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Becky Bivens

PhD, 2022: Modern and Contemporary Art


Becky Bivens received her PhD in Art History from UIC in 2022. She currently serves as Kirk Visiting Professor of Art History and Collections Manager at Agnes Scott College. Bivens' research focuses on mid-century American abstract art and criticism as well as aesthetic theory. Her dissertation, “Art Criticism in the Wild: Wolfgang Paalen, Clement Greenberg, Lucy Lippard,” theorizes the changing significance of emotion in the art criticism of the three writers named in the title. It has been supported by a fellowship in 20th-Century Abstract Painting at the Thoma Foundation and a grant from the Getty Research Institute. UIC supported her work through UIC's Provost's Award, the Circle Dissertation Completion Fellowship, and a Ross Edman Fellowship. Since 2010, she has taught art history surveys, art criticism, modern and postwar American Art, philosophy of art, history of photography, and gender studies. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College (BA, Studio Art) and the University of Chicago (AM, Humanities).