Dr Alice Butler is an interdisciplinary scholar and art writer working across feminist art history, feminist theory, and art writing practice. She is the 2021/2022 Terra Foundation Centre for American Art Postdoctoral Fellow and she also teaches in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Manchester in April 2019 for the thesis, “Close Writing: Touching Kathy Acker and Cookie Mueller”. In her research, she specialises in the intersections of feminist art and writing to explore questions of sickness, sexuality, and gender, via feminist and queer perspectives and experimental approaches to archive and autotheoryShe has previously held fellowships with the Paul Mellon Centre, the Freud Museum London, and the AHRC. Recent publications include the article “‘Have you tried it with three? Have you?’ Ann Quin, Love Triangles, and the Affects of Art/Writing,” in Capacious: A Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry (2021) and the essay “Fan Letters of Love,” in Fandom as Methodology: A Sourcebook for Artists and Writers (2019). She has also recently published essays in the art writing anthologies ON CARE (2020) and ON FIGURE/S (2021). She is currently finalising work on a number of book projects, including a monograph on the sick desires and pleasures of Kathy Acker and Cookie Mueller’s interdisciplinary art writing, and a collection of essays, articles, and dialogues on gesture in feminist art and writing, within which she will be publishing new research on Francesca Woodman’s photography and autoeroticism. This intersects with a new project on the interrelation of textiles, sickness, and perversion, as represented and performed in feminist art practices, that she is researching during her Fellowship at the Centre for American Art.  


Awards & Fellowships

Terra Foundation Centre for American Art Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2021/2022

Paul Mellon Centre Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2020/2021

AHRC Knowledge Transfer Scheme: for a research and writing fellowship at the Freud Museum, 2019

NWCDTP Collaborative Skills Scheme Award, May 2018: for the interdisciplinary conference on gesture in experimental writing, performance and visual art, GESTURES: writing that moves between, Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester and HOME, 15-16 February 2019

NWCDTP Fieldwork and Conference Fund Award, February 2018

NWCDTP Student Development Fund Award, October 2016

Arts and Humanities Research Council Award, University of Manchester, September 2015 – September 2018

President Doctoral Scholar Award, University of Manchester, September 2015 – September 2018

Critical Writing in Art and Design Prize, Royal College of Art, June 2013

Frieze Writer’s Prize, September 2012

Art History Prize, University of Sussex, June 2011


Close Writing: Kathy Acker, Cookie Mueller and Love-in-pieces, monograph in preparation

Gestures: A Body of Work, edited collection in preparation

“Have you tried it with three? Ann Quin, Love Triangles, and the Affects of Art/writing,” Capacious: Journal of Emerging Affect Inquiry, forthcoming 2021

“Nylon Perversions,” in ON FIGURE/S, edited by Sharon Kivland, Kate Macfarlane, and Michael Newman (London: MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE / Drawing Room, 2021, forthcoming)

“Looking and Touching, Desire, Closely,” in ON CARE, edited by Sharon Kivland and Rebecca Jagoe (MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE, 2020)

‘Fan Letters of Love’ in Fandom as Methodology, eds. Catherine Grant and Kate Love (London: Goldsmiths Press, 2019)

“VALIE EXPORT’s Transgressive Show for the 1980 Venice Biennale Reappears in London,” frieze.com, 23 December 2019

‘feel it throb’, in THROBWERK: Kate Lyddon and Angela Maasalu (Tallinn: Tallinn Art Hall, 2019)

‘Eleanor Antin on Art, Ageing and Grief’, frieze.com, 29 May 2019

‘Stitching Bodies: Mari Katayama’s Handiwork’, in MARI KATAYAMA (London: White Rainbows, 2019)

‘Kate Zambreno: Book of Mutter’, Art Monthly, October 2017

‘56 Artillery Lane’, frieze, September 2017

‘With Love, A Letter to Cookie, and her Stories’, Cabinet Issue 62, Fall/Winter 2016 (published spring 2017)

‘Postcards to Performance (about time)’, gorse no.8 (Dublin: Gorse, March 2017)

‘A Love Letter to a Klepto’, Hotel (London: Hotel Magazine, February 2017)

‘The Peach Slip’, Transition Transformation Transience (London: Wapping Project Commissions, September 2016)

‘Dóra Maurer, 6 out of 5’, frieze, June 2016

‘Autobiographical Bodies’, Cabinet Issue 58: Theft, Spring/Summer 2016

The Bark Babe, Zabludowicz Collection, December 2015 – exhibition text commissioned to coincide with Kate Lyddon’s ‘Zabludowicz Invites’ exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection, London.

‘scrolling the banal babe, in the work of Clunie Reid’, Photoworks Annual Issue 22: Women (Brighton: Photoworks, November 2015)

fiction as friendship, or writing with influence (London: Bow Arts, October 2015) – exhibition text commissioned to coincide with Willem Weissman’s show at Bow Arts in London, Alphabet Soup

‘The boys the girls and the political’, frieze, October 2015

‘To Ann, Finally…’, gorse no.4 (Dublin: Gorse, September 2015)

‘Killing Pain with Language’ (London: l’étrangère, September 2015) – exhibition text commissioned to coincide with Joanna Rajkowska’s show at l’étrangère gallery in London, Painkillers

‘Hannah Collins’, Art Monthly, September 2015

‘Andra Ursuta’, frieze, May 2015

Girls Modelled in Plaster or, Losing Your Head (London: Standpoint gallery, May 2015) – exhibition text commissioned to coincide with Kate Lyddon’s show at Standpoint gallery in London, Kate Lyddon – The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award

