Katy Deepwell earned her PhD in Art History from Birkbeck College at University of London and currently holds the position of Professor of Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism at Middlesex University. She is an art critic and researches 20th and 21st century art history and criticism about with a focus on feminist art criticism and theory about contemporary women artists. She has been teaching in higher education for many years and has held various positions: Head of Research Training and Reader in Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism, University of the Arts, London (2004-2010) Research Fellow in Art and Design Department at University of Ulster, Belfast (1999-2002) Senior Lecturer in Art Theory at Oxford Brookes University (1995-1996).
Deepwell is also the founder and editor of n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal (40 vols.,1998-2017), the editor of the Feminist-Art-Observatory at KT press (www.ktpress.co.uk) and author of n.paradoxa's MOOC, a mass open online course on contemporary art and feminism (https://nparadoxa.com). Her books include: (ed) Feminist Art Activisms and Artivisms (Valiz, 2020), All-Women Art Spaces in Europe in the Long 1970s with Agata Jakubowska, eds. (Liverpool University Press, 2017), Feminist Art Manifestos: An Anthology (KT press, 2014), Women Artists between the Wars (Manchester University Press, 2010), Women Artists and Modernism (MUP, 1998) and New Feminist Art Criticism: Critical Strategies (MUP, 1995).
Deepwell will be leading a pre-conference workshop on Thursday November 14th at 9:30am, and she will be giving her keynote presentation, “Art in Women and Gender Studies,” the following morning on Friday November 15th at 9:00am.
Interview with Katy Deepwell
What is your current position at your institution and what projects are you involved in at the moment?
I am the founder of KT press (1998) and editor of n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal (1998-2017). These are both online at www.ktpress.co.uk
The journal ran for 20 years and finished with volume 40 in July 2017. KT press published the journal, ebooks on feminist art, houses The Feminist Art Observatory (the largest collection of resources on feminism and contemporary art online) and is ongoing. I also wrote and run n.paradoxa’s MOOC (mass open online course on contemporary art and feminisms) https://nparadoxa.com and run a JISC email list on Feminism-Local-Global-Dynamics.
Since 2013, I have been Professor of Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism at Middlesex University. I am a member of the Create/Feminisms cluster there and we/I have organised several events through this cluster’s activities. I am also the editor of a new book which arose from one of the conferences: Feminist Art Activisms and Artivisms which will be published in 2020 by Valiz in The Netherlands.
What are your research areas of interest and how do they pertain to theme of the conference?
I work in the discipline of fine art, but I explore how feminisms interact with the field of contemporary art. I am a feminist art critic and art historian. I write essays and books, organise conferences and have developed a few digital platforms. If you want my CV, you can find this online.
What are you planning to talk about at the conference/ what will your presentation entail?
My paper is about how women/gender studies thinks about art and women artists, and how art critics and artists think about feminisms. As you can see in the terms used, there are disjunctures in language between the two areas – as well as a long history inside and outside the women’s art movement/women’s movement since the early 1970s. This is what I aim to explore in the presentation as methodological questions in feminist theory. I am interested in exploring this question from two sides: how do feminists think about art and how do artists think about feminism? These two are not sides of the same coin, there are misunderstandings and confusions between them.
I’m also doing a workshop on Feminist Art Manifestos as a means to explore how feminisms emerge in contemporary art. The examples come from 1969-present and many countries. This workshop will be a reading workshop for all participants. The Manifestos were collected mainly for my book: Feminist Art Manifestos: An Anthology (KT press, 2014).
A larger list of feminist manifestos are also available at www.ktpress.co.uk/feminist-art-manifestos.asp
What are your goals for the conference (personal and/or professional)?
I’m very honoured to have been invited to give a keynote at a national gender studies conference. Normally, I’m invited to or offer to speak at art/art history events. So, I’m very interested in an exchange of views and perspectives about feminist theory as well as gender studies. I hope that people who attend will find some points of connection between my research and work and their areas of expertise and a fruitful dialogue will result. I’m interested in the art / art history presentations and the Art and Dementia workshop as well as future directions in feminist research and pedagogy, but also the panel on witchcraft as I organised a Create/Feminisms event in 2015 on this subject and am about to publish an article from that in Pomegranate: a pagan studies journal.
The interview was conducted by Kaja Nan Gjelde-Bennett.