Nicole R. Fleetwood

Fleetwood Square


Associate Professor of American Studies

Office: RAB 205F

Office Hours: M 2:15 - 2:45P
                      Th 2:15 - 3:15P


Phone: 848-932-9174


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 DiasporaPublic CultureSignsSocial Texttdr: the journal of performance studies, art catalogues, and edited anthologies. 

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.

pdf Dr. Nicole Fleetwood’s Curriculum Vitae (175 KB)

Selected Publications

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Aperture Magazine #230, Spring 2018


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On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination. Pinpoints series. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015.


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Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality and Blackness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

"Raising a Black Boy Not to be Afraid,” Literary Hub, 3 October 2018

"Through His Art, A Former Prisoner Diagnoses the Systemic Sickness of Florida’s Penitentiaries,” The Conversation, 31 August 2018

"Deana Lawson’s Mohawk Correctional Series.” In Reflections: The American Collection at the Columbus Museum of Art, edited by Nannette Maciejunes and M. Melissa Wolfe.  Columbus: Columbus Museum of Art in Association with Ohio University Press, 2018.

"Mickalene Thomas’s World Making.” In Mickalene Thomas: I Can’t See You Without Me, edited by Ryan ShaferColumbus, OH: Wexner Center for the Arts, 2018: 57-61.

Posing in Prison: Family Photographs, Emotional Labor and Carceral Intimacy.” Public Culture. 27.3 (Fall 2015)

“Performing Empathies: The Art of Saya Woolfalk.” Callaloo Art and Culture in the African Diaspora. 37.4 (Fall 2014): 973-989. 

“The Case of Rihanna: Erotic Violence and Black Female Desire.” African American Review.  45.3 (Fall 2012): 419-435.

“Failing Narratives, Initiating Technologies: Hurricane Katrina and the Production of a Weather Media Event.” American Quarterly 58.3 (Sept 2006): 767-789.

“Mediating Youth: Community-Based Production and the Politics of Race and Authenticity.” Social Text 23.1 (Spring 2005): 83-109.

“Hip-Hop Fashion, Masculine Anxiety and the Discourse of Americana.” Black Cultural Traffic:  Crossroads in Performance and Popular Culture.  Eds. Harry J. Elam, Jr. and Kennell Jackson.  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 2005: 326-345.

“Authenticating Practices: Producing Youth, Performing Realness.” Youthscapes: The Popular, the National, and the Global.  Eds.  Sunaina Maira and Elisabeth Soep.  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005: 155-172.

“Visible Seams: Gender, Race, Technology and the Media Art of Fatimah Tuggar.” Signs 30.1 (Autumn 2004): 1429-1454.

“'Busing it' in the City: Black Youth, Performance, and Public Transit.” TDR: the journal of performance studies 48.2 (Summer 2004): 33-48.