Connect with me
I'm part of

About me

DAVID BATE is Professor of Photography widely known internationally as a key scholar on photography and the visual arts. He teaches across practice, history and photography theory, supervising MA and PhD student project work. He is also an editor of the international photography theory journal Photographies published by Routledge, started in 2008 and committed to practice and theory as related distinctive practices. He received the prestigious Education Award from the Royal Photographic Society in 2018.


David received a Doctorate in the Fine Art Department at the University of Leeds, where he also trained in art history on the MA Social History of Art with Griselda Pollock. He also studied on the famous BA (Hons) Film and Photographic Arts degree course at PCL in London. He has worked as a photographer and curator and exhibited his work widely in the UK, in Europe and North America, India and China.

A co-founder member of Accident and Five Years artist gallery collective, London.

A  co-founder and co-editor of photographies the well know international journal for the study of photography since 2008. His books and essays are widely read and translated, including into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Turkish, Slovenian and Polish.  


Include: Danielle Arnaud, London, Freemantle Art Centre, Perth, Australia; The Louvre, France; Billboard Project (The Social: Photography Festival), Sunderland/Newcastle, Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Photographer’s Gallery, London; Diemar/Noble Gallery; Work Gallery, London; Cube Gallery, Plymouth; London Gallery West, London; Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland; Hoopers Gallery, London, Istanbul Photography Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA, Camerawork, London, Impressions, York; 

Key Authored Books

Photography as Critical Practice, Intellect/University of Chicago, 2020

Photography Key Concepts, second edition Routledge, 2019

Art Photography, Tate Publications, 2015.

ZONE, London: Artwords, 2012.

Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent, IB Tauris, 2004

Chapters (examples)

'The Indexical Imagination', A Companion to Photography ed. S Bull, Wiley/Blackwell 2020.

'Jacques Rancière: Aesthetics and Photography' Routledge Companion to Photography Theory, Routledge, ed. M Durden & J Tormey, 2020.

‘Habitation: Photographic Space’, Eikon: 5x5 (Vienna, 2016).

‘Boredom and Baroque Space’, Photomediations: A Reader, eds. Kamila Kuc & Joanna Zylinska (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016).                                 

‘Doubled Up’ in Double Exposures, Manuel Vason (London: Intellect Books, 2014).

‘The Syntax of Photography’, Imprint: Visual Narratives in Books, Stockholm: Art & Theory Book, 2013).

‘The Emancipated Photographer’, The Versatile Image, Leuven Press, 2013.

‘The Digital Condition: Cameras, Computers, Screens’, The Photographic Image in Digital Culture, ed. Martin Lister, Routledge, 2012.


Currently Professor of Photography at the Media, Art and Design Campus, where he supervises PhDs (practice and theory based research projects) and teaches on postgraduate programmes, specifically the MA Photography Arts course. David is also co-leader of the Photography Research Group.

He was formerly Course Leader of the highly successful BA Photography course at Farnham UCL before, moving to the University of Westminster to lead the BA photography theory curriculum and the MA Photographic Studies programme until 2016 (now MA Photography Arts course). 

He has been guest lecture in many countries including the UK, France, Italy, Ireland, USA, Canada, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, Austria, Spain, China, Croatia, Slovenia, Singapore, Australia, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.


Research interests are in critical practice and the history and theory of photography and include conceptions of otherness, subjectivity, identity, space and memory. His fields of specialism include the avant-garde and surrealism, nineteenth and twentieth century history of photography, contemporary art, and the new digital environments of social photography.

He has written dozens of essays and book chapters alongside his own publications listed above and has a long track record of exhibiting his photographic works in solo and group shows internationally in galleries, museums and festivals. 

He is currently supervising doctoral students working  across photograhic practice (still and moving image) and photography history and theory.


For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.