Each semester, the School of History of Art welcomes a series of guest speakers and colleagues to present an hour-long seminar on their research.

The events are a fantastic opportunity to hear from art historians, critics, curators and artists from the UK, Europe and beyond about their work. The seminars are free and everyone is welcome.

Session convenor: Dr Chia-ling Yang


22 September 2021 | Prof. Claudia Brittenham (University of Chicago) | Making and Duration in the Unseen Art of Mesoamerica | 15:00-16:15 UK Time | View event >

29 September 2021 | Dr Amelia Hope, Teaching Fellow, Early Art (History of Art, University of Edinburgh) | Poor men and brother hermits: The Franciscans, the eremitic life, and a late thirteenth-century image of the desert | View event >

6 October 2021 | Artist Lee Mingwei | Six Stories | View event >

13 October 2021 | Prof. Nizan Shaked (California State University, Long Beach) | Museums and Wealth: the Politics of Contemporary Art Collections | View event >

20 October 2021 | Prof. Yolaine Escande (École des hautes études en sciences sociales | EHESS) | The Garden Under the Influence of Painting: The Case of the Orchid Pavilion Garden | View event >

27 October 2021 | Hannah Halliwell, Teaching Fellow (History of Art, University of Edinburgh) | Dangers, Desires and Disease: The Morphine Addict in Late Nineteenth-Century French Visual Culture | View event >

10 November 2021 | Dr Marina Vishmidt (Goldsmith, London) | Structuring Feeling: On Some Modes of Writing About Contemporary Art | View event >

17 November 2021 | Prof Kenneth McConkey (Emeritus Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Trust) | The Artist Traveller at the turn of the Twentieth Century | View event >

24 November 2021 | Dr Lauren Working (University of Oxford) | Forbidden Mixtures: Still Life Painting & the Colonial Gaze | View event >

1 December 2021 | Dr Martin O'Brien (Queens Mary London)


Previous seminar series


1 Oct 2020 | Dr Dave O’ Brien and Dr Orian Brooks (University of Edinburgh) | Culture Is Bad for You: Inequality in the Cultural and Creative Industries

8 Oct 2020 | Dr Colin Brady (University of Edinburgh) | How Japanese art dealers transformed the Asian art market in America

15 Oct 2020 | Prof Kathryn Smith (New York University)Scripture Transformed in Late Medieval England:  The Religious, Artistic, and Social Worlds of the Welles-Ros Bible (Paris, BnF MS fr. 1)

22 Oct 2020 | Dr Will Rea (University of Leeds)What art history might tell us about Pandemics: Yoruba logic and response to pandemics - the Lukuluku and measles cases in Ekiti Nigeria

5 Nov 2020 | Dr Anna Watz (Linköping University, Sweden) | Surrealism and écriture féminine

12 Nov 2020 | Dr Stephen Whiteman (The Courtauld Institute of Art)The Emperor’s Eyes: Painting and the Production of Cosmopolitan Space in the Early Qing Court

19 Nov 2020 | Dr Megan McNamee (University of Edinburgh)A Fourteenth-Century Almanac and the Affordances of Folding in the Later Middle Ages

3 Dec 2020 | Dr Rachel BoydFamiliar visions: Glazed terracotta, serial production, and devotional experience in Renaissance Tuscany

13 Jan 2021 | Prof Dan Hicks (Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at Oxford and Curator at the Pitt Rivers) | The Brutish Museums

20 Jan 2021 | Dr Jamie Forde and Dr Jiemin Fang (University of Edinburgh)Jade Across Oceans: The Power of Green Stone in Ancient China and Mesoamerica

27 Jan 2021 | Dr Ilse Sturkenboom (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich)Writing on Colour and Gold: The Use and Meaning of Chinese Decorated Paper in Fifteenth-Century Persianate Manuscripts

3 Feb 2021 | Dr Mira Xenia Schwerda (University of Edinburgh)A Postcard from the Revolution: Photography and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution

10 Feb 2021 | Dr Madeline Haddon (University of Edinburgh)Loal Color: Race, Gender, and Spanishness in European Painting, 1855-1927

17 Feb 2021 | Gražina Subelytė (Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice)Okamoto Tarō and Kurt Seligmann: The Magical Myth of Tomorrow

