Director of UCA Doctoral College

  • Academic, Doctoral College
  • Research
Professor Jonathan Harris

Professor Jonathan Harris gained a first class honours degree in Art History from the University of Sussex (1983) and his PhD from Middlesex Polytechnic - Council for National Academic Awards (1986).

Professor Jonathan Harris


Jonathan has taught at Leeds Polytechnic (1989-94), Keele University (1994-99), University of Liverpool (1999-2011), Winchester School of Art University of Southampton 2011-2015) and Birmingham City University (2015-2020), where he was Head of Birmingham School of Art. Jonathan researches and writes on modern and contemporary art, specializing in the globalization of contemporary art and its social and political contexts.

Research supervision

I am able to supervise research projects on all aspects of modern and contemporary art in Europe and North America. My special interests include modern art and modernist theories, globalization and art, the state and the visual arts, art and cultural studies/cultural theory.

Subject Organisations:

Jonathan was a member of the Association of Art Historians (UK) and College Art Association (USA) for many years. He organised the AAH UK national conferences in 1991 (Leeds Polytechnic/Leeds University) and 2001 (University of Liverpool), and is a member of the Strategic Reviewers Group for the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College.

Editorial boards:

  • Critique d’Art (IACA-Archives of Art Criticism) France (2011- )
  • Revista de Estudios Globales y Arte Contemporáneo (AGI, University of Barcelona) Spain (2012- )
  • Luxury (Bloomsbury, London, 2013- )
  • International Advisory Board for Konsthistorisk tidskrift/Journal of Art History (Taylor & Francis/Routledge 2009- )

External Examining:


  • (2011-15) External Examiner: BA (hons) Fine Art, Dissertations, Slade School of Art, University College London.
  • (2010-14) External Examiner: BA (hons) History of Art, University of York.
  • (2007-9) External Examiner: BA Fine Art, National College of Art and Design, National University of Ireland, Dublin (dissertations).
  • (2006-8) External Examiner: BA History of Art, University of Warwick.
  • (2006-8) External Examiner: BA Fine Art, Swansea Institute of Higher Education (history of art dissertations).
  • (2005-7) External Examiner: MA Art History, University of Bristol.
  • (2004-7) External Examiner: MA Social History of Art, University of Leeds.
  • (2002-7) External Examiner: Art History, Department of Extra-Mural Studies, University of Sussex.
  • (2001-5) External Examiner: BA Art (hons) History, Department of Art History, University of Bristol.
  • (2001-4) External Examiner: BA (hons) History of Modern Art, Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Manchester.
  • (2000-2) External Examiner: MA United States Studies (art history), Institute of United States Studies, University of London.
  • (1999-2003) External Examiner: BA (hons) History of Art, Design and Film, Department of Humanities, University of Northumbria at Newcastle; BA (hons) Fine Art (dissertations).
  • (1997-2000) External Examiner: MA Art and Ideology; MA Contemporary Art Theory, Department of Art History and Theory, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.
  • (1997-1999) External Examiner: BA (hons) History of Art (Combined Studies); MA Design, MA History of Art University of Liverpool.
  • (1994-1999) External Examiner: BA (hons) History of Art, Design and Film, School of Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University.
  • (1993-1996) External Examiner: BA (hons) Fine Art (dissertations); BA Design for Communication Media (dissertations), School of Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Research Degrees:

