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Dr Lindsay Crisp

Photograph of Lindsay Crisp

Profile summary

Professional biography

As a Cultural Studies scholar working in an Art History department, I am interested in materiality and mediality in contemporary art. I often explore how the physical form of objects enables them to tell a story or to be ‘read’ like a text, and relatedly, how engaging with the materiality of written texts helps us to reach new understandings of how they work, or what they do in the world. 

I hold a PhD in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MA with Distinction in Cultural and Media Studies from the Open University, for which I was awarded the Pavis Prize in recognition of outstanding work in my dissertation, and am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am a trained community arts practitioner and began my career as a drama facilitator and mental health support worker before joining the Open University. In 2003 I began work as an Associate Lecturer and in 2006, as a Senior Faculty Manager. I joined the Art History department as a Lecturer and Staff Tutor in 2019. Since 2020 I have acted as Qualification Lead in Art History, with responsibility for supporting the development and review of the BA (Honours) in Art History and Visual Cultures (R27) and the MA in Art History (F33).

Research interests

I am a Cultural Studies scholar with an interest in materiality, text, and fragmentation in contemporary art, assemblage theory and new media theory. Following a doctoral thesis that investigated these themes as they arise in Michael Landy’s 2001 art event Break Down, I'm developing elements of this project for publication. I am currently exploring future directions for research in the intersections between materiality, fragmentation, art, and concepts relating to ecology, social justice, and mutuality.

I am committed to the value of collaborative and interdisciplinary work. Since 2022, I have acted as co-convenor of the Open Ecologies research group, which holds regular seminars bringing together colleagues from the Arts and Humanities, STEM, the Social Sciences and beyond to provide cross-disciplinary perspectives on ecology, nature, and climate crisis. In association with Open Ecologies I have developed and delivered participatory arts activities to support public engagement with ecological ideas. I am also active in two other research groups: Objects, Collections and Museums, which provides an interdisciplinary space to discuss material objects and practices and their critical reception, and Creative Interactions, which explores overlaps and connections between creative practice and academic research.

Conference papers

Jun 2019: ‘The manual in Michael Landy’s Break Down’: Languages INTER Networks conference. Lancaster University.

Sept 2017: ‘Fragment / Part / Whole: Matter and Mediality in Michael Landy’s Break Down’. Waste: A Symposium. Birkbeck, University of London.

Jan 2017: 'Michael Landy’s Break Down: Trashing and Transforming’, TRASH conference, Department of English Studies, University of Vienna. Supported via a grant from the competitive Graduate School Fund at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Oct 2016: ‘Writing through the fragments: Ekphrastic encounters with Michael Landy’s Break Down’. Creative Humanities: Thinking, Making and Meaning. AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Supported via a full bursary from the Consortium.

Jun 2011: ‘Michel Landy’s Break Down and the search for the thing’. Materiality and the materials of research: Theory and practice in the humanities. Material Cultures Research Group, The Open University.

Invited speaker

​Jan 2020: ‘Material, process, time: The fragment in Michael Landy’s Break Down’: Literary London Reading Group. University College London.

Public Engagement

June 2023: Ekphrastic writing activity to promote close observation and ecological awareness at a land art site, for community members and approximately 85 local school pupils aged 13-15. Solstice Week. Crawick Multiverse, Sanquar, Dumfries and Galloway, 18-19 June 2023.

June 2022: Co-facilitated creative activity about endangered birds and their habitats for families and children (approximately 400 visitors), as part of the Art, Visual Culture, and the Global Climate Crisis project. ‘Wildlife: Creative Encounters with Urban Nature’, Glasgow Science Festival. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 11-12 June 2022.

Teaching interests

I was a member of the Module Production Team for A236: Art and Visual Cultures in the Modern World, a second-level module that launched in October 2023, and authored two chapters (listed below) that explore art history and visual culture in innovative ways. The first examines how scientific images and new visual technologies have transformed visual culture in modernity. The second explores the image and its role in private life, from daguerreotype portraits to the mobile phone.

Between 2019 and 2021, I acted as the Tuition Lead on the Module Team for A111: Discovering the arts and humanities, where I took a lead role in designing and coordinating the tuition strategy for this module across the regions and nations from its launch in October 2019. As a Staff Tutor I continue to have oversight of A111 in both the East Midlands, and the East of England, where I coordinate tuition and provide other advice and support as needed. Between 2003 and 2019, I was an Associate Lecturer, specialising in the teaching and support of introductory-level Open University students on interdisciplinary modules in the Arts and Humanities, and the Social Sciences.

In support of innovative and inclusive teaching at the Open University I regularly contribute to scholarship projects. In 2019-20 I acted as sponsor for a project lead by Dr Veronica Davies to investigate strategies for effective online 'gallery visits', and in 2019, I was lead researcher for the arts strand of a mixed methods, cross-School scholarship project to investigate the pedagogic implications of synchronous, online teaching within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences particularly in relation to issues of equalities and access.

Teaching publications

Crisp, L. P. (2023a) ‘The expansion of vision’, in Murray, A. (ed.), Visual cultures of modernity [Module text, A236], The Open University, pp. 43-74.

Crisp, L. P. (2023b) ‘The private life of images’, in Murray, A. (ed.), Visual cultures of modernity [Module text, A236], The Open University, pp. 111-44.


Objects and bodies in Michael Landy's Shelf Life (2024)
Crisp, Lindsay Polly
In: Mohan, Urmila ed. The Efficacy of Intimacy and Belief in Worldmaking Practices (pp. 58-72)
ISBN : 9781032498812 | Publisher : Routledge