Research Fellows and Affiliated Members

Visiting Professors

Lennard J Davis is Professor in the Department of English, Department of Disability and Human Development, and Department of Medical Education at University of Illinois at Chicago. He writes prolifically, lectures internationally, and broadcasts on literature, disability, the medical humanities, and science within the context of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Professor Davis’s books include Factual Fictions (1983), Resisting Novels (1987), Enforcing Normalcy(1995), The Disability Studies Reader (1997), My Sense of Silence (2000), Bending over Backwards (2002), Obsession(2008), and Go Tell Your Father (2009). He has been honoured regularly by the likes of the Guggenheim, and has extensive senior management experience as Head of School, as the Director of the international project Biocultures, and as a member of the Executive Committee on Stem-Cell Research at Illinois.

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AHRC Research Fellow

Joe Banks is AHRC Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts in the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, Department of English, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster, London. His current ongoing major project ‘Rorschach Audio’, studies ambiguities of acoustic perception, with particular emphasis on relationships between artistic and perceptual creativity and illusions of sound. Joe’s experimental music and installation art project Disinformation recorded 8 commercially published LPs and CDs (pioneering the use of electromagnetic noise from electric and magnetic storms, live mains electricity, industrial, domestic and IT hardware, transport infrastructure and from the sun etc., as the raw material of electronic music and sound art).

Visiting Research Fellows

Ferran Barenblit is Director of Spain’s recently opened art centre Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles in Madrid,and has introduced innovative curatorial, educational, and publishing initiatives in Europe and the USA. Before arriving in Madrid, he was Director of the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica (CASM) in Barcelona. At CASM, an art centre that worked with artists, writers, critics, and curators to think about art and its place in contemporary culture and society, Ferran was responsible for introducing innovative curatorial, education, and publishing initiatives. Prior to his time at CASM, he was a free-lance curator (1996-2002) and Assistant Curator, The New Museum, New York (1994-1996).

Rachel Lichtenstein is author ofRodinsky's Room (With Iain Sinclair), Rodinsky's WhitechapelOn Brick Lane, has books forthcoming on Hatton Garden and Portobello Road, and is intrigued by how as writers we mobilize their research practices to animate archives.

Sina Najafi is a Founder and the editor-in-chief of the New York-based Cabinet Magazine, a quarterly nonprofit publication. Fascinated by curiosity itself, Sina is responsible for driving a huge range of cultural activities including the organization of exhibitions and conferences and non-traditional publications. He is Director of the New York-based nonprofit arts organization Immaterial Incorporated, which also publishes Cabinet and serves as an umbrella for a broad range of cultural activities, including the organization of exhibitions and conferences and nontraditional publications. Participants include artists, architects, anthropologists, historians, poets and philosophers, among others. He has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, NYU, Princeton University, Columbia University, Cooper Union, and Stockholm University, and is formerly co-editor-in-chief of Merge magazine, published in Stockholm and New York, and Index magazine, published in Stockholm.

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Dominic Willsdon is the Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Art Institute. He’s taught on the graduate programs in curating and exhibition studies at the Royal College of Art, London, and California College of the Arts. From 2000 to 2005, Dominic was Curator of Public Events at Tate Modern. He has published articles on aesthetics, politics and education, and is co-editor (with Diarmuid Costello) of The Life and Death of Images: Ethics and Aesthetics (Tate & Cornell UP, 2008). Dominic oversees education, interpretation and public programs at SFMOMA, an area that currently includes new initiatives in performance/live art, educational media and the Bay Area blog Open Space. He is currently researching the history of experimental education for artists.


Peter Cornwell is director of the media research company BLIP, working on new display technologies and cultural impact of the intersection of displays and architecture. A former director of the Institute for Visual Media at ZKM, Germany and Professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, he was also director of the Visual Theory Group in the Department of Computing at Imperial College, London and manager of European research and development for Texas Instruments. Earlier he formed Division, Inc. in California, which became a publicly held virtual reality (VR) company working with NASA and Silicon Graphics Inc., developing commercial 3D visualisation products for aerospace, architecture and pharmaceutical companies. In 1995 he developed commercial displays for The Coca-Cola Company and has subsequently built largescale LED installations in several countries for companies such as Samsung and Landrover. His dynamically computed, 3D creative-driven approach to these installations has become the benchmark for spectacular displays in public spaces. He is currently professor of public art at Central Saint Martins, London and a member of artist group Flunk.

