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Nicole R. Fleetwood

Associate Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University

Nicole R. Fleetwood is a cultural theorist and writer interested in visual culture, black cultural history, gender and feminist studies, performance, creative nonfiction, and poverty studies.

She is the author of two books: "Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness," which was the recipient of the 2012 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize of the American Studies Association, and "On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination" (Rutgers University Press, 2015). Her articles appear in African American Review, American Quarterly, Aperture, Callaloo: Art and Culture in the African Diaspora, Public Culture, Signs, and Social Text.

Fleetwood is the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is completing her third book, "Marking Time: Prison Art and Public Culture," a study of visual art in the era of mass incarceration. She has collaborated with Aperture Foundation on Prison Nation—an exhibition of prison photography, a special issue of the magazine, and a six-part public engagement series. In 2014, she co-organized “Marking Time: Prison Art and Activism,” a conference and exhibition with the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers.

She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature and her B.Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University (Ohio).

She is a series associate editor of Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender Studies, a ten-volume series, and is an editorial collective member of the journal, Social Text.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University