Academic Staff

Dr Gavin Grindon
Gavin recently co-curated the exhibition Disobedient Objects at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, about objects of art and design produced within social movement cultures internationally since the late 1970s. His research focuses on twentieth century art, specifically activist-art and institutional critique.
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Dr Ayla Lepine
Ayla studied Theology at Oxford and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where her PhD (2011) focused on the late Victorian Gothic Revival at Oxford and Cambridge. In 2012 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Courtauld, and in 2013 she was a Fellow at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music. Her postdoctoral fellowships concentrated on the phenomenon of revivalism in international art and architectural contexts. Since 2007 she has held lectuing posts at King’s College London, the University of Warwick, the Courtauld, Yale, and the University of Nottingham, where she also convened high profile academic events on architecture and poetry, revivalism in modern art and architecture, and neo-Gothic architecture in 20th-century Britain and America. She joined the School of Philosophy and Art History at Essex in 2014.
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Dr Matt Lodder
Matt completed his PhD in 2010, having submitted a thesis entitled Body Art: Body Modification as Artistic Practice, and before his role at Essex taught contemporary art and theory at the Universities of Reading and Birmingham. His current research is principally concerned with the history of Western tattooing, and the artistic status of body art and body modification practices.
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Dr Natasha Ruiz-Gómez
Natasha Ruiz-Gómez specializes in French art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She recently completed a five-year Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK) Academic Fellowship in the School of Philosophy and Art History. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania; her doctoral thesis proposes a new reading of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture based on an examination of the science of the time. Her publications include essays on Rodin’s sculpture, on his collection of photographs and on contemporary architecture.

Dr Caspar Pearson
Caspar Pearson specialises in the art, architecture and urbanism of the Italian Renaissance. He has recently published Humanism and the Urban World: Leon Battista Alberti and the Renaissance City (University Park, PA.: Penn State University Press, 2011). The book examines the way in which humanism, aesthetic theory and the practice of architecture combine with personal experience of life in the Italian city-states to inform Alberti’s thinking about the urban world. Before coming to Essex, Caspar lived and worked in Rome for five years.

Dr Lisa Wade
Senior Lecturer
Lisa Wade specialises in the imagery of Hell and the Last Judgement in Italian Renaissance art. She has appeared on TV and radio in discussion on this subject and contributed to Phaidon’s 30,000 Years of Art, and 10,000 Years of Art. She also works on the representation of women in the religious art of the Renaissance, on saints and martyrs and on eighteenth-century theories of the sublime.

From January 2014: 

Dr Michael Tymkiw


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