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Research Seminars

We are committed to dialogue with academics and professionals in other disciplines to generate new discourses and discoveries.

We regularly host seminars and other events looking at practice and practitioners, as well as those issues that are vital and current for our community and its researchers.

Our long-running Visiting Speaker Programme brings a dynamic range of international artists, curators, and writers to our campus every week. Our public events programme has included our flagship in-conversation series The Producers, a collaboration with Art Monthly. We regularly host major conferences, most recently Mapping Contemporary Art in Heritage.  In spring 2020, we were set to host the annual Association for Art History international conference, in collaboration with Northumbria University.

We are also aligned with the University’s research institutes and initiatives, for example the Institute for Creative Arts Practice, which provides a framework and small-scale funding for developing and supporting cross-disciplinary practice-led research for all creative practitioners across the University.

The Centre for Heritage is a focus for heritage experts working across the University to which we are contributing our unique strengths in creative practice in heritage.Our research culture is enlivened and enriched by the presence of around 25 practice-based PhD research students who have established art practices of their own, along with innovative and interdisciplinary Art History PhD researchers. 


Kurt Schwitters: Elterwater Merzbarn

Seminars and Events: 2024

Art and Ecology

This new seminar series offers a platform for engagement with research in history of art at a time when the discipline is undergoing change in response to issues of urgent significance, including intergenerational justice, colonial legacies, and environmental breakdown.  

These seminars will take place fortnightly on Wednesdays at 17.15 in the Seminar room, King Edward VII Building, Newcastle University, with refreshments available after each event, from 18.30.  

Arranged by Dr Olga Smith, ‘Art and Ecology’ is the topic for the inaugural series of seminars. This is a great opportunity to hear leading international and UK-based scholars present on subjects as diverse as the colours of the Anthropocene and art made by bowerbirds. The full schedule is attached below; further information for each talk will be circulated a week in advance.  

Most of the seminars are in-person events. Please note, however, that two of the events will use a hybrid format, as a virtual presentation presented the most sustainable option due to the distance of the speakers’ travel. To register for hybrid events please email the convenor Dr Olga Smith.

Semester Two, 2024. Art and Ecology 
  • January 31st.    Dr. C.C. McKee (Bryn Mawr College): ‘Que les fleurs ont fané: Botany and Imperial Loss in Post-Revolutionary Haiti’ 
  • February 14th.  Prof. Ysanne Holt (Northumbria University): ‘Centering the Peripheries: Art, Environment and the Anglo-Scottish borders’ 
  • February 28th.  Prof. Emily Gephart (Tufts University): ‘Cultivating Ecologies: Plants, People, Art’ (virtual) 
  • March 13th.      Dr. Kirsty Sinclair Dootson (UCL): ‘What Colour is the Anthropocene? Eco-Critical Histories of Modern Chromatism’ 
  • April 24th.        Dr. Nina Amstutz (University of Oregon): ‘Found Object: Multispecies Musings on Art and Evolution in Bowerbirds’ (virtual)  
  • May 1st.           Dr. Siobhan Angus (Carleton University): ‘Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography’ 

Artists and Curators respond to the Climate Crisis 

Future Climates: Contemporary Artists and Curators in Conversation is a new series of talks developed in collaboration between Art Monthly and the School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University. The series brings together international artists, curators, writers to reflect on how cultural practices can respond to the climate crisis and its complex, societal, political, economic, historical entanglements with a specific focus on practices and thinking that go beyond aesthetic and conceptual engagement and set about making a real-life difference.

Talk 1: Amal Khalaf and Oliver Ressler, chaired by Neil Bromwich. Introduced by Chris McCormack and Uta Kögelsberger

12 March 2024, 5.30pm, Fine Art Lecture Theatre, Newcastle University. 

Amal Khalaf is a curator and artist and currently Director of Programmes at Cubitt, Civic Curator at the Serpentine Galleries, and co-curator of the forthcoming Sharjah Biennial in 2025. Recent projects include Radio Ballads (2019-22) and Sensing the Planet (2021). She is a founding member of artist collective GCC, a trustee of Mophradat, Athens; not/nowhere, London and Art Night, London. In 2019 she curated Bahrain’s pavilion for Venice, in 2018 she co-curated an international arts and social justice conference called Rights to the City in 2016 she co-directed the 10th edition of the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai. 

Oliver Ressler is an artist and filmmaker whose installations and projects in the public realm address issues of democracy, racism, climate breakdown, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Ressler’s has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein; MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; SALT Galata, Istanbul; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Seville; Museo Espacio, Aguascalientes, Mexico and Belvedere 21, Vienna and in more than 400 group exhibitions, including Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Centre Pompidou, Paris and the biennials in Taipei, Venice, Athens, Kyiv, Gothenburg, Istanbul and at Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017 amongst others.

Chair: Neil Bromwich is part of the Glasgow based collaborative duo Walker & Bromwich and Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University. At the core of their practice is the exploration of the role art can play as an active agent in society, with a specific focus on climate justice. Walker & Bromwich have exhibited work at documenta-fifteen, SEA + Triennale Jakarta, Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece, MCA Sydney; Tate Britain; V&A London; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art; Glasgow International; Edinburgh Art Festival, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Their most recent initiative sets about creating a new platform for the exchange and production of new work withing the context of climate justice in collaboration with the Indonesian non-profits arts organisation Rodha Among Karsa.