Who’s Who: Warren Carter

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I am Warren Carter and I am a lecturer/staff tutor in the art history department at the Open University. Soon after joining I contributed a short piece to the MA; then as part of the A226 module team I was responsible for redoing the VLE for book 3; I have been chair of A344 since it began production; and I am the chair of A236 which will soon begin production.

What are your main research areas?

My current research interest is Mexican Muralism and the students on A344: Art and its Global Histories have regularly flagged this up as their favourite unit on the course.

I am also interested in art historical methodologies, in particular ones rooted in historical materialism and due to my co-editing of the anthology Renew Marxist Art History and my long running role in the seminar Marxism in Culture, I was invited to give a keynote at the recent conference at the Humboldt in Berlin on Marxism(s) in Art History (February 2020).

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I have made the film on Frida Kahlo which is both related to my research on Mexican art and politics in the post-revolutionary period and it also fed into my writing for A344 (and I also wrote a ‘travelling object‘ on the painting to support the BBC/OU’s Civilisations). This is a much used and very popular resource for A level students doing art history as well as OU students taking A344. I also made the three OAO critical terms films on modernism with Paul Wood (I: What is Modernism? II: Modernism and the avant-garde;  III: Modernism and contemporary art).

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

The opportunity to take relatively complex ideas and make them accessible to as big an audience as possible. The feedback that I have had from A Level art history tutors has been wonderful and it is a lovely feeling!

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

My latest publication is an essay on Mexican Muralism in which Frida Kahlo figures: ‘The Slow Fuse of the Revolutionary Mural: Diego Rivera, Poststructuralism and Historical Revisionism’, Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, vol. 94 (December 2019), pp. 39-58.

What got you interested in Art History?

As a young teenager I bought and voraciously read The Great Artists which consisted of 96 issues devoted to individual artists from the Renaissance through to the present. It was published weekly from 1985 onwards. Why, I do not know as I was brought up in a working-class family and had never even been to a gallery. Anyhow, it sparked my love for the subject that I have never ever lost!

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

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