School of Social Sciences and Humanities

At a glance

Prof Marsha Meskimmon

Photo of Prof Marsha Meskimmon

Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History & Theory

Marsha Meskimmon is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory. Finishing her PhD on Women Artists and the Neue Sachlichkeit at the University of Leicester in 1992, Meskimmon joined Loughborough University in 1998, as the first academic appointment made to the newly-formed School of Art and Design. She was Director of the School from 2005-11 and Associate Dean (Teaching) of the School of the Arts, English and Drama from 2014-2017. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2016 and in August of 2018, became the Director of Loughborough University’s Institute of Advanced Studies.

Meskimmon’s research has been recognised with a number of international fellowships, including the Paul Mellon Senior Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, a Senior Research Fellowship at the Humanities Research Centre at The Australian National University, a Visiting Professorship of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Gothenburg and an International Visiting Fellowship at the University of Cape Town. During 2020-21, she will be a Professorial Fellow at the University of Stockholm.

With Amelia Jones, Meskimmon co-edits the Manchester University Press series, Rethinking Art’s Histories.  She is on the Editorial Board of Art History, a consultant editor for the Open Arts Journal and, with Russell Marshall and Phil Sawdon, a general editor of the series Drawing In (Bloomsbury).

Meskimmon has served as a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College, as a Panel Member for Research Grants and Collaborative Doctoral Awards and was the recipient of an award of Research Leave. She has acted as specialist advisor for a number of international Research Council applications and programmes, including those of Canada, Australia, Denmark and South Africa. She was Secretary of the UK’s national subject body, the Association for Art History (AAH), from 1999-2003 and convened the AAH annual conference at Loughborough in 2017.

Meskimmon’s research makes connections between transnational, transdisciplinary feminisms and modern and contemporary art. With a particular emphasis on women’s art practices, feminist aesthetics, and the politics of belonging in a global world, Meskimmon’s books include The Art of Reflection: Women Artists' Self Portraiture in the Twentieth Century (1996), We Weren't Modern Enough: Women Artists and the Limits of German Modernism (1999), Women Making Art: History, Subjectivity, Aesthetics (2003), Contemporary Art and the Cosmopolitan Imagination (2010) and Drawing Difference: Connections between Gender and Drawing (co-authored with Phil Sawdon, 2016).

Meskimmon’s current project is a trilogy, Transnational Feminism and the Arts, which was initiated during the period of her University Fellowship in 2018. The first volume, Transnational Feminisms, Transversal Politics and Art: Entanglements and Intersections has just been published (Routledge, March 2020); the second, Transnational Feminisms and Art’s Horizontal Histories: Ecologies and Genealogies, is in progress and the final volume, Transnational Feminisms and Posthuman Aesthetics: Resonance and Riffing is due to be published in 2023.

In a number of co-edited anthologies, Meskimmon has variously explored women’s cultural contribution to central European Modernism (Visions of the Neue Frau: Women and the Visual Arts in Weimar Germany, edited with Shearer West, 1995), the significance of interdisciplinarity in arts and humanities research (Breaking the Disciplines: Reconceptions in Knowledge, Art and Culture, edited with Martin L. Davies, 2003) and the connections between women, transnational feminisms and contemporary global art (Women, the Arts and Globalization: Eccentric Experience, edited with Dorothy Rowe, 2013 and Home/Land: Women, Citizenship, Photographies, edited with Marion Arnold, 2016). Home/Land was the result of a three-year international network between partners in the UK, South Africa, western Canada and Palestine that continues to reverberate in shared projects. Her latest anthology has been edited in partnership with Maria Photiou: Art, Borders and Belonging: On Home and Migration in the 21st Century (Bloomsbury, 2021)

In addition to books and articles, Marsha has been involved with various curatorial projects since her time as a doctoral candidate, including Domesticity and Dissent: The Role of Women Artists in the Weimar Republic (1992), City Limits (1997) and the international ‘feminist blockbuster’ exhibition, WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007). She has also collaborated with artists on installation projects, the most extended of which was Materialisations, with Esther Sayers and Asa Anderson (1998-2000). From these engagements across the lines of theory and practice emerged a further collaboration on dance, animate archives and/as critical heritage (with Astrid von Rosen and Monica Sand at the University of Gothenburg) and a continuing interest in new feminist writing methodologies. 

  • SAA922 Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art and Design
  • SAB931 Contemporary Art and Theory
  • SAC940 Art and Design Dissertation

Meskimmon presently supervises postgraduate students working on questions of women's art, feminist aesthetics and transnational, contemporary art practice and is happy to discuss proposals with prospective candidates on any of these areas.

Current PhD supervisions include: