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Professor Sunil Manghani 

Professor of Theory, Practice & Critique, Deputy Head of School, Director of Research and Enterprise

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Sunil Manghani is Professor of Theory, Practice & Critique and Deputy Head of School, Director of Research and Enterprise at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. He studied Anthropology and Communication Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, in the early 1990s, and later completed a Masters and PhD in Critical Theory at the University of Nottingham.

He teaches and writes on various aspects of critical theory, visual arts and image studies. He is a managing editor of Theory, Culture & Society, as well as an editorial board member of Journal of Contemporary Painting, and an associate member of Tate Exchange; University of Southampton’s Web Science Institute; and the Alan Turing Institute’s AI and Arts interest group. He is also a co-opted trustee for the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design, with a specific responsibility for its research alliance.

He teaches and writes on various aspects of critical theory, visual arts and image studies. He is author of Image Studies: Theory and Practice (2013), and co-editor of Rhythm and Critique (2020), Zero Degree Seeing: Barthes/Burgin and Political Aesthetics (2019); India’s Biennale Effect: A Politics of Contemporary Art (2016); Farewell to Visual Studies (2015), Images: A Reader (2006), and a special issue of Theory, Culture & Society: Neutral Life/Late Barthes (Vol.37, No.4, 2020); as well as editor of the multi-volume sets Images: Critical and Primary Sources (2013), and Painting: Critical and Primary Sources (2015).

He regularly publishes on the visual arts and culture and offers talks and workshops at conferences and events internationally. He has given talks at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Eikones (Basel), transmediale (Berlin), National Media Museum, and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. He is also a visiting professor at Southwest University in China. He has run art-related workshops at Tate Modern, John Hansard Gallery, Peter Scott Gallery and for Winchester’s biennale, 10 Days. He was co-curator of Barthes/Burgin, which exhibited at the John Hansard Gallery (2016), and co-author of the accompanying volume, Barthes/Burgin (Edinburgh UP, 2016); and was curator and producer of Building an Art Biennale (2018) and Itinerant Objects (2019) at Tate Exchange, Tate Modern. He was a contributor to the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Dossier Burnt Images. The Relationship among Collective Memory, Remembrance Culture and Politics in Germany, and various Stone Summer Theory Institute publications in the USA. He was co-organiser and faculty member for the final Stone Summer Theory Institute, Farewell to Visual Studies, held at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, in 2011.

Research interests

Sunil Manghani offers PhD supervision across the following research areas: Aesthetics | Art History & Theory | Art Writing | Cultural Studies | Critical Theory | Drawing & Painting | Fine Art (Practice-Based) | Global Art & Politics | Image Studies | Visual Culture.

His current research projects include:

Image Studies: In connection to the publication of Image Studies (Routledge, 2013) and related books, Sunil Manghani continues to be involved in various projects and research events related to a wide domain of images, from painting and drawing to scientific imaging techniques.

Critical Practice: Investigating art and design practices through a bridging of theory and practice, Manghani has been engaged in a numerous collaborative projects, including working with the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India, Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, and various individual art practitioners. A special issue of Journal of Contemporary Painting centres around his article Painting as Commitment; and he is co-editor of a volume on rhythmanalysis. He is currently working on a new, open access project, The Preparation of the Artwork.

Neutral Life: Building on the work for the exhibition and book Barthes/Burgin (John Hansard Gallery / EUP, 2016), as well as Zero Degree Seeing (2019), and the special issue of Theory, Culture & Society, Neutral Life/Late Barthes (2020), the theme of the Neutral continues with the development of a new book project on Neutral Life.

Situations of Writing: Proposed as a practice-based research project led by Winchester School of Art, but working with key gallery partners, Situations of Writing, explores approaches to critical writing based on creative practice methods, with a view to strengthening the place of creative practice in scholarly domains.

Research Groups

Postgraduate Research -

AMT - Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research group

Critical Practice

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Book Chapters

Creative Media and Artefacts

  • Manghani, S. (Arranger), & Bishop, R. (Curator). (2016). Barthes/Burgin. Exhibition, John Hansard Gallery.
Professor Sunil Manghani
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire. SO23 8DL United Kingdom

Room Number : 63G/1039

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