I am a Lecturer in Art History, specialising in modern and contemporary art and art theory. I joined St Andrews in 2016, having previously been a Research Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge (2013-16).
I started out as a historian of modern British art and retain a strong interest in the area, but my work has since expanded in a whole range of directions. Currently I’m working on essays and larger projects based on the roles and meanings of formalism in the visual arts, ‘perception’ and ‘description’ in relation to some aspects of the rise and legacies of modern art – at the moment post-impressionism in global perspective, postmodern revisions of modernism, modern art and religion, and painting and complexity – and theories of perception, description and object-based thinking more generally. Unifying these seemingly disparate themes is an overarching concern with forms of pictorial perception, and our ability to describe or otherwise communicate such experiences. I’m also co-organising a conference at St Andrews on Provincialism and Transnationalism in American Art, 1940-1980 (with Catherine Spencer and Alistair Rider), as well as panels on ‘Autonomy and the 1960s’ (with Vid Simoniti) and ‘Contemporary Art Histories’ (with Emalee Beddoes) for CAA 2018 and AAH 2018.
At St Andrews my current and recent undergraduate courses have covered ‘modern art beyond the West’ (a kind of critical survey course of ‘global modern’ art), art historical theories and methods, and art in England c.1900-1980. Current graduate seminar topics include digital aesthetics, neuro and evolutionary aesthetics and contemporary art, notions of artistic and object-based intelligence and the various ‘lives’ of things, and practices of art writing since the 1960s.