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. Seminars normally take place on Thursdays at 5.15pm in the Hunter Building Lecture Theatre on Lauriston Place, with a reception afterwards in the John Higgitt Gallery. Please note that the Watson Gordon Lecture takes place on 8th November 2018. 

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: Richard Williams


Semester one

27 Sep 2018 | Art history futures - what next for the discipline?Richard Williams | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

4 Oct 2018 | Word Embodied: Entangled Icons in Medieval Japanese Buddhist Art, Dr Halle O’Neal | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

11 Oct 2018 | Leonora Carrington’s Portrait of Max Ernst, c.1939: A New Acquisition for the National Galleries of Scotland, Patrick Elliott | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

18 Oct 2018 | Object-fantasticality [gegenstandsfantastik] - or What is Magic Realism?, Dr Felicity Gee | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

25 Oct 2018 | Screening: Strategy: Get Arts (1970). In Conversation with the Artist Alexander HamiltonDr Christian Weikop | ECA Main Buliding, West Court | 5.15pm

8 Nov 2018 | Heart’s Desire: From Christ, to Crown, to Eros, Professor Cynthia Hahn | The Watson Gordon Lecture | National Gallery of Scotland, Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL | 6pm

15 Nov 2018 | WELCOME! Elizabeth Price and the Life of ObjectsDr Tamara Trodd | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

22 Nov 2018 | When England grew out of her saucy youth’: the Fin-de-Siècle German Reception of Gillray and Rowlandson, 1895 – 1908, Dr Matthew Potter | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

29 Nov 2018 | The Case of M. Alphonse Legros, Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm 


Semester two

17 Jan 2019 | This is Lenin! Demystifying Revolution in Socialist Ethiopia, Kate Cowcher | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

31 Jan 2019 | Action Sculpture: The Body/Object Problem in the Performances of Skip Arnold, Dominic Johnson | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

7 Feb 2019 | The Celtic Revival and Modern Spiritualism: fairies, witches and haunted landscapes, Michelle Foot | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

14 Feb 2019 | Contemporary Art and the Production of Inequality, Andrea Phillips | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

28 Feb 2019 | Oceanography – bridging the gap between art and science, David Munro | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm 

7 March 2019 | Chinese porcelain in Habsburg Spain, Cinta Krahe | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

14 March 2019 | The Orphic Tendency in Early Abstraction, Simon Shaw-Miller | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

21 March 2019 | On writing a dictionary: some philosophical problems, Kamini Vellodi | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

28 March 2019 | A brief history of the art strike, Stewart Martin |  Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm

4 April 2019 | Thinking in Film: How Thought Moves, Mieke Bal | Hunter Building, Lecture Theatre | 5:15pm


Previous seminar series


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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