Upcoming Events

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Past Events

Like a Lake: A Story of Uneasy Love and Photography

Date: March 22, 2021
Location: Royal College of Art, London

Carol Mavor will do a performative reading (with images) from her latest book: Like a Lake. Register in advance for this webinar:


Start date: November 1, 2019
End date: November 2, 2019
Location: Stanford University, California, USA

An essay written aloud with pictures and sounds of the sea, one of four keynotes in honour of Hayden, along with Judith Butler, Susan Stewart, and Dipesh Chakrabarty.

‘More Blue’

Date: August 15, 2019
Location: Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, UK

Carol Mavor at the Freud Museum: ‘Plants Cannot be Kleptocratic’

Date: July 30, 2019
Location: Freud Museum, London, UK

Consuming what one does not need, is kleptomania: desire unleashed.  Anorexia is a refusal to consume what one needs. Both are related rituals––forbidden secret activities––compensating for threatened or actual loss.  Radically, in 1968, through Paul Ehrlich’sThe Population Bomb (which argues for zero population growth), kleptomania and anorexia developed as a feminist philosophy for women’s rights and the environment.  As the practicing psychoanalyst Xenia Godunova said in a lecture at UC Berkeley (1968): ‘Our irresistible tendency to steal things we do not need from the Mother (Earth), is klepto-parasitism, is kleptocratic.’ The famed Bay Area choreographer and dancer Anna Halprin was at Godunova’s lecture and incorporated Godunova’s philosophy into her own dance practice. In Halprin’s words: ‘my concern is form in nature––like the structure of a plant––not in its outer appearance, but in its internal growth process. The plant cannot be kleptocratic.’

Most specifically, this lecture focuses on Mary Glass, who apprenticed with Halprin.  Of note is Glass’s own struggles with anorexia nervosa and a tendency towards kleptomania, fundamental to  ‘Happening’ (1970): Glass’s anti-kleptocratic dance piece, which starves off desire through watery movement, often violent, and then curiously still, like seaweed in waves. In Glass’s words: ‘Idelicately transported my phyto-philia (love of plants) into an imaginary ocean.’

“´Mary in my urine, my mouth, my heart, my madness, my sleep; my sea, my me’: or, Caul (1966) by Mary Glass”

Date: July 24, 2019
Location: Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal

For the MLA panel ‘Near whispers: The affects of proximate critique’

‘Like the First Time’

Date: June 12, 2019
Location: RCA London (Battersea Groove Theatre), UK

An essay written aloud about dance, birth, sex and bug collecting as a child––with pictures.

‘Moeder, Maman, Mom’

Date: March 1, 2019
Location: University of Copenhagen, Denmark

An essay written aloud about Anne Frank, Chantal Akerman, my mother and adolescent writing.

“´Mary in my urine, my mouth, my heart, my madness, my sleep; my sea, my me:’ Or, Caul (1966) by Mary Glass´”

Date: February 12, 2019
Location: RCA London (Battersea Groove Theatre), UK

‘Lolita’s Grey Eyes’

Date: November 26, 2018
Location: RCA London (South Kensington Campus), UK

A keynote as a part of the day-long event ‘Creative Methods/Creating Methodologies’, hosted by artist and writer Esther Teichmann.

‘On Aurelia’ at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Date: September 11, 2018
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

‘Photogen and Nycteris’

Date: April 27, 2018
Location: Baltic 39, Newcastle, UK

‘Photogen and Nycteris’ is a fairy tale written and performed with pictures by Carol Mavor, and being presented as part of Performative Symposium at Baltic 39, Newcastle.

A talk at the Royal Academy

Date: March 12, 2018
Location: Royal Academy, London

Grey is out of time: like an elephant’s hide, like a skyscraper’s height, like a blanket of dust, like the magnitude of the moon.

Please note: Lecture is open to students in the RCA Postgraduate Programme

Literature Live:
Sophie Collins and Carol Mavor

Date: February 12, 2018
Location: Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester

Sophie Collins is a poet, editor and translator. small white monkeys, a text on self-expression, self-help and shame, was published by Book Works in November 2017 as part of a commissioned residency at Glasgow Women’s Library. Carol Mavor is Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester. As Maggie Nelson writes of her latest book, Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale: ‘Forget whatever you previously associated with “fairy tales,” and enter Carol Mavor’s kaleidoscopic universe of art and literature.’

