Terra Foundation and Mellon MA Visiting Professors - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Terra Foundation and Mellon MA Visiting Professors

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Terra Foundation and Mellon MA Visiting Professors

Terra Foundation and Mellon MA Visiting Professors


Julia Bryan-Wilson was the Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor in Spring 2014. She is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art in the History of Art Department at UC Berkeley. Her research interests include questions of artistic labor, feminism, queer theory, performance, photography, fabrication/production, and handicraft. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (University of California Press, 2009), and editor of OCTOBER Files: Robert Morris (MIT Press, 2013). A scholar and critic, Bryan-Wilson has written about artists such as Laylah Ali, Ida Applebroog, Sadie Benning, the Cockettes, Sharon Hayes, Harmony Hammond, Cristóbal Lehyt, Yoko Ono, Ana Mendieta, Yvonne Rainer, and Anne Wilson, in publications that include Art Bulletin, Artforum, differences, October, Oxford Art Journal, and many exhibition catalogs. Her article “Invisible Products” received the 2013 Art Journal award. She has held grants from the Getty, the Clark Art Institute, the Henry Moore Institute, and the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. Bryan-Wilson’s current book project is entitled Craft Crisis: Handmade Art and Activism since 1970.

Heather Norris Nicholson was the Andrew W Mellon Foundation/Research Forum Mellon MA Visting Professor in 2013-14. She is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Visual and Oral History Research, University of Huddersfield. Her current interdisciplinary research focuses on issues of visual memory, identity, belonging and historical change within amateur visual culture, as developed in Amateur Films. Meaning and Practice 1927-1977 (Manchester University Press, 2012). Her interests in how social access to recreational filmmaking gradually widened explores aspects of family life, everyday and working lives, local and regional identity, leisure time and overseas travel. Wider interests explore issues of archival access, changing patterns of personal record making and also the visual politics of cultural representation as seen in earlier film-related writings on indigenous filmmaking and changing filmic identities, include Screening Culture: Meaning and Identity (ed.) (Lexington, 2003). She is part of the Oral History Journal’s editorial group, is fervently committed to bringing amateur film to wider audiences and is currently co-writing a book on Britain’s pioneering twentieth century women amateur filmmakers.


Christopher Reed was the Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor for 2012-13. He is Professor of English and Visual Culture at Pennsylvania State University. His interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on issues of identity as they play out in visual culture, including fine art, design, and the mass media. Reed’s influential anthology Not at Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture was published in 1996. Also in 1996, he published, A Roger Fry Reader, which presented little known texts by this influential of art critic, widening his legacy beyond his reputation as the father for formalism. Reed’s 2004 Bloomsbury Rooms: Modernism, Subculture, and Domesticity explored the relationship of the Bloomsbury group to ideas about the look of modern life. This was followed by a major traveling exhibition co-organized with Nancy Green in 2008, A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections. Recent publications include Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas (Oxford 2011) and If Memory Serves: Gay Men, AIDS, and the Promise of the Queer Past (Minnesota 2012), co-authored with Christopher Castiglia. In 2010 he published The Chrysanthème Papers: The Pink Notebook of Madame Chrysanthème and other Documents of French Japonisme. Reed’s research, which formed the basis of his teaching at The Courtauld in autumn 2012, investigates how Japanese aesthetics were marshaled to define alternative forms of masculinity in modern America.

Eric Jorink was the Andrew W Mellon Foundation Visiting Professor for 2012-13. He studied History at the University of Groningen and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2004 he gained his PhD cum laude at the University of Groningen with a thesis on the relation between science and religion in the Dutch Golden Age. Since 2001 Jorink has been working as a researcher at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in The Hague. He has published widely on early modern scientific culture, including Reading the Book of Nature in the Dutch Golden Age, 1575-1715 (2010); together with Bart Ramakers, eds, Art and Science in the Early Modern Netherlands (2011); with Dirk van Miert, eds, Isaac Vossius (1618-1689) between Science and Scholarship (2012) and, most recently with Ad Maas, eds, Newton and the Netherlands. How Isaac Newton was Fashioned in the Dutch Republic (2012). Currently, he is finishing a biography of the Amsterdam microscopist Johannes Swammerdam (1637-1680). In 2012-13 he was co-teaching the Andrew W Mellon Foundation/ Research Forum Mellon MA special option on Visualizing Knowledge in the Early Modern Netherlands, c.1550-1730 with Joanna Woodall and Katrin Seyler.