24 Feb 2021 | Prof. Giovanna Zapperi (Université de Tours)The end of the creative genius? Women artists in Italy, 1960s-1970s

3 Mar 2021 | Dr Aline Gillermet (University of Cambridge)Thinking About the Medium: Digital Painting in the 2010s

10 Mar 2021 | Prof Amy Bryzgel (University of Aberdeen) | Teaching the Ephemeral: Performance Pedagogy Performance art in East-Central Europe

17 Mar 2021 | Dr Bryony Coombs (University of Edinburgh) Immytateur de madame Nature,’ Jean Perréal and the humanists in early-sixteenth century France

CANCELLED 25 Mar 2021 | Dr Marina Vishmidt (Goldsmiths, University of London)Structuring Feeling: On Some Modes of Writing About Contemporary Art | 5.15pm



19 Sep 2019 | Prof. Celeste-Marie Barnier (University of Edinburgh)Stick to the Skin: African American and Black British Art (1965-2015) | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

26 Sep 2019 | Prof. Ava HsuehInterbreeding: The Vitality of Taiwan Art Groups after 1990s | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

3 Oct 2019 | Dr Edward Payne (Durham University)Seicento Naples: 'Fierce Reality'? | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

10 Oct 2019 | Dr Alexandra Makin | The Cuthbert Maniple Recreation Project: what can an experimental embroidery project tell us about this early medieval art form? | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

17 Oct 2019 | Dr Sally Foster (University of Stirling)My Life as a Replica: understanding the values and meanings of the St John's Cross, Iona from creation to present | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

24 Oct 2019 | Dr Cadence Kinsey (University College, London)Fluid Dynamics | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

7 Nov 2019 | Prof. Vidya Dehejia (Columbia University) To the Divine Through The Path of Beauty: An Exploration | West Court | 6pm

14 Nov 2019 | Bill Hare (University of Edinburgh)Scottish Artists in an Age of Radical Change, 1945 to the 21st Century | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

POSTPONED (New date to be confirmed) | Dr Stefan Hanß (University of Manchester)Material Cross-Referencing: Creativity and Craft Cultures at Early Modern Courts

21 Nov 2019 | The Watson Gordon Lecture: Dr Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw (Director of History, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC) | White House/White Cube: Portraits, Paintings, and the American Presidency | Scottish National Gallery, Hawthornden Lecture Theatre | 6pm

CANCELLED | 28 Nov 2019 | Dr Will Rea (University of Leeds)'The iroko woodcarvers of Ekiti: An art history in Africa' | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

16 Jan 2020 | Prof. Abigail Harrison Moore (University of Leeds)Women and Energy, Crafts and electrick decision making | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

23 Jan 2020 | Dr Karen Dempsey (University of Dublin) | Tending the ‘Contested’ Castle Garden: sowing seeds of feminist thought | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

30 Jan 2020 | Dr Alexandra Loske (University of Sussex) Squaring the colour circle: Pioneering women in colour literature and theory | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

6 Feb 2020 | Professor Jonathan Eburne (Pennsylvannia State University) | The Great Surrealist Bargain Basement | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

13 Feb 2020 | Dr Tom Stammers (University of Durham)Heritage and collecting in the Jewish Country House | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

04 Mar 2020 | Dr Umberto Bongianino (University of Oxford) and Dr Ben Tilghman (Washington College) | Art of the Global Middle Ages: Exchange and Ecology | 2.30pm

12 Mar 2020 | Gražina SubelytėKurt Seligmann and Taro Okamoto: Parallel Approaches to Myth and Magic

19 Mar 2020 | Prof. Kathryn Smith (New York University) Transformed in Late Medieval England: The Religious, Artistic, and Social Worlds of the Welles-Ros Bible | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

26 Mar 2020 | Dr Laura Guy (Newcastle University) Informed Consent: The public lives of queer objects | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm

2 Apr 2020 | Dr Stephen Whiteman (Courtauld Institute)The Emperor’s Eyes: Painting and the Production of Cosmopolitan Space in the Early Qing Court | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5.15pm



27 Sep 2018 | Richard WilliamsArt history futures - what next for the discipline? | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

