Dr Catherine Grant

Staff details

Position Associate Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures and Senior Lecturer (Critical Studies) in Art
Department Visual Cultures
Email c.grant (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 77172557
Dr Catherine Grant

Catherine Grant is currently researching the re-enactment of histories of feminism in contemporary art. Her work explores re-enactment as a way of learning from history, as well as a place of fantasy and possibility for the future. Drawing on thinking about temporalities and history-making from queer and feminist theorists, as well as the construction of ‘the contemporary’ and ‘contemporary art’ in philosophy and art history, she has written a number of essays that explore strategies of re-enactment, re-writing and community-building across temporal divides. The beginning of this research has been published as “Fans of Feminism: re-writing histories of second-wave feminism in contemporary art” and “A Time of One’s Own" in the Oxford Art Journal.

Her research also explores the intersection between creative and critical forms of art writing, particularly within the context of feminist and queer politics. She has previously researched the depiction of girlhood in photography, arguing that adolescence is a time and space of non-normative gender and sexual identity. Connecting these areas of research are interests in the intersection between feminist and queer theory, the depiction of the subject within postmodernism, the development of ‘contemporary art history’, psychoanalytic theories of identity and sexuality and issues of performativity and performance. Further details can be found on her publications tab below.

Academic qualifications

PhD (2007, Courtauld, University of London), MA (1999, Courtauld, University of London), BA (1997, University of Reading)


Catherine teaches on the MA in Contemporary Art Theory in the Visual Cultures Department, running the special option “Reading the Performative”.

Catherine teaches on the Critical Studies programme as part of the BA Fine Art, in the Art Department, running the second year seminar course entitled “Feel Your Desire”.

She supervises PhD projects in the Art Department, and is open to PhD project proposals relating to her research specialisms. She has PhD students working on both practice-based and thesis only projects, mainly in the areas of feminist histories, art and theory in North American and British art since 1960.

Professional Projects

Catherine has served on the editorial board of the Association for Art History for the publication Art History since 2014.

She has written for a number of contemporary art and photography publications, including Source, Photoworks, Frieze and MAKE magazine.

As a member of Ph: The Photography Research Network, she worked on an online project exploring photography within contemporary culture for the National Media Museum in 2012-2013 alongside Ben Burbridge.

She helped organise a number of conferences at the Courtauld Institute of Art, including 'Writing Art History' (2007-2009), 'Colour Photography: From Autochrome to Cibachrome' (2007) and 'Theory as an Object' (2003).

Recorded works

'Learning and Playing: re-enacting feminist histories', lecture recorded at “SALT NEWGenNOW” conference, The White Building, London, November 2014. https://vimeo.com/115330152

'Mother-Daughter', episode of Paperweight Radio, discussion with the artist Lisa Castagner, 3rd October 2013. https://soundcloud.com/paperweight-newspaper/pw-mother-daughter

'Girls, Fans, Her Noise', recording of paper given at the symposium "Her Noise: Feminisms and the Sonic", Tate Modern, May 2012. The recording is part of the panel 'Affinities, Networks and Heroines' and begins at 0:21:00, http://hernoise.org/interactions/feminisms-the-sonic/symposium/

'Feminism Again'. Discussion on contemporary feminism and art chaired by Irene Revell with Jude Kelly, Catherine Grant, Rachel Anderson and Martina Mullaney. Resonance FM, 19 November 2010, series of talks by Enemies of Good Art: http://www.enemiesofgoodart.org/feminism-again/

“Baby Butches and Reluctant Lolitas: Performances of Adolescence”, lecture for Open University Study Day on Performance, Gender and Identity, Tate Modern, 2005. http://www.openartsarchive.org/oaa/content/performance-gender-and-identity-0 and http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/performance-gender-and-identity-study-day-part-7


Research Interests

Contemporary art, contemporary art history, feminist art histories, American postmodernism,  intersections between queer theory and feminism, performativity and performance, the photograph as art, amateur and institutional nineteenth century photography, photographic portraiture, surrealism