Navigation

Dr Nicole Wolf

Staff details

PositionSenior Lecturer in Visual Cultures
Department Visual Cultures
Email n.wolf (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7078 5116

Nicole Wolf’s wide range of interests merge in thinking, writing, teaching and curating with political cinemas as modes of critical and productive relations. Anthropology, film studies, political science and postcolonial theory informed her academically and her extensive and continuing research in South Asia shaped her conceptual and activist queries towards documentary mode and experimental filmmaking.

Her earlier research focused on the entanglement of histories of feminist theory and practice with filmmaking practices in India which then expanded into a search for past and possible future internationalist film poetics, thinking from multiple histories of politically and aesthetically radical cinemas. Closely connected are her questions on how to narrate, witness and respond/ act responsibly to conflict whereby relations between the audio-visual and the constitution as well as critique of borders and militarised zones, such as Kashmir, have been central. Most recently her queries towards evidence narratives as interventionist practices and the politics and poetics of justice have led towards violations of human rights through destructions of land and ecological/cultural environments. 

Wolf’s training in anthropology as critique to neo/colonialist forms of knowledge production, her passion for documentary film as proposing new radically democratic realities and her theoretical inquiries into how to be and act worldly, i.e. thinking relationality transculturally, transracial, transgender, transspecies, informs her current research into critical ecologies of knowledges. 

Wolf is invested in exploring new forms of writing and making research public, she prefers working collaboratively and is invested in permaculture projects internationally.

Academic qualifications

  • 2008 Doktor der Philosophie in Comparative Cultural and Social Anthropology at European University Viadrina
  • 2003 Visiting PhD Scholar at Program Culture & Media and Theory & Politics at New York University
  • 1996 Masters of Arts in Social Anthropology at School of Oriental and Africa Studies, University of London

Teaching

Practical and political components are essential to all of Nicole Wolf’s teaching which she regards as a meeting and exchange between equal intelligences rather than top down instruction. 

She has in the past taught ‘Modernities’ (BA Level 1), ‘The Moving Image’ (BA Level 2), ‘Images in Conflict’ (BA Level 3) and has been one of the lecturers on the MA ‘Global Arts’. 

She currently teaches two 10-week modules ‘Film Fables’ and ‘Documentary Lives’ (BA Level 3), ‘Visual Cultures as Public Practice – a placement module’ (BA Level 3) and 'Dissonant Images. Questions of Evidence' (MA Special Subject). 

She also contributes the Visual Cultures PhD program.

Areas of supervision

Nicole Wolf has supervised PhD projects on essay filmmaking in Turkey, dance as community building and bodily intervention, art and cross-cultural translation, art and the precariat/ precarious and the material politics of images. 

She welcomes new dissertation proposals on any aspect of historical and contemporary political cinemas, on relations between radicality, transformation and the moving image, specifically in documentary and experimental modes, on new political and poetic alliances, on relations between conflict, critical ecologies, image and diverse public screens. She enjoys working with and encourages applications for practice-based research projects. 

Professional activities

Wolf has completed a series of research led film curatorial projects under the title: 

“The Political and its public: South Asian documentary practices”, including "Moving Politics. Cinemas from India" (co-curated with Dorothee Wenner; invited by Deutsche Guggenheim and Arsenal. Institute for film and video art, Berlin, 2010), "Persistence Resistance. Documentary practices from India" (co-curated with Gargi Sen, a one week film festival bringing "Persistence Resistance" from Delhi to London, 2011) and "No Man's Land/ Everybody's Land", a film program that travelled with Green Cardamom's research and exhibition project "Lines of Control". The latter interrogated constructions of borders, ongoing partitions and conflicts and forms of occupation through ways of cinematic narrating, tackling hegemonic presentations of violence and crises. It was presented in London, at Cornell University and in Karachi.

As participant of “Living Archive. Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice” at Arsenal. Institute for Film and Video Art, Wolf edited the DVD: 

Kya Hua is Shahar Ko? / What has happened to this city? History, Context and Reflections on Re-screening a Political Film. 24 page Essay and video interviews for DVD edition of Kya Hua is Shahar Ko? (D: Deepa Dhanraj, India 1986). Released by Filmgalerie 451, Berlin 2013. 

