Dr Rachel Warriner

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Feminist Arts-Activism, New York: Collectives, Actions, Agitations

This project investigates the important contribution of activist collectives to the feminist art movement. Focusing on three groups based in New York in the 1960s-‘70s—Women Artists in Revolution, the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Artists, and Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation— it will chart the histories of collectives who fought for women’s access to the art world. An important part of this project is to reflect the collective nature of art-making at this moment and interrogate the impact of collaboration for artists working to address the gendered and racial biases of the art world. It will ask how artworks connect to progressive tactics and consider how collectivity impacted feminist arts practice.

My project builds on my existing research into feminist art, activism and the politics of objects. I completed my PhD at University College Cork on the work of Nancy Spero, focusing on the period of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. Arguing that Spero engaged with the metaphor of pain in order to affectively and viscerally connect the viewer to her political artworks, I closely examined her War series, Artaud works and Torture of Women. This research formed the basis of my book Pain and Politics in Postwar Feminist Art: Activism in the Work of Nancy Spero which is forthcoming from IB Tauris.

Research interests

Gender, Sexuality, Race, Feminism, American Art, Art and Politics, Affect, Emotion, Arts-Activism, Feminist art, Collaboration, Collectives, the Canon and its exclusions.


  • September 2018 – August 2021: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • September 2017-July 2018: Lecturer in Art Histories, City and Guilds of London Art School


  • 2011 – 2016: PhD in Art History. University College Cork. Dissertation title: ‘Nancy Spero: Pain and Politics, 1966-1976’.
  • 2009-2010: M.A. in History of Art: Modern and Contemporary Art, University College Cork. Dissertation title ‘”The artist who has his foot in a history book and an eye on himself can move, but not directly:” Time, Memory and Metis in Robert Rauschenberg’s XXXIV drawings for Dante’s inferno’.
  • 1999-2002: Dartington College of Arts B.A. (Hons) Theatre


  • City and Guilds of London Art School, lecturer in Art Histories (September 2017-June 2018)
  • University of East Anglia, Contemporary Gallery and Museum Studies, (January 2017-January 2018).
  • University College Cork (January 2011-September 2017):

Modules taught:

  • Postgraduate: Modernism and Modernity, MA seminar (co-taught); MA in Modern and Contemporary Art dissertation (supervision); MA in Women’s Studies lecture series.
  • Undergraduate: Makers’ Myths: The Persona of the Artist after 1945, third year seminar; From Disegno to the Digital: the history of Drawing, third year seminar (co-taught); An Introduction to Art History, first year survey lecture course.
  • Further Education: Certificate in Art History, diploma lecture course.
  • National College of Art and Design, Dublin: Art as Document / Documents of Art (January 2015-December 2015), Representing Feelings (January-June 2016).

Other academic activity

Modernisms Research Centre

I co-founded this interdisciplinary research centre investigating the foundations and developments of modernism into the contemporary. Working with colleagues I organised lectures, reading groups, book launches and discussions among scholars both within and outside of University College Cork.

Modernisms Research Centre Selected Conferences:

  • ‘Word Into Image’, 10 July 2014. Tactic Gallery, Cork. Funded by the Department of History of Art and the Department of French, University College Cork.
  • ‘Etant Donnés: Questioning the Material and Marginal Givens of Modernisms Scholarship’, 12-13 April 2013. University College Cork. Funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme.
  • ‘Feminism: Activism: Modernisms’, 14-15 September 2012. University College Cork. Funded by: The CACSSS Strategic Research Fund, The Graduate School, School of English, School of History, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Dept. of French and Dept. of History of Art, UCC.

Curator: Pluck Projects (2014-ongoing)

I work as part of the independent curatorial partnership, Pluck Projects, with Sarah Kelleher. Together we worked closely with contemporary artists to curate exhibitions across Ireland. https://pluckprojects.wordpress.com/

Selected exhibitions:

  • Vox Materia: Alice Maher, The Source Arts Centre, Thurles (March-May 2018) and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork (September-November 2018).
  • Gaolbreak: Angela Fulcher, Cork City Hall (January-February 2017).
  • New Work from Glasgow, Windle Building, University College Cork. (November, 2015)

Recent Publications


  • Pain and Politics in Postwar Feminist Art: Activism in the Work of Nancy Spero (London: I B Tauris, forthcoming 2018)

Peer review journals

  • ‘Nancy Spero’s Feminist Scrolls’ in Continuous Page. Scrolls and Scrolling from Papyrus to HypertextCourtauld Books Online (forthcoming, 2017). 6000 words.
  • Works of Witness: Maggie O’Sullivan’s A Natural History in Three Incomplete Parts and Point Blank Range. Irish University Review (May 2016).  pp. 171-182.
  • [Co-written with James Cummins]. ‘The Point of [an] Innovation in [Irish] Poetry [Conference]’. Irish Poetry Issue of the British and Irish Journal of Innovative Poetics. (2014) pp. 9-12.
  • ‘Picture-making on themes of failure and longing’: The picturing of human relations and the function of language in the work of Raymond Pettibon’. Artefact 4. (2010). pp. 46-60.

Book chapters

  • ‘‘Then Art Will Change. This is the Future’: Nancy Spero’s Manifestary Practice’, in Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices (Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2016), pp. 182-205


  • Editorial board member: Artefact: The Journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians  (2013-2017)
  • Editor: New Work from Glasgow to accompany group exhibition, Windle Building, University College Cork in association with the Cork Film Festival, 12-29 November, 2015. Pluck Projects, 2015.
  • Editor: In Pursuit of Leisure to accompany solo exhibition by Stephanie Hough, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork 24 Nov – 15 Oct, 2014. Pluck Projects, 2014.
  • Invited Editor: Irish Poetry Issue of The British and Irish Journal of Innovative Poetics. (2014)
  • Assistant Editor: Enclave Review (2010-2012)

Selected Reviews and short texts

  • ‘Robert Rauschenberg’ at the Tate Modern. Enclave Review (2017). p. 1.
  • ‘Knitting Map’. Enclave Review (2015). pp. 5-6.
  • ‘Alice Maher Reservoir’. Enclave Review (2015). pp. 1-2.
  • ‘Louise Bourgeois at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh’. Enclave Review (2014) pp. 3-5.
  • ‘55th Venice Biennale’. Enclave Review (2013) pp. 12-13.
  • ‘Robert Power and Rachel Barton at the Cork Film Centre Gallery’. Enclave Review (2013) pp. 2-3.
  • ‘Angela Fulcher at the Black Mariah Gallery’. Enclave Review (2012) p 12.
  • Gravity at the Crawford Art Gallery’. Enclave Review (2012) pp. 5-6.
  • ‘Black Sun’. wearenoise.com. (2012). n.p.
  • Nancy Spero at the Centre Pompidou’. Enclave Review. (2011) pp 8-9.