We are an open, dynamic, and forward-thinking department that has consistently challenged conventional divisions of scholarly activity.

The department of Art History and World Art Studies has for decades developed a uniquely wide-ranging, diverse and interdisciplinary research culture. We have expertise in Art History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Climate Studies, and Museum Studies. As a department we work alongside two further research units focused upon the study of World Art: the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas (SRU), and the Sainsbury Institute for Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC). We also collaborate with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts museum staff on various exhibitions, projects and initiatives.

The department therefore engages in scholarly work of a uniquely broad scope: from Ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary West Africa; from medieval Norwich to 20th-century India; from renaissance maps to experimental film. When focused upon subject matter that is seemingly remote from our own situation, we work to bring the pressure of the deepest and widest of histories to bear upon the present moment. Particular strengths in teaching and research include: the art and archaeology of the climate crisis, postcolonial discourse, medieval visual cultures, artists’ photography and film, heritage studies, visual art and poetry, and contemporary art and exhibition making.

This range of interests, unrivalled in interdisciplinary scope amongst Art History departments in the UK, is clustered around a series research groups. The groups involve staff members and postgraduate students and serve to both foster dialogue and to provide a launch pad for research projects and events.

The department also currently hosts three Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellows:

Dr. William Carruthers
Dr. Rye Dag Holmboe
Dr. Gabriella Nugent