The restoration and digitalisation as well as extensive research on India’s first feminist film collective Yugantars’ film work (1980-83) is currently under way.

Wolf is also one of the liaison tutors for Lasalle College of the Arts.

Featured work

  • “Thinking between day and night or for those awake at dawn”, lead article in Art India, Special issue on Documentary, Abhay Sardesai (ed), Mumbai, Volume 1, 2014. Pp. 24-33.
  • Affiliating myself with materialities. Reflections on Vulnerability and Agency in Political Still and Moving Image Archives. Keynote/ Public Lecture for ‘Framing, Compiling, Sampling: Sensory Practices in Cultural Analysis,’ conference organized by Cultural Studies and European Anthropology, University of Basel, 23.-25. April 2015
  • Documentary’s Promise of the New, Keynote for New York University conference “New South Asian Documentary,” 25.-27. September 2014
  • “I am the very beautiful city. Conversations with Bombay, documented”. In: Koushik Bhaumik, Madhusree Dutta & Rohan Shivkumar (eds.) Project Cinema City. Delhi: Tullika Press. 2013. Pp. 351-363. ISBN: 978-93-82381-22-8.
  • “Indian Documentary Studies: Contours of a Field”, Special Issue of Bioscope. South Asian Screen Studies, Volume 3, Number 1, January 2012. Co-edited with Bhaskar Sarkar. (Introduction with Bhaskar Sarkar, pp.1-6). Print ISSN: 0974-9276, Online ISSN: 0976-352

Other interests 

Recent film reviews:

Research Interests

Nicole Wolf's current research interests derive from my academic training in anthropology, film studies, politics and postcolonial theory as well as my film curatorial and earlier filmmaking practice. Many theoretical questions concerning documentary mode and experimental filmmaking have been inspired by my extensive and continuing research in India, which is developing into a new focus on relations between the audio visual and the constitution of borders and militarised zones, such as Kashmir.

Her interest in the productivity of individual and collective filmmaking practice, in the moving image and how it becomes public through activist, cinema or gallery spaces, often leads to a rethinking of the political, the real, documentation, archiving, witnessing, historicity and more broadly the question of what might constitute critical intervention and evidence narratives in particular art, film and socio-political contexts. Feminist theory and politics as well as a search for new internationalist poetics, thinking from and with earlier revolutionary cinema, have been intertwined with a constant endeavour to trace multiple histories of political and experimental filmmaking.

Nicole Wolf is interested in diverse forms of writing and making research public and prefers to work collaboratively.

She has completed a series of film programs including "Moving Politics. Cinemas from India" (co-curated; invited by Deutsche Guggenheim and Arsenal. Institute for film and video art, Berlin, 2010), "Persistence Resistance. Documentary practices from India" (a co-curated one week film festival which brought "Persistence Resistance" from Delhi to London, 2011) and "No Man's Land/ Everybody's Land", a film program that travelled with Green Cardamom's research and exhibition project "Lines of Control". The latter interrogates constructions of borders, ongoing partitions and conflicts and forms of occupation through ways of cinematic narrating, which tackle hegemonic presentations of violence and crises and was also presented in Karachi.

She has edited the DVD of the newly released film “Kya Hua Is Shaher Ko?/ What has happened to this city?” (Deepa Dhanraj, India, 1986) and authored the accompanying booklet and video interviews in collaboration with the filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj. The restoration and digitalisation as well as extensive research on the feminist film collective Yugantars’s work (1980-83) is under way.

Nicole Wolf's book with the working title “Make it Real. Feminist thought and documentary politics in India” is in preparation and she is developing a follow up research project that brings together my interest in Kashmir, narrations of conflict and the poetics and politics of evidence and justice.

 

Publications

Book

Make it real! Documentary politics and feminist thought in India (Working title)
Wolf, Nicole. 2013. Make it real! Documentary politics and feminist thought in India (Working title). tbc.

