Research at the Department of Art History

The research profile of the Department of Art History is characerized by an interest in visual art and visual culture ranging from naturalism through to modernism and contemporary art.

In the completed and ongoing research projects and PhD theses, an empirical focus on modern and contemporary phenomena prevails, while cutting-edge theoretical discussions suggest new directions for the scholarship, also in terms of a wider historical perspective.

At the University of Turku the discipline is anchored in an arts studies environment; the neighbouring fields also include cultural history and gender studies.

Examples of research themes:

  • theories and strands of modernism, including alternative and middle brow modernisms
  • history and theory of naturalism, symbolism, expressionism, and surrealism
  • phenomenology of perception and new materialist theoretizations in relation to contemporary art
  • posthumanism and cultural animal studies
  • gender and queer theoretical approaches to modern and contemporary art
  • photography research (e.g., materialities of contemporary photography, theatre photography and the history of colour photography in Finland)
  • portraiture and self-portraiture as theoretical and empirical issues
  • war memorials, post-war public painting and other public art in Finland

Recent publications