This event will be hosted by Vona Groarke, poet and teacher at the Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester. Further details can be found at the Facebook event


Date: December 7, 2017
Location: Geological Society, Piccadilly, W1

Time | Making | Space brings together practitioners from architectural design, music and filmmaking, whose work explores how time and the temporal in architecture is not simply a matter of measure.

As part of this event, Carol Mavor will screen and discuss her short film Fairy Tale Almost Blue (2012, twelve minutes).

Tickets from £12.00/£6.00 conc.

Artist Amy Hauft and Carol Mavor, in conversation, at testsite, Austin Texas

Date: November 1, 2017
Location: testsite, Austin Texas

For this occasion, Carol Mavor will read her latest fairy tale, ‘Sweet Salt, Sale Dolce, which is set within the circumstance of Amy Hauft’s  testsite installation: Tender Glass. A printed edition of the story, entitled ‘Sweet Salt, Sale Dolce, will be available at the opening.

502 W. 33rd Street
Austin, TX 78705

Aurelia at University of Texas, Austin

Date: October 31, 2017
Location: University of Texas, Austin; Bldg: Art 1.120

Carol Mavor will present select images from her most recent book: Aurelia: Art and Literature Through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale.


Book Launch for Aurelia

Date: September 28, 2017
Location: The Bluecoat, Liverpool

Join Carol Mavor for the launch of her new book, Aurelia: Art and Literature through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale, followed by a talk from the author.

Aurelia re-visits familiar fairytales and examines their darker qualities.

Carol Mavor is Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Manchester, and has published widely on photography, cinema, colour and childhood. All her books are richly illustrated with an eye on design.

Film Screening of “Poto and Cabengo” at Whitechapel Gallery

Date: September 14, 2017
Location: Zilkha Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery

Carol Mavor introduces a rare screening of Jean-Pierre Gorin’s influential 1980 essay film about the extraordinary twins, who astounded linguists with their invented vocabulary and launches her new book Aurelia: Art and Literature Through the Mouth of the Fairy Tale.

Tickets from £9.50/£7.50 conc.
Get tickets for this event

Aurelia: Carol Mavor and Marina Warner

Date: July 24, 2017
Location: London Review Bookshop

Carol Mavor reflects in her latest book Aurelia (Reaktion) on the very particular place that fairy tales hold in our culture and in the popular imagination. ‘Aurelia is as strange, enigmatic, and full of magic as its subjects’ writes the essayist Maggie Nelson.

Mavor will be in conversation with cultural critic, mythographer and historian of the folk tale Marina Warner.


ACLA, American Comparative Literature Association

Start date: July 6, 2017
End date: July 8, 2017
Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

‘The Sound of One Hand Clapping: A Question of Child Abuse, from Like a Lake‘ 

As part of the stream seminars:
‘Feminist Philosophies of Media’

Fri/Sat/Sun – 8:30 a.m – 10:15 a.m
International Campus Utrecht, Spinoza, Room 104I

Keynote for the Annual Screen Conference

Date: June 23, 2017
Location: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Keynote (along with Anna McCarthy) for the Annual Screen Conference, 23-25 June 2017
Screenplay: ‘A Question of Child Abuse’

The J Paul Getty Museum
The Getty Book Club Reads Blue Mythologies

Date: June 10, 2017
Location: The Getty Center, Research Institute Plaza Conference Room

For this session, delve into the color blue and its varied meanings in art and culture. Join author Carol Mavor to discuss her book Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour. The beautiful cyanotypes of Anna Atkins will be on view for book club participants.

Tickets $15. Complimentary parking.

The J Paul Getty Museum:
What Does Blue Mean?

Date: June 8, 2017
Location: The Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium

Blue describes emotional states, musical and literary genres, and moral codes. And yet, historically, humans have found the color itself notably difficult to pin down. How did blue come to occupy its singular scientific and cultural significance? What relationships exist between the history of blue pigments and the wealth of meanings the term conveys today? A panel with authors Catherine McKinley and Carol Mavor, scientist Mas Subramanian, and actor/comedian/singer Garrett Morris explore the science and sentiment of the color blue.

Free, but advance ticket required

‘Like water for water’

Date: April 27, 2017
Location: The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford