Academic Positions

University Curator, Leeds Arts University (2015-20)

Post-Doctoral Fellow, IASH, University of Edinburgh (2013-14)

Research Fellow, University of Huddersfield (2011-13)


PhD in History of Art, University of Glasgow (2008-12)

MLitt with Distinction in History of Art, University of Glasgow (2007-08)

MA Hons. First Class in History of Art, University of Glasgow (2003-07)

Interviews with Catriona McAra

R. Ashenden and M. Gilroy, ‘Rebellion is My Bloodline!’ The Debutante (January 2020).

H. Keegan, ‘The dark, intriguing legacy of surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning,’ The Stylist (March 2019).

Judging by Catriona McAra

31 Women, Sedona Arts Center (3-26 January 2020).

FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2019, University of Leeds (June 2019).


Westfjords, Iceland  (February 2020).

Recent Publications

C. McAra, ‘Feminist-Surrealist Legacies in the Contemporary Novel’ in A History of the Surrealist Novel, edited by Anna Watz (Cambridge University Press). Forthcoming. 

C. McAra, ‘Open Sesame: Dorothea Tanning’s Critical Writing’ in Surrealist Women’s Writing: A Critical Exploration, edited by Anna Watz (Manchester University Press). Forthcoming. 

C. McAra, ‘A Feminist Marvellous: Chloe Aridjis and the Female Human Animal’ in Leonora Carrington: Living Legacies, edited by A. Cox, J. Hewison, M. Man and R. Shannon (Delaware: Vernon Press, 2020): 1-18.

C. McAra, ‘Glowing Like Phosphorus: Dorothea Tanning and the Sedona Western’ in Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, volume 10, number 1 (2019): 84-105.

C. McAra, ‘Mercurious: Kim L. Pace and Sarah Woodfine’ at Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London (2019).

C. McAra, ‘Flora Yukhnovich: Millennial Rococo’ in Flora Yukhnovich: Sweet Spot (London: Parafin, 2019), 4-9.

C. McAra, ‘Leonora Carrington: “Wild Card”’ in The Space Between, volume 14 (2018).

C. McAra, ‘Hope Chest: Demythologizing Girlhood in Kate Bernheimer’s Trilogy’ in Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, volume 10, number 3 (Winter 2017): 168-183. Repurposed in The Girl in the Text, edited by Ann Smith (Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, 2019), 174-189.

A. Kérchy and C. McAra, ‘Interview with Mieke Bal’ in Feminist Interventions in Intermedial Studies, European Journal of English Studies, volume 21, issue 3 (2017).

C. McAra, ‘Dollhouse Architecture: Leonora Carrington and Children’s Literature’ in Gramarye: Journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, issue 12 (Winter 2017), 35-45.

C. McAra, A Surrealist Stratigraphy of Dorothea Tanning’s Chasm (New York: Routledge, 2017).

C. McAra, ‘A Nonagenarian Virago: Quoting Carrington in Contemporary Practice’ in Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde, edited by J. P. Eburne and C. McAra (Manchester University Press, 2017), 178-197.

C. McAra, ‘The Malevolent Nostalgia of Tessa Farmer’ in In Fairyland: The World of Tessa Farmer, edited by C. McAra (London: Strange Attractor, 2016), vii-xiv. Repurposed in Fortean Times (August 2017), 36-39.

C. McAra, ‘Emma’s Navel: Dorothea Tanning’s Narrative Sculpture’ in Intersections: Women/Surrealism/Modernism, edited by Patricia Allmer (Manchester University Press, 2016), 91-111

C. McAra, ‘Witch Milk: Samantha Sweeting’s Lactation Narratives’ in ASAP Journal: Experimentalism (May 2016), 261-285.

Select Curatorial 

31 Women, Sedona Arts Center (3 – 26 January 2020).

Mieke Bal: Don Quichotte: Sad Countenances, Leeds Arts University (9 January – 14 February 2020).

Ilana Halperin: Minerals of New York, Leeds Arts University (28 March – 9 May). A variation toured to The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (13 July – 13 October 2019).

Nicola Dale: Figurehead, Leeds Arts University (9 – 31 January 2019).

Aggregate: Fritha Jenkins and Edna Lumb, Leeds Arts University (14 February – 29 March 2018).

Zsófia Jakab: “Beckoning” with Chloe Briggs, Tessa Farmer and Eleanor Morgan, Leeds Arts University (19 January – 8 February 2018). 

Laurence Figgis: (After) After, Leeds Arts University (11 August – 29 September 2017). 

Leonora Carrington/Lucy Skaer, Leeds Arts University (15 July – 2 September 2016).

Tessa Farmer: In Fairyland with Su Blackwell, Sverre Malling and Annelies Strba at Leeds Arts University (30 January – 26 February 2015). A variation toured to Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities, London (June 2015).

