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Catherine Spencer

Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, University of St Andrews

Catherine joined the School as a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art in 2014, having previously taught at the University of Edinburgh and received her PhD from the University of York. Her research and teaching interests span performance art, particularly in the United States, Latin America and Europe, from the 1960s to the present; re-performance and its politics; dematerialized, multi-media, participatory and collaborative practices; the relationship between performance and pedagogy; interdisciplinary overlaps between art, sociology and anthropology; the body, gender and feminism; transnational exchange and globalization; and abstraction.

Catherine is currently working on a book project entitled Fieldwork: Performance Art, Social Science and Politics in the 1960s and 1970s, and is co-editing a collection of essays with Dr Jo Applin and Amy Tobin at the University of York entitled London Art Worlds: Mobile, Contingent and Ephemeral Networks 1960-1980. She has published articles in the journals Art History and Tate Papers, and regularly writes exhibition reviews for Apollo and This is Tomorrow. Her research has been supported by grants from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Carnegie Trust, the AHRC and a Getty Library Research Grant. In 2013 she was a pre-doctoral fellow on the Terra Summer Residency in Giverny.

In addition to her work on performance art, Catherine also retains a strong parallel research interest in art practice in the UK from Modernism through to the contemporary moment, building on her MA studies in this area. A chapter on the abstract painter Prunella Clough was published in the book British Art in the Nuclear Age in 2014.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, University of St Andrews


  • 2014 
    University of York, PhD