Alan Morrison is staff at Johns Hopkins University in the US, after teaching at University of Westminster for over twenty years. He has been the organiser of both the Westminster/Smithsonian colloquium and Westminster's London Studies programme, which have generated a number of high profile events under his stewardship. Major events which Alan has organised include the Nobel Conversations series at Westminster, the American Sublime and Deconstructing Bohemia conferences at Tate Britain, Square Politics at London's National Gallery, and the Senses of the City series at the National Portrait Gallery. He was also curator of the exhibition Father of Flight, celebrating the work of Sir George Cayley, first Chairman of the Polytechnic and aviation pioneer. Alan has a particular research interest in the work of William Hogarth and in the history of the Royal Polytechnic Institution, and has delivered papers at Tate Britain, the University of Brest, Ruskin College, Oxford, and both the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. He has also published in journals such as History Today, and was co-editor of a recent special issue of the journal Literary London on Hogarth’s work.

Previous Research Fellows

Dr Young-Paik Chun is Reader of the Department of Art History and Theory at Hongik University, Seoul, Korea. Her publications include 'Mother's Anger and Mother's Desire: the Work of Re-Hyun Park' in Generations and Geographies in the Visual Arts (London: Routledge, 1996), 'Looking at Cézanne through his own eyes,' Art History (June 2002), 'Melancholia and Cézanne's Portraits: Faces beyond the Mirror' in Psychoanalysis and the Image (London: Blackwell, 2006). Her time as a Visiting Research Fellow is sponsored by National Research Foundation of Korea. While in England, she will be conducting research on a project concerning in general, noncommunicability of verbal language and communicability of visual language, and specifically, (mis)recognitions in cultural 'readership' of an other's identity in contemporary art, particularly in the case of British cultural perception of Korean art. The title of her original proposal for the Sabbatical research is ‘A “Good Eye” Looking at the Other: Readership in Korea and British Contemporary Art in Each Other's Terrain.’ 

Dr Nina Lager Vestberg from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, was a Visiting Research Fellow at IMCC from 13 - 30 June 2011.

Nina is an Associate Professor of Visual Culture at NTNU, and a Founding Member of the Visual Culture in Europe Network. She was educated in the UK, where she studied photography and multimedia at the University of Westminster (BA Hons), and history of art at Birkbeck College, London (MA and PhD). Nina has published articles on French photography and cultural memory, the indexicality of the photographic archive, and issues of copyright. Her current project investigates the cultural implications of the transformation of the photographic archive from an analogue, physical and visual environment to a digital, virtual and largely textual one. This was the focus of her work during her stay in London, where she consulted primary sources in various London-based archives and collections of photographs.

Affiliated members

Stephen Melville

Stephen Melville conducts research across Aesthetics, Literature, and Philosophy. He is interested in mobilizing these fields of inquiry in order to explore critically the future of education, the institution of the university, and cultural institutions more generally. Melville is author of Philosophy beside Itself: On Deconstruction and Modernism (University of Minnesota Press, 1986), Seams: Art as a Philosophical Context (Routledge, 1996), As Painting: Division and Displacement (The MIT Press, 2001, with Philip Armstrong and Laura Lisbon), Writing Art History (with Margaret Iversen, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press, 2010), and a monograph on on Hegel's implications for art history, contemporary art, aesthetics, and the institutions of the university (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). He is also editor of Vision and Textuality (Duke University Press, 1995, with Bill Readings), The Lure of the Object(Clark Art Institute/Yale University Press, 2006), and co-curator of 'As Painting' at the Wexner Centre, Columbus, Ohio. Professor of History of Art at The Ohio State University, Melville has been a Fellow at the Clark Research Institute and at the Humanities Institute at the University of Michigan, as well as Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Essex and Visiting Professor at The Johns Hopkins University.

Nicola Sim

Nicola Sim is Visiting Curator of Education and Public Programmes at the Institute, and Public Events Assistant at Whitechapel Gallery, London.


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