4 Oct 2018 | Dr Halle O’NealWord Embodied: Entangled Icons in Medieval Japanese Buddhist Art | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

11 Oct 2018 | Patrick Elliott | Leonora Carrington’s Portrait of Max Ernst, c.1939: A New Acquisition for the National Galleries of Scotland | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

18 Oct 2018 | Dr Felicity GeeObject-fantasticality [gegenstandsfantastik] - or What is Magic Realism? | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

25 Oct 2018 | Dr Christian WeikopScreening: Strategy: Get Arts (1970). In Conversation with the Artist Alexander Hamilton | ECA Main Buliding, West Court

8 Nov 2018 | Professor Cynthia HahnHeart’s Desire: From Christ, to Crown, to Eros | The Watson Gordon Lecture | National Gallery of Scotland, Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL

15 Nov 2018 | Dr Tamara TroddWELCOME! Elizabeth Price and the Life of Objects | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

22 Nov 2018 | Dr Matthew PotterWhen England grew out of her saucy youth’: the Fin-de-Siècle German Reception of Gillray and Rowlandson, 1895 – 1908 | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

29 Nov 2018 | Professor Elizabeth PrettejohnThe Case of M. Alphonse Legros | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

17 Jan 2019 | Kate CowcherThis is Lenin! Demystifying Revolution in Socialist Ethiopia | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

31 Jan 2019 | Dominic JohnsonAction Sculpture: The Body/Object Problem in the Performances of Skip Arnold | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

7 Feb 2019 | Michelle FootThe Celtic Revival and Modern Spiritualism: fairies, witches and haunted landscapes | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

14 Feb 2019 | Andrea PhillipsContemporary Art and the Production of Inequality | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

28 Feb 2019 | David MunroOceanography – bridging the gap between art and science | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre 

7 March 2019 | Cinta Krahe | Chinese porcelain in Habsburg Spain | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

14 March 2019 | Simon Shaw-MillerThe Orphic Tendency in Early Abstraction | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

21 March 2019 | Kamini VellodiOn writing a dictionary: some philosophical problems | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

28 March 2019 | Stewart MartinA brief history of the art strike |  Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre

4 April 2019 | Mieke BalThinking in Film: How Thought Moves | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre



21 Sep | Sir Mark JonesAlgernon Newton 1880-1968

28 Sep | Dr Sabrina Rastelli (Università Ca'Foscari Venezia)A New History of Chinese Art History 

5 Oct | Professor Andrew Ginger (University of Birmingham)Visions of Similarity: Spanish-speaking Artists, the World, and the “Nineteenth Century” 

12 Oct | Professor Timon Screech (SOAS)The Essence of the Floating World in Early Modern Japanese Art 

16 Oct (Lunchtime lecture, 12.30pm) | Professor Sherry D. Fowler (University of Kansas)Counting on Buddhist Images of Six Kannon for Salvation in Japan 

19 Oct | Sebastian BoyleReal Artificial Cream: Sebastian Boyle discusses the work of Boyle Family

26 Oct | Professor Neil Cox (University of Edinburgh)The Shape of Feeling 

9 Nov | Watson Gordon Lecture at the Scottish National Gallery Professor Joseph Masheck (Hofstra University, New York) | Classic Mondrian in Neo-Calvinist View | 6pm 

16 Nov | Dr Jemma Field (Brunel University London)Undressing Queen Anne of Denmark: Fictions, Realities, and the Power of Portraiture 

23 Nov | Professor Richard Williams (University of Edinburgh) | The City on the Highway, Revisited: Reading Reyner Banham's Los Angeles in the Age of Waymo 

30 Nov | Dr Egle Rindzeviciute (Kingston University)Constructing Russian Nuclear Heritage: The Organisation, Politics and Aesthetics of Revealing

18 Jan | Dr Tom Tolley (University of Edinburgh)Wolfgang and ‘The Little Chimney Sweep’: Leopold Mozart’s Pictures of Working Children

25 Jan | Dr Paula Barreiro López (University of Barcelona)Comrades in Arms against Dictatorship: the Avant-garde, Art Criticism and the Franco Regime 

1 Feb | Dr Christine Riding (Royal Museums Greenwich)The Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I: Making, Meaning and Afterlife 

