Faculty & Staff
Art History and Museum Studies
Special Assistant to the Dean for Education & Arts Partnerships
College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
410-455-2840 FA 333
Dr. Kathy O'Dell is an art critic and historian of modern and contemporary art, with a focus on performance art, women artists, and issues related to global art. Her writings have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Lusitania, Performance Research, TDR: The Drama Review, Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture, and Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. She was a co-founder, editor, and president of Link: A Critical Journal on the Arts, which published ten book-length volumes between 1996 and 2005. She also curated the first retrospective of the little-known artwork of the well-known feminist writer Kate Millett in 1997 at the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at UMBC.
Author of Contract with the Skin: Masochism, Performance Art, and the 1970s (University of Minnesota Press, 1998), O'Dell is currently finishing a major survey book titled World Art Since 1945, co-written with Duke University Professor Kristine Stiles, and working on a sole-authored book titled The Dot: A Big History of a Small Point. O'Dell has lectured at national and international institutions, including the Getty Research Institute (L.A.), Guggenheim Museum of Art (N.Y.), Mt. Allison University (Canada), Royal Danish Academy of Art (Copenhagen), and Manchester University (U.K.).
From 2001 to 2014, O'Dell was Associate Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at UMBC, and is now serving as Special Assistant to the Dean for Education & Arts Partnerships. She chairs the Higher Education in the Arts Task Force (HEAT Force) for the Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance (AEMS), serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA), and is a Councilor on the Maryland State Arts Council.
Dr. O'Dell has a B.A. in Art and French from Colby College, an M.A. in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the CUNY Graduate Center.