PhD studentships: feminism/art/theory, Loughborough University

Loughborough University, UK, October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2021
Application deadline: Feb 28, 2018

Funded full-time 3-year PhD studentships in the School of the Arts, English and Drama

Feminist thought and art practices

The intersection of feminist thinking with modern and contemporary art is increasingly an urgent and productive meeting point, proposing new insights, theories, critique and practices. We welcome proposals addressing this meeting point, from an inclusive and intersectional feminist framework, attending to individual artists, groups, themes, and/or positions. Proposals should focus on one of the following areas:

• Curation, cannon-formation, and historiography. How are feminist narratives created (Hemmings 2011) in art history and curating? How are dominant methods, ideologies and practices challenged? How, two generations after Nochlin’s ‘Why have there been no great women artists?’ (1971) and Parker & Pollock’s Old Mistresses: Women Art and Ideology (1981) is feminist art history developing as a politicised academic field? How are individual lives written and oeuvres contextualised? How, after feminist blockbuster exhibitions around the world (e.g. LA, Melbourne, Moscow, Paris, Tokyo) is curating developing as a feminist undertaking? Why was there no ‘blockbuster’ in Britain? How is the art presented to its publics?
• Critical race theory, national and trans-national identities: how does feminist thinking about art intersect with critical race thinking? How are raced identities in the art world negotiated, and how can they be historicised, within a feminist framework? How can we produce feminist critiques of national identities? How might we engender feminist methodologies capable of addressing transnational mobility and cultural movement across boundaries? How can feminism as a political project be legible in differing cultural contexts? We welcome case studies that move beyond ‘multi-national’ perspectives on contemporary art and feminist theory as well as explorations of new ways of writing feminist art theory.
• Visual activism: What are feminist approaches to visual activism in the 21stC? How are they grounded historically? What strategies are successful? Where do feminist politics meet feminist activism in art? How are broader visual activist movements (Occupy, anti-austerity movements etc) and theorists of activism positioning women (whether cis, queer, straight, trans) and non-binary people? How do local feminist movements and actions relate to each other and resolve differences?

These themes reflect the research expertise of supervisors Prof. Marsha Meskimmon and Prof. Hilary Robinson in feminist art historiography, and their current research projects in transnational feminism and the arts, and in feminist art activism respectively, as well as other supervisors in the school.