  • (2018) Owen J. Logan, ‘Fractured Culture: The Sociological Poetics of Art, Participation and Well-being’ PhD, University of Northumbria, 12 January 2018 (re-examination).
  • (2017) Rachel Marsden, ‘The Transcultural Curator: Local to Global Translations of Contemporary Chinese Art since 1980’ PhD, Birmingham City University, 3 July 2017.
  • (2015) Owen J. Logan, ‘Fractured Culture: The Sociological Poetics of Art, Participation and Well-being’ PhD, University of Northumbria, 24 September 2015.
  • (2014) Aikaterini Karavida, ‘The Thessaloniki Biennale: The agendas and alternative potential(s) of a newly-founded biennial in the context of Greek governance’ PhD City University, London, 27 October 2014.
  • (2014) Bridget Tracy Tan, ‘Gestures and Acclamations: some assembly required’ PhD Chelsea School of Art, University of the Arts, London, 22 July 2014.
  • (2014) Nuria Querol, ‘The Impact of Globalisation on Curating Contemporary Art in India 1990-2012’ PhD Royal College of Art, London, 2 April 2014.
  • (2014) Michael Frederick Rattray, ‘Functional Anarchism(s) and the Theory of Global Contemporary Art,’ PhD Concordia University, Montreal, 14 January 2014.
  • (2013) Valentin Roma, ‘Economy: Picasso,’ PhD University of Southampton, 19 June 2013.
  • (2011) Ana Beatriz Ferreira da Rocha e Silva, ‘Spectacular architecture, identity crisis, cultural politics and the reinvention of the significance of museums of modern art,’ PhD University of the Arts (Camberwell College), 25 June 2011.
  • (2010) Dennis De Lucca, ‘The Contribution of the Jesuits to Military Architecture in the Baroque Era,’ PhD University of Liverpool, 25 May 2010.
  • (2010) Claudia Lima, ‘Representations of the city: Porto after 2001, Perceptions and Change,’ PhD University of Liverpool, 26 April 2010.
  • (2010) Kostas Bassanos, ‘Gilles Deleuze’s Baroque Fold and the Transparency Effect: Essential Elements for a Contemporary Discourse on Baroque and New Media,’ PhD University of Southampton Winchester School of Art, 26 January 2010.
  • (2009) Beccy Kennedy, ‘Picturing Migration: Presenting Art Works by Artists from South Korea working in Britain, 2006-2008,’ PhD Manchester Metropolitan University, 25 November 2009.
  • (2009) Georgina Webb-Dickin, ‘Postmodernism and the Fall of the Berlin Wall,’ MPhil (B) University of Birmingham, 23 November 2009.
  • (2007) Grant Pooke, ‘Francis Klingender (1907-1955): An Intellectual Biography,’ PhD University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art, 9 January 2007.
  • (2006) Peter Martin, ‘The Late-Georgian Trade in Swiss Stained Glass,’ MSc (Eng) by Research – University of Leeds, 20 November 2006.
  • (2006) Michael Belshaw, ‘Art, Writing, and Autobiography,’ PhD The Open University, 7 November 2006.
  • (2006) Michael Wilson, ‘Conflicted Faculties: Rhetoric, Knowledge Conflict and the University,’ PhD National College of Art and Design, National University of Ireland, Dublin, 15 September 2006.
  • (2004) Rebecca Niblock, ‘Political Meaning in the Paintings of Barnett Newman,’ PhD University of Bristol, 25 October 2004.
  • (2003) Helen L. Pheby, ‘“Wot For?” - “Why Not?”: Controversial Public Art - An Examination of the Terms,’ PhD University of Liverpool, 20 May 2003.
  • (2003) Malcolm Richard O’Kelly, ‘Myth and Tragedy. The Influence of the Figure and the Classical on the Work of Mark Rothko,’ MPhil University of Birmingham, 7 January 2003.
  • (2002) Geffrey Corbett Green, ‘Walter Spies, Tourist Art and Balinese Art in Inter-War Colonial Bali,’ PhD Sheffield Hallam University, 17 July 2002.
  • (2002) Derek Horton, ‘A Theoretical and Practical Investigation into the Embodiment of Histories, Use-values and Exchange-values in Objects, and its Implications for their Sculptural Use in Art Practice,’ PhD Leeds Metropolitan University, 15 July 2002.
  • (2001) Anthony Donovan, ‘On the Phenomenon of Mail Art and Its Relation to and Critique of Mainstream Art,’ PhD Manchester Metropolitan University, September 2001.
  • (1998) Fiona Candlin, ‘Artwork and the boundaries of academia: a theoretical/practical negotiation of contemporary art practice within the conventions for academic research,’ PhD University of Keele, October 1998.
  • (1997) Cynn Bang-Heun, ‘Deconstruction and the Process of Erasure-in-Becoming in Culture,’ PhD University of Leeds, September 1997.
  • (1996) Chris Riding, ‘The Art Criticism and History of Michael Fried,’ PhD University of Leeds, November 1996.
  • (1995) Alison Bracker, ‘A History of the International Art Journal Artforum,’ PhD University of Leeds, March 1995.


  • Terrorism and the Arts: Practices and Critiques in Contemporary Culture (Routledge, 2021)
  • The Global Contemporary Art World (Wiley-Blackwell, USA, 2017)                                                         
  • Prineas (Adrian Joyner Press, 2013)
  • Picasso and the Politics of Representation: War and Peace in the Era of the Cold War and Since (Liverpool University Press/Tate Liverpool, 2013)
  • The Utopian Globalists: Artists of Worldwide Revolution, 1919-2009 (Wiley-Blackwell, USA, 2013)
  • Bashir Makhoul (Palestinian Art Court: al Hoash, Jerusalem, 2012)
  • Regenerating Culture and Society: Architecture, Art and Urban Style within the Global Politics of City-Branding (Liverpool University Press/Tate Liverpool, 2011)
  • Globalization and Contemporary Art (Wiley-Blackwell, USA, 2011)                   
  • Inside the Death Drive: Excess and Apocalypse in the World of the Chapman Brothers (Liverpool University Press/Tate Liverpool, 2010)
  • Identity Theft: The Cultural Colonization of Contemporary Art (Liverpool University Press/Tate Liverpool, 2008)
  • Value: Art: Politics: Criticism, Meaning, and Interpretation after Postmodernism (Liverpool University Press, 2007)
  • Dead History, Live Art?: Spectacle, Subjectivity, and Subversion in Visual Culture since the 1960s (Liverpool University Press/Tate Liverpool, 2007)
  • Art History: The Key Concepts (Routledge, 2006)
  • Summer of Love: Psychedelic Art, Social Crisis and Counterculture in the 1960s (Liverpool University Press and Tate Liverpool, 2005)
  • Writing Back to Modern Art: After Greenberg, Fried, and Clark (Routledge, 2005)
  • Art, Money, Parties: New Institutions in the Political Economy of Contemporary Art (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press and Tate Liverpool, 2004)
  • Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Painting: Hybridity, Hegemony, Historicism (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press and Tate Liverpool, 2003)
  • The New Art History: A Critical Introduction (Routledge, 2001)
  • General Introduction and four specific Introductions to the revised edition of Arnold Hauser’s The Social History of Art, originally published in 1951 (Routledge: four volumes, 1999). (My introductory essays are an integrated and continuous c. 40,000 word text published in four parts: volume 1 From Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages; volume 2 Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque; volume 3 Rococo, Classicism and Romanticism; volume 4 Naturalism, Impressionism, The Film Age.
  • Federal Art and National Culture: The Politics of Identity in New Deal America (Cambridge University Press, 1995)
  • Modernism in Dispute: Art since the Forties (Yale University Press, 1993)
  • Art in Modern Culture: An Anthology of Critical Texts (Phaidon. 1992)