8 Feb | Dr Lucy Weir (University of Edinburgh)Pina Bausch’s Theatre of Cruelty 

15 Feb | Professor Eric Robertson (Royal Holloway)Curating Arp’s Poetic Forms 

1 Mar | Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn (University of York)The Case of M. Alphonse Legros 

Postponed | Dr Cinta Krahe (Universidad de Alcalá and Universidad Antonio de Nebrija) | Chinese porcelain in Habsburg Spain

22 Mar | Professor Charles Esche (Van Abbemuseum / University of the Arts London) The Demodern as a Possibility for Western Europe 

29 Mar | Dr Jill Burke (University of Edinburgh)Leonardo da Vinci's 'Female Genitalia': Women's bodies and the limits of representation 

5 Apr | Dr Gabriele Schor (Sammlung Verbund, Vienna)The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s

10 May (Rescheduled date) | Professor Kerstin Stakemeier (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Nuremberg) | Against our Freedom: about an anti-social aesthetic practice



Dr Ruth Hemus (Royal Holloway, University of London) | Dada’s Women: Reflections in the Centenary Year

Dr Genevieve Warwick (University of Edinburgh) | Effigies

Dr Michael Bachmann (University of Glasgow) | Distributed Aesthetics, Contemporary Criticism and the Public Sphere

Michael Clarke (National Gallery of Scotland) | The Reluctant Matriarch: Madame Mére, the Painter Gérard and Dynastic Portraiture under Napoleon

Professor Catherine Asher (University of Minnesota) | The Taj Mahal: Mughal Architecture, Ideology and the Construction of Kingship

Professor Phillip Lindley (University of Leicester) | The Union Duke’s Marbles

Professor Hilary Robinson (Middlesex University) | Griselda Pollock and the making of UK feminist art history and criticism in the 1970s

Dr Helen Langdon (writer, scholar, and curator) | Watson Gordon Lecture: Caravaggio, the Caravaggisti and Cupid

Dr Richard McClary (University of Edinburgh) | Mina'i: Gilded Polychrome Ceramics of Kashan and the Birth of Persian Painting

Dr Amy Bryzgel (University of Aberdeen) | Performance Art in Eastern Europe since 1960

Dr Chia-ling Yang (University of Edinburgh) | Antiquity Revisited: New Modes for Scholarly Art in 19th-Century China  

Dr Luca Palozzi (University of Edinburgh) | Drawing before the Disegno: Reflections on Trecento Art Theory and Practice

Carla van de Puttelaar (Utrecht University) | The Scougall Family, Portrait Painters in a Legal Community, Scottish Portraiture 1650-1714

Dr Carol Richardson (University of Edinburgh) | Art and Gynaecology at St Peter's in Rome

Professor David Hopkins (University of Glasgow) | Oz magazine and Surrealism's legacy: children, obscenity and the politics of counter culture

Professor Geoffrey Quilley (University of Sussex) | British art, empire and the Opium War; the view from Dent's veranda

Dr Anna McSweeney (Warburg Institute, SOAS, University of London) | Object Biographies: a carved and painted ceiling from the Alhambra Palace

Professor Herbert Kessler (Johns Hopkins University) | 'Whoever Wishes to Know God, Look at the Glass'; Medieval Windows as Scripture

Dr Matt Lodder (University of Essex) | Cynicism and Contemporary Art: The Curious Case of Dan Wolgers



Professor Richard Thomson (University of Edinburgh) | Seurat's Parade de cirque: Interpreting a Painting, Organising an Exhibition

Dr Lucia Dolce (SOAS, University of London) | The Visual Practices of Buddhism: Ritual Iconography and the Resignification of Visual Forms in Mediaeval Japan

Professor Paul Gladston (University of Nottingham) | (Bad) Faith in Painting (?): Critically Re-evaluating the Significance of Yu Youhan’s Political Pop Series

Dr Lisa Skogh (Victoria and Albert Museum) | The Kunstkammer and the Early Modern Consort: Knowledge, Networks and Influence

Dr Jenny Terry (Durham University) | Afrofuturism, Sci-fi and the Scopic in the Art of Ellen Gallacher

