Carol Mavor is Visiting Professor of Art at the Royal College of Art (London) and Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester (UK).
Professor Mavor is the author of five books, the first four
published by Duke University Press: Reading Boyishly: Roland Barthes, J. M.
Barrie, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marcel Proust, and D. W. Winnicott (2007), Becoming: The Photographs of Clementina,
Viscountess, Hawarden (1999) Pleasures
Taken: Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs (1995) and Black and Blue: The Bruising Passion
of Camera Lucida, La Jetée, Sans
soleil and Hiroshima mon amour
(2012). Mavor’s Blue
Mythologies: A Study of the Colour was
published by Reaktion Books in
2013. Her current book
project on fairy tales, entitled Aurelia: Art and Literature Through the
Mouth of the Fairy Tale, is
forthcoming from Reaktion Books.
Mavor's essays have appeared in
Cabinet Magazine, Art History, Photography and Culture, Photographies, as well as edited volumes.
Mavor’s writing has been widely reviewed in
publications in the U.S. and the U.K., including Publishers’s Weekly,Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Times
Higher Eduction, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and The Village Voice. She has lectured broadly in the US and the UK,
including The Photographers’ Gallery (London), University of Cambridge, Duke
University, the Royal College of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. For 2010-2011,
Mavor was named the Northrop Frye Chair in Literary Theory at University of
Toronto. Currently, Mavor is hard
at work on fairy tales, a novel entitled Like a Lake and a film
with Megan Powell entitled FULL.
As a student, Carol Mavor started out making art objects, not writing about them. To steal the words of the French historian Jules Michelet, you might say that she is an 'artist historian'. Before embarking on her PhD (studying with Hayden White), Mavor received an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, she studied painting and film with the critic-painter Manny Farber. She learned about cinema from the filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin. She saw beyond 'objecthood' under the tutelage of performance greats like Allan Kaprow and Eleanor Antin. Inspired by her teachers, who were often writers and makers, Mavor made her own things and wrote scripts. Performing within her sculpted, painted, carved, wallpapered, furnished scenes, she told stories of childhoods, real and imaginary. One performance was entitled 'Alice Malice'. 'Alice Malice' was the seed of her lifelong interest in Lewis Carroll. Thereafter, the relationship between writing and art-making was forever knitted for Carol Mavor.