Schimmel, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 2011, pp. 27–43.


Stiles, K. “Peggy Phelan and Kristine Stiles In Conversation.” Millennium Film Journal, no. 54, 2011, pp. 30–34.

Stiles, K. “INSIDE/OUTSIDE: Balancing Between a Dusthole and Eternity.” Archive, vol. 1, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland, 2008.

Stiles, K. “Review of RoseLee Goldberg’s Laurie Anderson.” Make: The Magazine of Women’S Art, vol. 90, 2001, pp. 90–90.

Stiles, K. “Review of Pamela M. Lee’s Object to be Destroyed: The Work of Gordon Matta- Clark.” Caa.Reviews, the Online Reviews Publication of the College Art Association, 2000.

Stiles, K. “Comisuri: Art Actiunile ca Objecte.” Balkon: Revista De Arta Contemporana, vol. March, no. 2, Timisoara, Romania, 2000, pp. 3–4.

Stiles, K. “Joshua Neustein.” Bomb, vol. 57, [New York], Oct. 1997, pp. 80–81.

Stiles, K. “Debate: Empty Slogan of Self-Representation.” Siksi [Helsinki], vol. Spring, no. 12:1, 1997, pp. 87–90.


Stiles, K. “Art will be…2009-2034.” Duke Alumni Magazine, Duke University, May 2009.

Stiles, K. “Notes on Rudolf Schwarzkogler's Images of Healing.” White Walls: A Magazine of Writings by Artists, vol. 25, Mar. 1990, pp. 13–26.