Dr Freya Gowrley (University of Edinburgh) | The Sister Arts: Needlework between Thread, Paint, and Print in Eighteenth-century Britain

Dr Sussan Babaie (Courtauld Institute of Art) | A Medieval Picture Book and its Judeo-Persian Lives: The Morgan Bible in 17th century Safavid Iran

Professor Lex Bosman (University of Amsterdam) | The Cathedral of Rome in the Fourth Century. New Ideas about the Architectural Ground-plan of the Basilica Constantiniana (S. Giovanni in Laterano)

Dr Eric Lefebvre (Musée Cernuschi) | Exhibiting and Collecting Chinese Contemporary Painting in the Modern Era: The Case of the French Museums (1920-1960)    

Dr Martin Myrone (Tate) | 1832: The Progress of Civilization in the Age of Reform

Dr Terri Geis (Pomona College, USA) | Archipelagos: International Women Surrealists and the Ocean

Ed Krčma (University of East Anglia) | Compression

Ayesha Hameed (Goldsmiths) | Black Atlantis

Emanuele Lugli (University of York) | The New Look of the 1340s: Fashion, Measurements and Other Disasters

Kate Sloan (University of Edinburgh) | The Analogue Game: Aircraft Control and Play in Roy Ascott's Pedagogy

Andrew Patrizio (University of Edinburgh) | The Year that Art History got a Hole in its Ozone Layer

Rachel King (National Museums Scotland) | "Asbestos Fingers and Flaming Lips”: Tea, Coffee and Silver Vessels in the 18th Century

Margit Kern (University of Hamburg) | Hieroglyphs of Faith: Missionaries as Actors in Transcultural Negotiation Processes and Image Theory in 16th Century New Spain

Xavier Guillaume (University of Edinburgh) | Paint it Black: Colours and the Social Meaning of the Battlefield



Professor Michael Yonan (University of Missouri) | Interlaced: Meaning and Materiality in an Eighteenth-Century Imperial Gown

Dr Charlie Miller (University of Manchester) | Cubism After Cubism

Dr Gavin Grindon (University of Essex) | Disobedient Objects: Art History, Curating and Social Movement Cultures

Dr Glyn Davis (University of Edinburgh) | Beckett, Warhol

Professor Geraldine Johnson (University of Oxford) | ‘Photo-Sculpsit’: Sculpture, Photography and the History of Art

Dr Tom Nichols (University of Glasgow) | Surviving the ‘Father of Art’: Titian and his followers

Professor Joanna Cannon (Courtauld Institute of Art) | Religious Poverty, Visual Riches: Art in the Dominican Churches of Central Italy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

Dr David Bomford (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) | Watson Gordon Lecture, Unfinished Paintings: Narratives of the Non-Finito

Professor Viccy Coltman (University of Edinburgh) | Scots in Europe: Later Eighteenth-Century Portraiture and the Grand Tour

Dr Stacy Boldrick (University of Leicester) | Breaking and Remaking Images: Iconoclasm’s Cruel Practices

Film screening | In the Shadow of Forward Motion

Samuel Bibby (Art History) | The Magazine as Catalogue, or, The Assemblage of Specimens

Dr Lara Eggleton (University of York) | Research as folly, or, How to productively “ruin” your research

Professor Alex Danchev (University of St Andrews) | The Life and the Life-Writing

Professor Jonathan Mills (University of Edinburgh) | A Potted History of Festivals and Festival Making, Part of the Jonathan Mills Lectures series

Dr Patricia Allmer (University of Edinburgh) | Shadows of Herself: Lee Miller’s Collage

Film screening | Experimental Histories: Queer Lives on Film

Kirstie Meehan (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) | Please Touch: Artists in the Archive

Professor Whitney Davis (University of California, Berkeley) | Composite Formation: Freud’s Rome and the Phantasy of “Self-Analysis.”

Professor Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art) | Dyeing Bleaching, Printing: Morris and Abundance

Dr Heather Pulliam (University of Edinburgh) | Visions and Revisions: John Duncan’s Celtic Revival

Dr Colin Cruise (Aberystwyth University) | Rossetti on Paper

Dr Robert Mills (University College London) | Derek Jarman Gets Medieval

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