Edited Journal

Indian Documentary Studies: Contours of a Field
Wolf, Nicole and Sarkar, Bhaskar, eds. 2012. Indian Documentary Studies: Contours of a Field, Bioscope. South Asian Screen Studies, 3(1). 0974-9276

Documentary Theory and Practice in South Asia. [Forthcoming]
Wolf, Nicole and Sarkar, Bhaskar, eds. 2012. Documentary Theory and Practice in South Asia. [Forthcoming], Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies., .

Book Section

Versatile Archives and cinematic friendships
Wolf, Nicole. 2013. Versatile Archives and cinematic friendships. In: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Ulrich Ziemons, eds. Living Archive – Archival Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice. Berlin: Bbooks Verlag. ISBN 978-3-942214-14-8

“Projecting Tambaku Chaakilo Oob Ali. Reflections towards a versatile archive of political cinemas”
Wolf, Nicole. 2013. “Projecting Tambaku Chaakilo Oob Ali. Reflections towards a versatile archive of political cinemas”. In: Shveta Sarda, ed. sarai Reader 09: Projections. New Delhi: Raqs Media Collective, pp. 284-290.

Foundations, Movements and Dissonant Images: documentary film and its ambivalent relations to the nation state
Wolf, Nicole. 2013. Foundations, Movements and Dissonant Images: documentary film and its ambivalent relations to the nation state. In: K Moti Gokulsing and Wimal Dissanayake, eds. Routledge Handbook on Indian Cinema. London: Routledge, pp. 360-374. ISBN 978-0415677745

I am the very beautiful city. Conversations with Bombay, documented
Wolf, Nicole. 2012. I am the very beautiful city. Conversations with Bombay, documented. In: Madhusree Dutta; Rohan Shivkumar and Bhaumik Kaushik, eds. Cinema City. Chennai: Tulika Publishers. ISBN 978-8189487997

Of birds, rivers and sun strokes on shellac records – witnessing documentary alliances. [Forthcoming]
Wolf, Nicole. 2011. Of birds, rivers and sun strokes on shellac records – witnessing documentary alliances. [Forthcoming]. In: Irit Rogoff and Deepa Naik, eds. TRANSCODING – Cross Cultural Contemporary Arts. Walter Koenig Verlag, Cologne.

Conversations on locating conflict
Wolf, Nicole and Heidenreich, N.. 2010. Conversations on locating conflict. In: Monica Narula; Shuddhaprata Sengupta and Jeebesh Bagchi, eds. sarai reader 08: Fear. 08 New Delhi: Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, pp. 91-98. ISBN 978-81-905853-2-3

The promise of withholding
Wolf, Nicole. 2009. The promise of withholding. In: Anita Dawood, ed. Bani Abidi: Videos, Photographs and Drawings. London: Green Cardamom, pp. 36-38. ISBN 9780955177958

“Away in Berlin – Really! Documentary-fictional Side Notes”
Wolf, Nicole. 2008. “Away in Berlin – Really! Documentary-fictional Side Notes”. In: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus and Florian Wüst, eds. Who says concrete doesn’t burn, have you tried? West Berlin Film in the ’80s. Berlin: b-books, pp. 50-61. ISBN 978-3-933557-90-2

Lovers of Life for Heterogeneous Time
Wolf, Nicole. 2008. Lovers of Life for Heterogeneous Time. In: Jonathan Harris, ed. Identity Theft: Cultural Colonisation and contemporary Art. Liverpool: University of Liverpool and Critical Forum Tate Liverpool, pp. 159-174. ISBN 9781846311024

The import and export of knowledge in conversations or: where is my subject?
Wolf, Nicole. 2005. The import and export of knowledge in conversations or: where is my subject? In: Angelika Fitz; Merle Kroger; Alexandra Schneider and Dorothee Wenner, eds. Import / Export. Austria: Parthas Verlag, pp. 216-224. ISBN 978-3866019102

Portraits of Belonging’ - Eindrücke zu Repräsentationsspielräumen und Diskursen von unabhängigen Dokumentarfilmemacherinnen in Indien
Wolf, Nicole. 2002. Portraits of Belonging’ - Eindrücke zu Repräsentationsspielräumen und Diskursen von unabhängigen Dokumentarfilmemacherinnen in Indien. In: , ed. Frauen und Film. Frankfurt/ Main: UNSPECIFIED, pp. 99-114.

Article

Resonance/ Nachhall
Wolf, Nicole. 2012. Resonance/ Nachhall. Catalogue for the 42nd Forum, Berlin Film Festival,

Liminal Justice. The corporeal in Indian documentaries. [Forthcoming]
Wolf, Nicole. 2012. Liminal Justice. The corporeal in Indian documentaries. [Forthcoming]. Bioscope. South Asian Screen Studies,

Unlimited. Feminist film politics in Paromita Vohra’s work (working title)
Wolf, Nicole. 2012. Unlimited. Feminist film politics in Paromita Vohra’s work (working title). tbc,

The Time of Us. Shelly Silver’s ‘Here.His’
Wolf, Nicole. 2011. The Time of Us. Shelly Silver’s ‘Here.His’. Argos, pp. 13-14.

Experimental Support Structures for Moving Images – Experimenta. The International Festival for Moving Image Art in India 2009, Bangalore
Wolf, Nicole. 2010. Experimental Support Structures for Moving Images – Experimenta. The International Festival for Moving Image Art in India 2009, Bangalore. Afterall, online edition,

Of bird watchers and other incidental proceedings
Wolf, Nicole. 2010. Of bird watchers and other incidental proceedings. Catalogue for 40th Forum, Berlin Film Festival,

To be haunted. The Halfmoon Files
Wolf, Nicole. 2006. To be haunted. The Halfmoon Files. Catalogue for the 37th International Forum of New Cinema, Berlin Film Festival, pp. 161-164.

Transitional Zones: Nicole Wolf Interviews Tejal Shah
Wolf, Nicole. 2003. Transitional Zones: Nicole Wolf Interviews Tejal Shah. n.paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal, Issue: Out of Order, 12, pp. 59-67.

Conference or Workshop Item

Feminism@Goldsmiths
Greenan, Althea; George, Rosalyn P.; Joncus, Berta; Richmond, Vivienne and Wolf, Nicole. 2014. 'Feminism@Goldsmiths'. In: Feminism@Goldsmiths. Goldsmiths, Universirty of London, United Kingdom.

Exhibition Catalogue

Choice as Concept. New Narratives in Images and Discourses of Independent Women Filmmakers in India
Wolf, Nicole. 2001. Choice as Concept. New Narratives in Images and Discourses of Independent Women Filmmakers in India.

Film/Video

Kya Hua is Shahar Ko? / What has happened to this city? History, Context and Reflections on Re-screening a Political Film
Wolf, Nicole. 2013. Kya Hua is Shahar Ko? / What has happened to this city? History, Context and Reflections on Re-screening a Political Film.

Show/Exhibition

Persistence Resistance. Documentary Practices in India.
Wolf, Nicole. 2011. Persistence Resistance. Documentary Practices in India.. In: "Persistence Resistance. Documentary Practices in India.", London, United Kingdom.

Moving Politics. Cinemas from India
Wolf, Nicole and Wenner, Dorothee. 2010. Moving Politics. Cinemas from India. In: "Moving Politics. Cinemas from India", Arsenal. Institut for film and video art, Germany, June to October 2010.

No man’s land/ Everybody’s Land – Glaring in Defiance
Wolf, Nicole. 2009. No man’s land/ Everybody’s Land – Glaring in Defiance. In: "No Man's Land/ Everybody’s Land – Glaring in Defiance", Karachi, Pakistan, 30 January 2009 - 1 February 2009.

Experimentations from India
Wolf, Nicole. 2008. Experimentations from India. In: "Experimentations from India", Berlin Film Festival, Germany.

Video Mumbai
Wolf, Nicole. 2007. Video Mumbai. Lentos Kunstmuseum/ Museum of Modern Art Linz.

Other

Documenta XI
Wolf, Nicole. 2001. Documenta XI. UNSPECIFIED, Kassel, Germany.

Choice as Concept. New Narratives in Images and Discourses of Independent Women Filmmakers in India
Wolf, Nicole. 2001. Choice as Concept. New Narratives in Images and Discourses of Independent Women Filmmakers in India. UNSPECIFIED, Porto.