Dr. Nora Taylor pursued her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Art History at Cornell University, with the only professor in the field at the time. After studying Vietnamese language and history, Southeast Asian art and archaeology, Buddhism, and anthropology, she received a grant to conduct research for her dissertation and spent two years in Hanoi from 1992 to 1994.
Over the next 25 years, she taught Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Art History for the Council on International Educational Exchange in Hanoi, National University of Singapore, Arizona State University, UCLA, Nanyang Technological University, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has traveled throughout Europe and Asia for conferences and spent large chunks of time in Vietnam. Her dissertation was published into a book titled Painters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art published by Hawaii Press in 2004 and reprinted with a new preface in 2009 by NUS Press.
For the past ten years, Dr. Taylor has also served on the advisory board of Asia Art Archive (AAA), an organization based in Hong Kong that collects documents and materials pertaining to contemporary art in Asia. She supervised one of their digital archive projects on Salon Natasha, one of Vietnam’s first contemporary art spaces. Working closely with AAA has led to seeking out and studying artists who use historical documents in their artworks such as the Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo and the Ho Chi Minh City based artist Phan Thao Nguyen. These artists practice what she would call alternative forms of historiography. In 2013, Dr. Taylor was the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation award to research performance art in Singapore, Myanmar, and Vietnam. All of her research projects aim to uncover the overlooked and disrupt dominant narratives of art history.
Dr. Taylor has served on many review boards and several senior administrative positions including Chair of the Department of Art History, Theory and Criticism, Chair of the Faculty Tenure Board, Faculty Liaison, and Faculty Senate. Finally, Professor Nora Taylor was a member of Fulbright’s Academic Advisory Board in 2019, and will be Fulbright’s distinguished visiting faculty for the Spring term of the 2021-2022 academic year.