Global and cross cultural art

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

The Department of Art History has a tradition of teaching and research that explores how art, people and ideas become distinctive through their movement around the globe. This crossing of boundaries raises issues of artistic encounter and exchange across cultures. It also challenges our thinking about reuse, appropriation and expropriation, or the one-sided removal of property, particularly as acts of colonisation. Art’s connections to global regions, such as the eastern Mediterranean, and the rise of world economies also affects our understanding of collecting museums and display.

OU art, architecture and design historians seek to re-evaluate art history’s established methods and approaches in the light of emerging concerns across the wider humanities with processes of cultural encounter, movement and conflict. A major publication in this area is the anthology, Art in Theory: The West in the World, edited by Paul Wood and Leon Wainwright.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well-thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before applying.

Entry requirements

A UK Masters’ degree or equivalent level in a relevant subject (art, architecture or design history), or exceptionally a First Class undergraduate degree with a substantial dissertation. If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

We welcome applications to study topics that complement our current research.

Current/recent research projects

  • Irish Travelling Artists: Ireland, Southern Asia and the British Empire 1760–1850
  • Elusive Translation: Film and Video in the work of Isaac Julien, Zineb Sedira and Alia Syed
  • Figuration in the Work of Post-Conceptual British Women Painters

Potential supervisors

  • Dr Amy Jane Barnes – museum studies, collecting, curating and the representation of art and material culture of China
  • Dr Emma Barker – French and British 18th-century art
  • Dr Carla Benzan – Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Italian Art and Visual Culture
  • Dr Warren Carter – Modern and contemporary art; public art; art of the Americas; methodology
  • Dr Kim Charnley – Modern and contemporary conceptual art and politics
  • Dr Renate Dohmen – Indian art and design and British imperial culture in 19th and 20th centuries
  • Dr Angeliki Lymberopoulou – Byzantine art
  • Dr Sam Shaw – Britain and its Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  • Dr Margit Thofner – early modern European art and histories of colonialism and collecting
  • Professor Leon Wainwright – Modern and contemporary art; transatlantic exchanges, diasporas and migration, connecting Britain, North America, and the Caribbean
  • Dr Robert Wallis – prehistoric art, shamanism, animism and their interface with modern and contemporary art

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,596 per year Full time: £11,666 per year
Part time: £2,298 per year Part time: £5,833 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


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How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Email: FASS-ArtHistory-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 652479

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.