Juliet Mitchell was the Mellon MA Visiting Professor for 2011-12. Juliet’s pioneering work in gender and psychoanalysis has led to numerous publications, including, among many others, Psychoanalysis and Feminism (1974), The Rights and Wrongs of Women (ed. with A. Oakley, 1977), Mad Men and Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria and the Sibling Relationship for the Human Condition (2000) and Siblings: Sex and Violence (2003). Among her research interests are Gender differences from a psychoanalytic and social history perspective with particular reference to hysteria; an examination of the construction of the mother-and-baby couple in studies of 2nd World War and post War psychology and in particular psychoanalysis. This work revealed the importance of siblings and the neglect of a horizontal paradigm in contrast to the dominant vertical parent-child relationship of the Pre-Oedipal and Oedipus complex and more widely in the social and psychological sciences. Professor Mitchell is currently Professor of Psychoanalysis and Director of the Expanded Doctoral School in Psychoanalytic Studies at UCL Psychoanalysis Unit. She is also the Founder Director of the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge, a Research Fellow at the Department of Human Geography, University of Cambridge and Fellow Emeritus of Jesus College, University of Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the British and International Psychoanalytical Societies. During 2011-12, Professor Mitchell will be teaching the Andrew W Mellon MA, Art and Psychoanalysis: fifty years of war in the time of peace, 1960-2010, alongside Professor Mignon Nixon and with the collaboration of Dr Moniah Abdallah.


Boris Groys of the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany was the Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor for the academic year 2010-11. He taught the MA special option Global Conceptualism: The Last Avant-Garde or a New Beginning? in collaboration with Dr Sarah Wilson and the Research Forum/Mellon MA Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Anthony Gardner.  This MA course seeks to redefine Conceptual art as the last coherent international avant-garde movement, and as a starting point for different contemporary artistic practices.

The Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor in the Academic Year 2010-11 was Richard Meyer, Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Director the Contemporary Project and the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate at the University of Southern California.

He is the author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art (Oxford University Press, 2002) and co-author of Weegee and Naked City (University of California Press, 2008). Most recently, he curated Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered at the Jewish Museum in New York City and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. His essay, “Artists Sometimes Have Feelings” received the 2008 Art Journal award from the College Art Association. He is currently completing two books, a survey text co-edited with Catherine Lord titled Art and Queer Culture, 1885-present (Phaidon, 2010) and a short history of 20th-century art titled What was Contemporary Art? to be published by MIT Press. His teaching interests include contemporary art, censorship and the public sphere, the history of photography, gender and sexuality studies, and visual culture.  As Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor at The Courtauld in 2010-11, he led a series of seminars on ‘Feminist and Queer Art History’ as part of Professor Mignon Nixon’s M.A. Special Option Informed: Art, Sex, War, and Gender Politics since 1960, and gave a research paper, What Was Contemporary Art?


Malcolm Bull (Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford) was the Research Forum/Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor for the academic year 2009-10.  He taught, in collaboration with Dr. Julian Stallabrass, the MA Aestheticising Politics? The Political in Globalised Contemporary Art. This course explored the globalisation of contemporary art after the fall of Eastern European Communism, notably the increasing number of international biennales, and the rising of artists from the ‘developing world’ in the global arts scene.  Critical and theoretical texts were examined in this course, which also includes a series of in-depth case studies, focusing on current exhibitions, artist lectures and visits to artists or curators


The Visiting Professors for the Academic Year 2008-09 were Professor Vanessa Ryan (Brown University) and Professor Sander Gilman, (Emory University) who were affiliated with the Andrew W Mellon Foundation MA.  Professor Vanessa Ryan, in collaboration with Professor Carline Arscott, taught the MA course The Aesthetic Body: Science, Aestheticism and the Image of the Body in British Art 1860-1900.  Professor Sander Gilman, in collaboration with Dr. Shulamith Behr, taught the MA course Arts in Exile in Britain 1933-1945: Politics and Cultural Identity.  In February 2009, Professor Vanessa Ryan gave a lecture entitled Identity, the Senses and Experience: When Art Isn’t Work: Victorian Theories of Creativity at the Courtauld, as part of the 2009 Friend Lecture Series.  This lecture looked at the relevance of Victorian theories of automatic and reflexive thought for conceptions of inspiration and creativity in the period, making reference to a range of examples including the debate engendered by John Ruskin’s attack on Whistler’s Nocturne In Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (c. 1875). During his Visiting Professorship, Sander Gillman, also in collaboration with Shulamith Behr, organised the colloquium Listening to the Past: Oral History as a Resource at the Research Forum, to coincide with the exhibition Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain 1933-1945, held at the Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, from 21 January to 19 April 2009, for which both scholars edited a catalogue.


Professor Boris Groys was the Mellon MA Visiting Professor for 2006-7, Professor of Philosophy and Media Theory at the Academy for Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung), Karlsruhe, Germany. From his book Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin (Munich 1988, published in English as The Total Art of Stalinism, Princeton 1992) to the exhibition Dream Factory Communism: the Visual Culture of the Stalin Era he co-curated in Frankfurt in 2003-4, Professor Groys has established a position at the very forefront of post-Soviet studies, with an emphasis on visual arts, ideology and culture. In autumn 2006 he gave two lectures at the Courtauld, the first of which focused on his exhibition project entitled Religion as Medium. The second was part of the Research Forum’s ‘Intellectual Formations’ series, allowing Groys to discuss his career which has spanned many geographical locations as well as professions. In spring 2007 Groys continued his series with a lecture on installation art, using the work of the Russian artist Ilya Kabakov as his case study. The series was concluded with a lecture on Groys’ exhibition Dream Factory Communism, which was accompanied by a film of the exhibition by his wife Natalia Nikitin.


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