Mieke Bal (b. 14 March 1946) is a Dutch cultural theorist, video artist, and Professor Emerita in Literary Theory at the University of Amsterdam. Previously she also was Academy Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-founder of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam.
Bal has published more than thirty books on a wide range of subjects. Her research interests include biblical and classical antiquity, seventeenth-century and modern art, contemporary literature, feminism, mental illness, and migratory culture.
Bal is a video artist whose films and installations have been exhibited internationally. As a member of the film collective Cinema Suitcase, she made several videos that mostly revolve around issues of migration. With Michelle Williams Gamaker, she directed the feature-length film A Long History of Madness (2011). Based on the book Mère Folle, by French psychoanalyst Françoise Davoine, the film is a so-called ‘theoretical fiction’ that examines how madness can be treated analytically. Bal and Williams Gamaker completed their second feature film Madame B (2014), a modern interpretation of Gustave Flaubert’s 1856 masterpiece Madame Bovary.
- 2013. Endless Andness: The Politics of Abstraction According to Ann Veronica Janssens. London and New York: Bloomsbury;
- 2013. Thinking in Film: The Politics of Video Installation According to Eija-Liisa Ahtila. London and New York: Bloomsbury;
- 2010. Of What One Cannot Speak: Doris Salcedo’s Political Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-03578-6;
- 2009 . Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. 3rd ed. Trans. Christine van Boheemen. Toronto: University of Toronto Press;
- 2006. A Mieke Bal Reader. Chicago: University of Chicago Press;
- 2002. Travelling Concepts in the Humanities: A Rough Guide. Toronto: University of Toronto Press;
- 1999. Quoting Caravaggio: Contemporary Art, Preposterous History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press;
- 1996. Double Exposures: The Subject of Cultural Analysis. London and New York: Routledge;
- 1991. Reading “Rembrandt”: Beyond the Word–Image Opposition. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press;
- 1988. Death and Dissymmetry: The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges. Chicago: University of Chicago Press;
- 1988. Murder and Difference: Gender, Genre and Scholarship on Sisera’s Death. Trans. Matthew Gumpert. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press;
- 1987. Lethal Love: Feminist Literary Readings of Biblical Love Stories. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.