Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture

Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture

Established in 2008 the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC) is designed to act as a focal point for collaboration both between colleagues across the University and with outside cultural institutions to facilitate cross-disciplinary projects. The IMCC has its own blog and website and regularly hosts important international speakers at Westminster including, in recent years, Emmanuel Bouju (Rennes/Harvard), Thomas Y. Levin (Princeton), Stephen Melville (Ohio), Toby Miller (UC, Riverside), and W.J.T. Mitchell (Chicago).

David Cunningham and Marquard Smith co-curate the Whitechapel Salon, an annual series of four public discussions on a single contemporary cultural theme, including ‘Hope’ and ‘Cultures of Capitalism’. These are held at the Whitechapel Gallery and co-funded by the Stanley Picker Trust, with speakers including Chantal Mouffe, Richard Sennett and Gayatri Spivak. 

Recent IMCC events include ‘Fashioning Postmodern/Postcolonial Bodies’ (September 2008); the two-day ‘2010 Visual Culture Studies Conference’, in collaboration with Nicholas Mirzoeff (NYU); ‘The Apocalypse and its Discontents’ (December 2010); ‘Queer London’ (March 2013); ‘Walter Benjamin, Pedagogy and the Politics of Youth’ (June 2013), co-funded with the Centre for Modern European Philosophy at Kingston, with Antonia Birnbaum (Paris 8), Howard Eiland (MIT) and Élise Derroitte (Louvain); ‘The Historical Novel of the Contemporary’ (December 2013); ‘The Continuities of Cold War Systems’ (February 2014), co-organised with the Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media at Winchester School of Art; and ‘Photography and Abstraction’ (May 2014).


Discover more about the Institute's partnerships throughout the world, and the journals and periodicals our staff work on.

Research Study

The Institute provides research study opportunities for Doctoral Researchers, we have PhD students working across the arts and humanities.

Knowledge, Cultural memory, Archives and Research

Our Postgraduate module presents students with a series of discursive, reflexive, and practical questions to prepare them for the challenges of PhD study.


Find out who makes the institute for Modern Contemporary Culture function.


Get in touch with IMCC.