School of the Arts, English and Drama

Art History and Visual Culture

Art History and Visual Culture

Art History and Visual Culture at Loughborough University comprises a vibrant and dynamic group of academics whose work transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. Adopting a broad range of approaches to the study of visual and material cultures from around the world, their research and teaching challenges familiar historical and theoretical frameworks.

An inclusive learning community: Our activities contribute to an energetic and inclusive learning community that connects research with teaching, embraces the study of diverse forms of visual expression and promotes dialogue with artists and members of the wider community.

Partnerships and collaborations: Team members regularly present their work at national and international conferences, organize exhibitions and symposia, and collaborate with museums and art industry partners.

Why choose us

    • Staff contribute teaching expertise to all areas of the School and at all levels
    • An exciting and interdisciplinary program based on closely integrated teaching, research, and pedagogic practices
    • Teaching provides students with the knowledge, understanding, communication and critical skills that will prepare them for careers across the entire range of creative and cultural industries, including education and teaching, heritage, museums and curating, publishing, writing and journalism

    Art History and Visual Culture colleagues have particular strengths in research and postgraduate supervision across the following areas:

    • European art and design from the eighteenth century to the present
    • Global contemporary art, visual culture, and politics
    • Feminist art history and gender studies
    • Art markets, collecting, and critical heritage
    • International teaching experience and established research relationships with scholars across Europe, North America, Australia, South Africa and Asia
    • These links sustain our research and provide our students with a global perspective on the subject
  • Marion Arnold: Currently researching The Caversham Press in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and investigating the print archive as a microcosm of art practice in pre- and post-apartheid South Africa. Arnold’s forthcoming book, Drawn to Print: Drawing South African Narratives for Printmaking, explores the complexities and paradoxes of South African visual culture, and is assessed through the microcosm of a significant print archive spanning the apartheid years and post-apartheid years.
  • Malcolm Barnard: (Research leave until April 2017) Working on a book that investigates Kant’s under-appreciated theory of fashion in the Critique of Pure Reason and The Critique of Judgement, and Heidegger’s equally neglected theory of fashion in Being and Time and in On Time and Being. Barnard is also working on a second, updated edition of Fashion Theory: A Reader for Routledge.
  • Kathryn Brown: Brown’s latest book Matisse’s Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist’s Book (Bloomsbury, 2017) offers an account of Matisse’s position in the literary cross-currents of twentieth-century France and shows how reading influenced the artist’s work in a range of media. Her new projects include an innovative study of nineteenth-century art’s engagement with the real and a book about Tristan Tzara’s art criticism.
  • Rachael Grew: Current projects focus on issues of the body and identity in theatrical design and costume. In addition to articles on designs by the Surrealist artist Leonor Fini, Rachael is convening a conference on the body in 20th-century scenography in January 2018. She is also developing a co-edited collection of essays on styling in relation to dress and space.
  • Julia Kelly: Kelly is currently working on an edited volume of sculptor Tony Cragg’s writing with Jon Wood. She is also working on the African collections at Leeds Museums and Galleries with Antonia Lovelace.
  • Marsha Meskimmon: Collaborating with colleagues from Copenhagen and Aarhus Universities on a funded project exploring the concept of ‘post-migration’ and its cultural impact. As part of this, she is working on an essay entitled ‘From the Cosmos to the Polis: On Denizens, Art and Post-migration World-making’ in (Post-)Migration in the Age of Globalisation: New Challenges to imagination and representation special issue of The Journal of Aesthetics & Culture (forthcoming 2017).
  • Gillian Whiteley: Whiteley is currently researching the radical traditions of the pamphlet and its use in contemporary art for an essay in an edited book Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer for the project RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt and book series (Bloomsbury). With Ruth Kinna, she is also co-ordinating a project entitled Art Activism and Political Violence that explores questions of political violence and art activism.
  • Alison Yarrington: [tbc]
  • Keynote Address: Marsha Meskimmon will be giving a keynote, Becoming Denizen: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Transversal Belonging, at the Troubling Globalisation 2 Conference behing held at Manchester Metropolitan University in July 2017. Further information.
  • Public Lecture: Kathryn Brown is presenting a paper entitled ‘Henri Matisse’s Pasiphaé: Myth, Politics, War’ at The Grolier Club, New York on 20 June, 2017.
  • Conference: Kathryn Brown has organized a conference session on Digital Artists' Books and is presenting a paper entitled 'Reading "Through" Digital Artists' Books: Interactivity and Interpretive Play' at a conference organized by the International Association of Word & Image Studies (Lausanne, July, 2017).
  • Conference: Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Loughborough University, 6–8 April 2017. Further information.  
  • Keynote Address: Gillian Whiteley is a keynote speaker at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis international workshop ‘Unnecessary, Unwanted and Uncalled for: A Workshop on Uselessness’ at the University of Amsterdam in March 2017.
  • Public Lecture: Mirror Mirror: Women's Self Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, 9 March 2017. Further information.
  • Public Lecture: Art History in the Pub (AAH series): Monday, 27 February, 2017, 7 pm The Swan in the Rushes, Loughborough: Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins: Haunting Art History, Kathryn Brown. Further information
  • Research Event and Public Festival: Gillian Whiteley and Jane Tormey are collaborating with Radar Artscentre in For and Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet, a two-day research and public ‘festival’ event to be held in May 2017. This includes an exhibition at Charnwood Museum, Queen’s Park in Loughborough curated by Whiteley. See here for the call for contributions.
  • New Book: Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies, edited by Marsha Meskimmon and Marion Arnold (Liverpool University Press, 2016).
  • New Book: Perspectives on Degas, edited by Kathryn Brown (Routledge, 2016).
  • New Book: Drawing Difference: Connections Between Gender and Drawing, Marsha Meskimmon and Phil Sawdon (IB Tauris, 2016).
  • Public talk: Julia Kelly is in conversation with Kathy Dalwood about the life and work of Hubert Dalwood at the University of Leeds, 23 November 2016
  • Invited Talk: Kathryn Brown is presenting a paper at the École normale supérieure, Paris, on 19th November 2016: Dessiner les mots, entendre la couleur: Matisse, Jazz, et « l’échec » du livre.
  • New Publication: Rachael Grew’s most recent essay has been published in Intersections: Women Artists / Surrealism / Modernism, edited by Patricia Allmer (Manchester University Press, 2016).
  • Conference paper: Julia Kelly is presenting a paper entitled ‘Colonial and counter-colonial display in surrealism’, for Anatomising the Museum: Contemporary Art and the De-Colonisation of Museums, Valands Academy, University of Gothenburg, 30 November 2016