Kristine Nielsen

Associate Professor of Art History

Personal profile


I am currently pursuing two main areas of research. My most recent work examines Nordic contemporary artists responding to histories of Nordic colonialism. Artists such as Marja Helander, Liselotte Wajstedt, Jeanette Ehlers, Jorma Puranen, and Mattias Olofsson all explore various facets of Indigeneity, whether derived from their own cultures and histories of colonialism or a version with which they are intimately familiar. Their art speaks to the merging of juxtapositions and a new worldview, often using forms of resistance against the dominant narratives and visualities in Nordic cultures.

The second area of research focuses on controversial political monuments in Germany in the second half of twentieth-century, with a particular focus on the official memorials of the former G.D.R. How did unified Germany in the early 1990s struggle with sight of the Marxist-Leninist public monuments scattered across the eastern parts of Germany, especially in Berlin? Monuments to Karl Marx, Lenin, Thälmann, and border guards provoked the most violent language, at times resulting in acts of iconoclasm from both above and below. Participants in the iconoclasm were not merely seeking to destroy an image and eliminate it from public view. They were also forming new images, alternative visual suggestions and ways to articulate a viewpoint in public space.

Education/Academic qualification

Department of Art History, PhD, University of Chicago

… → 2010


  • History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology
  • Contemporary Art
  • Modern Art and Architecture
  • Theory and Criticism