Art History and Visual Culture
Our research builds on strong regional, national and international partnerships. Members of staff curate exhibitions and contribute to arts and literature conferences and festivals locally, nationally and internationally.
My interdisciplinary research navigates the intersections of visual culture and performance with queer theory, philosophy, geohumanities and posthumanism in an attempt to rethink embodiment and the visual vis-à-vis the philosophical and political challenges posed by the blurring of 'human'/'nonhuman'/'inhuman' divides.
I work and have published on the ritual use of public space, urban identity, the representation and perception of community groups within cities, as well as the relations between commercial and residential spaces in Early Modern Italy. My recent research looks at the street as a social space, the urban iconography that often binds main streets into a coherent whole and the relations between public and private self-representation. This recent work also engages in cross-chronological discussion, linking the themes and issues of concern for the present to those of the past.
I am a specialist in art, literature and history of ideas of the French eighteenth century. My publications include: Physiognomy and Facial Expression in Eighteenth-Century France (1999) and Fragonard and the Fantasy Figure: Painting the Imagination (2012).
Among my current projects, I am preparing an exhibition of fantasy figures in European painting with the Musée des Augustins, Toulouse. I am also investigating the use of costume and anecdote in eighteenth-century French portraits.
I am captivated by landscape art and architecture in the broad social and cultural contexts of the Chinese and emerging British empires during the early modern period (16th-18th century). My recent research critically examines Chinese-European contacts in relation to landscape imagination. These contacts engaged with the discourses of philosophy, religion, and politics that constituted the transformation to modernity. Landscape art and architecture provide me with fascinating palimpsests for validating these new insights and critiques of the transformation.
David Houston Jones
My current research is concerned with the interface between art, medicine and the archive. In particular, I am interested in the use of 'archival' media such as analogue photographs and film in contemporary installation art along with contemporary archival technologies such as lifelogging, and the fantasy of the infinite archive. The fascination with archives, I argue, is part of a broader critical engagement with discourses of memory and evidence in contemporary art, in particular as they are framed by the medical archive.
My research focuses on the history of post-war experimental performance, with emphasis on the relationship between theatre and the development of ideas and practices through distinct but related disciplines, including sculpture, architectural theory, conceptual and performance art, aspects of experimental music, installation, video art and video installation.
My current research examines the common aesthetic, political and economic practices that have shaped the intersection of architecture, fashion, graphic design, and interior design in imperial Austria, Britain, Eastern Europe, and South Asia.
My research is centered on the materialities of imperialism. My current book project addresses the impact of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1794-1815) on the Nachleben of Antique art in the contemporary production of French academic art in Rome.