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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art
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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. In overseeing the PhD programme at the School he is engaged with a wide range doctoral research and helps to support the broader research community. He has a particular interest in the practice-based PhD and is currently engaged in a project, Situations of Writing, which examines ‘writing’ as a diverse set of practices and the writer as both author and producer.

He is author of Image Studies: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013), Image Critique and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Intellect, 2008), as well as numerous book chapters and articles. He co-editor of The Biennale Effect: A Politics of Contemporary Art (Routledge, 2017); Images: A Reader (Sage, 2006); and two multi-volume anthologies: Images: Critical and Primary Sources (Bloomsbury, 2013) and Painting: Critical and Primary Sources (Bloomsbury, 2015). He is also co-editor of Farewell to Visual Studies? (Penn State University Press, 2015), which is the final volume in the Stone Summer Theory Institute series, produced by School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Contemporary Painting and Associate Editor for Theory, Culture & Society.

He regularly publishes critical writings on the visual arts and culture and offers talks and workshops at conferences and events internationally. He has given talks at Tate Britain, Eikones (Basel), transmediale (Berlin), National Media Museum, and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. He has also run art practice workshops at 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). 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 practice through a bridging of theory and practice, various projects include working with the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India, which relates to social art practice and site specificity; ‘Drawing on Theory’ – a series of workshops on drawing and painting; ‘Solid State’, a collaboration with a sculptor examining questions of material and cultural plasticity; ‘Painting as Commitment’, a special issue of Journal of Contemporary Painting; and an edited volume on rhythmanalysis.

The Neutral: Building on the work for the exhibition and book Barthes/Burgin (John Hansard Gallery / EUP, 2016) and an edited section for Theory, Culture & Society, ‘Neutral Life: Reflections on Roland Barthes’ Late Works’, the theme of the Neutral continues with the development of a new book project on ‘zero degree seeing’ and a planned monograph 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

Research group

Media Transformations Group

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Book Chapters

Creative Media and Artefacts

  • Manghani, S. (Arranger), & Bishop, R. (Curator). (2016). Barthes/Burgin. Exhibition, Southampton: 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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