Recent Papers and Invited Talks

C. McAra, ‘Dorothea Tanning: Tableau vivant’ at National Galleries of Scotland (25 February 2020).

C. McAra, ‘30+1: Dorothea Tanning, Sedona and Contemporary Art’ at Sedona Arts Center (23 January 2020).

C. McAra with H. Buckley, ‘Running with Wolves, Somaticizing the Text: Revisionary Feminism and Contemporary Dance,’ This Woman’s Work: A Kate Bush Symposium, University of Edinburgh (13 December 2019).

C. McAra, in conversation with Katy Hessel, Carol Jacobi and Tai Shani at Rebel Muses, Cheltenham Literary Festival (13 October 2019).

C. McAra, ‘An Outbreak of Surrealism in Leeds,’ ISSS Conference, University of Exeter (30 August 2019).

C. McAra, In conversation with Kim L. Pace and Sarah Woodfine, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London (3 July 2019).

C. McAra, ‘Three Streets Away: Artists Respond to the Work of Dorothea Tanning’ at Doyce Street Studios, London (5 May 2019).

C. McAra, ‘Memory Box: Dorothea Tanning’s Chasm’ at Dorothea Tanning: A Family Portrait, Tate Modern (16 March 2019).

C. McAra, ‘Curating Carrington in Contemporary Art,’ Dada and Surrealism Group, University of Edinburgh (11 March 2019).

C. McAra, ‘Towards a Feminist Marvelous: Channeling Carrington Through the Animal Languages of Heidi Sopinka,’ SURREALISMS: Inaugural Conference of the ISSS (2 November 2018).

C. McAra, ‘Surrealist Souvenirs: The Prime Minister’s Bracelet and Leonora Carrington’s Postcards,’ Surrealism in Britain 1925-55, The Hepworth Wakefield (6 October 2018).

C. McAra, ‘Lucy Skaer/Leonora Carrington: “Wild Card”‘ in Visionary Artists, Visionary Objects, The John Rylands Library, Manchester (9 February 2018).

C. McAra, In conversation for Leonora Carrington: The Lost Surrealist, Edge Hill University (24 January 2018).

C. McAra, The Artist’s Dining Room: Leonora Carrington, London (19 January 2018). Invitation by Marina Warner.

C. McAra, ‘Making a Statement: Dorothea Tanning’s Critical Writings’ in Surrealist Women’s Writing in the Later 20th Century, Modernist Studies Association: Modernism Today, Amsterdam (12 August 2017).

C. McAra, ‘Chloe Aridjis and the Female Human Animal,’ Leonora Carrington Centenary Symposium, Edge Hill University (30 June 2017). Keynote.

C. McAra, ‘Leonora in Contemporary Practice,’ Leonora Carrington Centenary, La Biblioteca de México, Mexico City (6 April 2017).

C. McAra, ‘Curating the Fairy Tale: A Feminist Practice’ in Fireworks! The Visual Imagination of Angela Carter, RWA, Bristol (9 January 2017).

C. McAra, ‘Dollhouse Architecture: Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning’s Visual Narratives’ by invitation at the National Galleries of Scotland (9 September 2016).

C. McAra, In conversation at Distant Love: Surrealism, Women and Helmut Newton at Foam Gallery, Amsterdam (29 June 2016).

C. McAra, ‘Pandora’s Complex: Curatorial Quests for a Feminist Surrealism’ in Feminist Historiographies of Surrealism, European Network of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies (EAM) biannual conference, Rennes, France (3 June 2016).

C. McAra, ‘Some (Pen) Roses and Their Phantoms: A Curated Dialogue Between Dorothea Tanning and Roland Penrose’ in Roland Penrose: Curating the 20th Century, Association of Art Historians (AAH) Annual conference, University of Edinburgh (9 April 2016).

Recent Posts and Reviews

C. McAra, ‘Kate MccGwire: Menagerie’ in Corridor 8 (March 2020).

C. McAra, ‘Snooker Studies with Lydia Blakeley’ in So Anyway Magazine, issue 4 (September 2019).

C. McAra, ‘James Thompson and Annabel Taylor-Munt: Parallel Architectures IIIII’ in Corridor 8 (July 2019).

J. P. Eburne and C. McAra, ‘Mujeres conciencia (Women’s Awareness): Leonora Carrington’s Agit-prop’ in Manchester University Press Blog (July 2019).

D. Horton and C. McAra, ‘Ilana Halperin: Minerals of New York’ in So Anyway Magazine issue 3 (2019).

C. McAra, ‘Brass Art: Gestured’ in Corridor 8 (4 December 2017).

L. McAra and C. McAra, ‘CALM in the Face of Oppression’ in Dangerous Women (26 May 2016).