Sven Spieker teaches in the Comparative Literature Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in modern and contemporary art and culture, with an emphasis on Russia and Eastern Europe, and a special interest in issues related to documentary and knowledge production. Spieker has lectured and published on topics ranging from the historical avant-garde (Malevich, Rodchenko, Dziga Vertov) to late 20th-century art practice from Wolfgang Kippenberger to subREAL. His books and articles have appeared in German, Korean, Russian, Swedish, Polish, and English. Spieker's latest book publication is an edited volume devoted to the relationship between art and destruction (MIT Press/Whitechapel Gallery, 2017). The monograph The Big Archive (2008) focused on the archive as a crucible of European modernism (The Big Archive, MIT Press; Korean translation 2014). Spieker is the founding editor of ARTMargins Print and ARTMargins Online.

Current projects include a Critical Anthology of Conceptual Art in Eastern Europe and a study of education-based art in the 1960s.