Cristina Albu (she/her)

Cristina Albu
Associate Professor: Art History, Art History Graduate Advisor
Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact Info
Fine Arts Building 214
Visual Culture; Contemporary Art and Cognitive Sciences; Contemporary Art and Biofeedback; Participatory Art; Installation Art; New Media


Cristina Albu came to UMKC in 2012 after receiving her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research addresses how contemporary art enables us to question what and how we perceive. It focuses on artists' uses of new media such as video and biofeeedback technology to enhance attention and highlight the fluidity of selfhood and interpersonal exchanges. This is a relatively new area of study which builds on intersections between art, science, and technology. As we live in a society saturated with images, it is essential that we study how they shape our embodied minds and how we can develop new uses for them that move beyond visual pleasure. It is equally important to inquire into how biosignal data (e.g. EEG/EKG recordings) can be turned into images or sounds that enable us to envision the complex interconnections between body and mind, emotion and cognition, individuals and environments. Such data offers insight into non-verbal communication and its pivotal role in shaping affective responses and behavior.

She is the author of Mirror Affect: Seeing Self, Observing Others in Contemporary Art (Minnesota University Press, 2016). Albu is also co-editor (with Dawna Schuld) of a volume of essays titled Perception and Agency in Shared Spaces of Contemporary Art (Routledge, 2018). Her writings have appeared in scholarly anthologies (e.g. Hybrid Practices: Art in Collaboration with Science and Technology in the Long 1960s, Framings, The Permanence of the Transient, Crossing Cultures) and journals, including Afterimage, Artnodes, and Athanor. Her research has been supported among others by the University of Missouri Research Board, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Albu is currently working on a book manuscript titled Body-Mind Signals: Affect, Intimacy, and Communication in Biofeedback Art.


Ph.D. and M.A., History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
M.A., European Cultural Policy and Administration, University of Warwick, England
B.A., European Cultural Studies, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
B.A., English – American Studies, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Courses Taught

  • World Currents of Contemporary Art
  • The Artist in Society
  • Becoming Contemporary: Global Art Constellations
  • Sensing, Feeling, Thinking: Contemporary Art and the Mind
  • Participatory Forms of Spectatorship in Contemporary Art
  • Site-Specific Art: Within and Beyond the Museum Walls
  • Art Museums: History and Practice
  • Methods in Critical Theory
  • Scope and Methods of Art History