‘Rachel Maclean’, frieze, March 2015

Scrolling you, and the cold descriptors (London: APT gallery, March 2015) – exhibition text commissioned to coincide with the group exhibition at APT gallery, Strange Attraction

‘Jonathan Baldock’, frieze, online, June 2014

‘Luis Camnitzer, Sentences’, Tate Research, June 2014

‘Jim Lambie, Ska’s Not Dead’, Tate Research, June 2014

‘Said & Done’, frieze, Issue 163, May 2014

Artificial Hearts (London: Film and Video Umbrella/Jerwood Visual Arts, April 2014) – catalogue essay for What Will They See Of Me? Jerwood/FVU Awards 2014

‘Clunie Reid: In Pursuit of the Liquid’, frieze, January 2014

‘Derek Jarman’s Sketchbooks’, TLS, December 2013

‘Unbound Unleashed Unforgiving: Kathy Acker’s Non-Fiction’, Eros Journal III, (London: Eros Press Ltd: London, 2013)

‘Aquatopia’, frieze, October 2013

‘Focus Interview: Caragh Thuring’, frieze, October 2013

‘Aggressively Colloquial: An Interview with Chris Kraus’, with Sarah Jury and Jamie Sutcliffe, Arc 17.2: Crossings Issue (London: Royal College of Art, 2013)

‘An Excess of Selves: Are We All Polymaths Now?’, with Sarah Jury and Jamie Sutcliffe, Arc 17.2: Crossings Issue (London: Royal College of Art, 2013)

‘The Thousand and Third Night: Alternative Miss World, 1975’, After Butler’s Wharf: Essays on a Working Building (London: Royal College of Art, 2013)

‘Poet’s Corner or, An Empty Grave’, Arc 17.1: Rural Issue (London: Royal College of Art, 2013)

‘The Vivisector’, frieze, April 2013

‘Cally Spooner’, frieze, January 2013

‘Crashing into Someword New’, The Coelacanth Journal (London: The Coelacanth Press, 2012)

‘The Historical Box’, frieze, October 2012: winning review of Frieze Writer’s Prize 2012


‘Introduction’, “Sick Women: The Chronic-poetics of Feminist Art History’, College Art Association, February 2021

‘Looking and Touching, Desire, Closely’, To Write Art, University of Copenhagen, 14-15 November 2019

‘Dear Cookie: A Letter to Your Adolescent Reverie’, Modern Language Association International Symposium, Lisbon, 23-25 July 2019

‘Close Writing in Three Acts’, Afterlife of the Object Summer School, University of Copenhagen, 18-22 June 2019

‘Stealing Desire’, GESTURES: writing that moves between, Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester and HOME, February 2019: conference organiser and speaker

‘A Love Triangle’, Critical Reinventions, University of East Anglia: symposium speaker

‘Kathy Acker’s Close-conceptual-writing’, College Art Association Annual Conference, LA Convention Centre, Los Angeles, February 2018: conference speaker

‘Cookie Mueller’s Adolescent Fragments’, University of Manchester, December 2017: lecture

‘Postal Perversions of the Personal: Getting Closer to Kathy Acker and her Chapbook Desire’, Speak, body: Art, the Reproduction of Capital and the Reproduction of Life, University of Leeds, April 2017: conference speaker

Writing at Large, Royal College of Art, London, February 2017: roundtable discussion

‘Last Letters and Love Letters: Getting Closer to Cookie Mueller’, New York University, November 2016: lecture

‘The Peach Slip’, Transition, Transformation, Transience: Wapping Project Commissions Launch, Regent Street Cinema, September 2016: performance reading

‘Fan Letters of Love’, Feminist Readings 2, University of Leeds, April 2016: conference speaker

‘Barf! From weakness to writing’, Unmentionables: Conversations about the Obscene, University of Manchester, February 2016: symposium speaker 

Barf Talk, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, February 2016: performance lecture

Zabludowicz Invites Presentation, with Kate Lyddon, Zabludowicz Collection, London, December 2015: live reading of exhibition text with film screening

What Will They See of Me? Conference, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, May 2015: speaker and chair of in-conversation with artists Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett

Artist Talk and Publication Launch, Standpoint Gallery, London, May 2015: reading of exhibition text

Strange Attraction Curator’s Panel, APT Gallery, London, March 2015: panel speaker

What Will They See of Me?, Jerwood Space, March 2015: gallery tour and presentation

‘To Ann, Finally: Barf, Body, Writing’, Legacies of the Avant Garde: Experimental Writings 1960-2014, University of Brighton, November 2014: symposium speaker

‘Ann Quin’s Night-time Ink, A Postscript’, Critical Writing in Art and Design Symposium, Royal College of Art, June 2013: symposium speaker

Christine Brooke-Rose Re-made, Royal College of Art, April 2013: performance reading of Brooke-Rose’s work

‘1970s Experimental Writing: Discovering Sparraws Kneecaps’, Relatively Absolute Symposium, Wysing Arts Centre, March 2013: speaker and Q&A with Elizabeth Price and Stewart Home

Arc 17: Death, ICA, 2012: performance reading

Residencies & Exhibitions  

Whitstable Biennale 2016, Whitstable, June 2016

POSTmatter, Fig-2, ICA Studio, London, July 2015: live writing event

Jerwood Visual Arts Writer in Residence, Spring 2015