Nadja Rottner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Art History
Nadja Rottner
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Language, Culture, and the Arts
Honors Program
Monday and Wednesdays 11:00am -12:00pm

Teaching Areas:

Art History/Applied Art

Research Areas:

American Art, Contemporary Art, Latin American Art

Biography and Education

Nadja Rottner, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters. Dr. Rottner received her initial M.A. degree in Art History from the Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria. She also completed a Museum Studies Certificate at the Pedagogical University of the Diocese Graz-Seckau, Austria. Rottner earned an M.A. in Modern Art and Critical Studies and a Ph.D. at Columbia University, New York City. Prior to joining the University of Michigan-Dearborn, she taught at Columbia University, Barnard College, Hunter College, and the New School for Social Research in New York City, as well as at the California College of the Arts in Oakland/San Francisco.


  • Ph.D. Columbia University
  • M.A. in Modern Art and Critical Studies, Columbia University
  • M.A. Karl-Franzens University of Graz; Museum Studies Certificate, Pedagogical University of the Diocese Graz-Seckau

Selected Publications

Professor Rottner has published in a number of refereed journals including the Getty Research Journal, Oxford Art Journal, Art Journal, Modern Drama, Sculpture Journal, and Camera Austria. She has published essays on Alejandro Otero, Sigfredo Chacón, Eduardo Costa, Marta Minujín, Claes Oldenburg, Ruth Vollmer, and Robert Whitman, among other postwar artists. She contributes to Artforum International and writes for Detroit-based platforms such as Essay’d, Detroit Art Review, and Infinite Mile in support of the local arts community.

Dr. Rottner has edited books on Ruth Vollmer, 1961-1978: Thinking the Line (Hatje Cantz, 2006) and Gego, 1957-1988: Thinking the Line (Hatje Cantz, 2006). More recently, she edited Claes Oldenburg, An October Files book (The MIT Press, 2012). In 2015, she published Cardiovista: Detroit Street Photography, University of Michigan-Dearborn. Her research monograph “Claes Oldenburg’s Theater of Vision: Poetry, Sculpture, Film, and Performance Art” is forthcoming from Routledge in the Fall of 2023.

She is currently at work on a new book manuscript that features a group of young Venezuelan artists such as Eugenio Espinoza, Diego Barbosa, Milton Becerra, Antonieta Sosa, Claudio Perna, Luis Villamizar, and Yeni & Nan. They took geometric abstraction into public spaces, parks, and nature preserves in Caracas in the 1970s, giving visibility to the gendered, socially stratified, and indigenous body in performative acts of cultural, social, and political diagnosis.


Dr. Rottner’s research interests are American art after 1945; with a special emphasis on the intersections between the visual arts, performance, literature, music, and film; Latin American art after 1945; legacies of abstraction; legacies of collage and assemblage; participatory and collaborative practices; intermediality in art; art and technology; art, media theory, and cognitive science.