Hilary Robinson is Dean of the School of Art and Design and Professor of Visual Culture at Middlesex University, appointed January 2013. Her teaching and research focus on feminist art theory. Initially she trained as a painter, graduating with a BA Fine Art, University of Newcastle upon Tyne; she also has an MA by thesis in Cultural History from the Royal College of Art, London, and a PhD in Art Theory from the University of Leeds.
Most of her academic life has been in the UK. From 1992-2005 she worked at the University of Ulster teaching the history and theory of contemporary art to studio Fine and Applied Art students, at BA, MFA, and MPhil and PhD levels. She became Research Co-ordinator for Art and Design, leading the School to a grade of 5 in RAE2001. She then became Head of School. While at the University of Ulster she gained her first Chair, as Professor of the Politics of Art. In 2005 Professor Robinson was appointed to the position of Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, where she served a full five-year term. She was granted tenure at the same time, as full professor of Art Theory and Criticism. While in Pittsburgh she was a board member of (amongst other organisations) The Andy Warhol Museum, and The Mattress Factory Museum.
Professor Robinson's main area of teaching is the history and theory of contemporary art for art studio students. Her specialist interest is in feminist art: history, theory, and practice, with further interest in politically-informed art and critical practices, and body-, live-, and performance art.Her main pedagogic interest is in establishing the most effective and appropriate teaching and learning methods in the context of exploring the uses of art history and theory for studio students.Modules and courses taught in the UK and the USA include:
My research is an exploration of the intersection of feminism and art, and aims to develop thinking about the relationship between practice and theory in what has been and continues to be a highly productive juncture. What drives me is an interest in how 'art' and 'feminism' (as a set of politics, as a web of thought, and as a diversity of practices) have informed each other, challenged each other, and created new ways of thinking and making. Major publications include Visibly Female: Feminism and Art Today (Camden Press: 1987);Feminism-Art-Theory 1968-2000 (Blackwell: 2001);Reading Art, Reading Irigaray: The Politics of Art by Women (IB Tauris: 2006). I curatedFeminist and… at the Mattress Factory Museum (2012).
Enquiries about doctoral studies are welcome in any appropriate area, inclusing on individual feminist artists or art theorists; on the intersection of feminist thinking and practice with other politically informed positions and practices; and in practice-led research. PhDs supervises and completed to date (at University of Ulster) include:
Harley, Alison and James, Stephanie and Reid, Eileen and Reid, Seona and Robinson, Hilary and Watson, Yvonne (2008) The third space: a paradigm for internationalism. In: The Student Experience in Art and Design Higher Education: Drivers for Change. Jill Rogers Associates Ltd, Cambridge, pp. 167-187. ISBN 0 9547111 7 3
Robinson, Hilary (2016) New feminist activism: memory, art, and context. In: XLIX AICA International Congress: New Utopias: Art, Memory, Context, 11-15 Oct 2016, Havana, Cuba.
Robinson, Hilary (2016) Feminism meets the big exhibition: museum survey shows since 2005. On Curating, 29 . pp. 29-40.
Robinson, Hilary , ed. (2015) Feminism-art-theory 1968-2014: an anthology. Wiley Blackwell, Malden MA; Oxford UK. ISBN 9781118360606
Robinson, Hilary (2000) Whose beauty? Women, art, and inter-subjectivity in Luce Irigaray’s writings. In: Beauty Matters. Brand, Peg Zeglin , ed. Indiana University Press, pp. 224-251. ISBN 9780253213754