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Winchester School of Art
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Professor John Armitage BA, PhD

Professor of Media Arts, Co-Director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group

Professor John Armitage's photo

John Armitage is Professor of Media Arts within Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton.

Dr John Armitage is Professor of Media Arts at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. Previously, John was Associate Dean, Head of Department of Media, and Professor of Media in the Department of Media at Northumbria University, United Kingdom.

As well as founding and co-editing (with Ryan Bishop and Douglas Kellner) the journal Cultural Politics (Duke University Press), John is also an editorial board member of the following journals: Theory, Culture & Society, Journal of Visual Culture, and Culture & Organization.

Furthermore, John edits the book series Technicities for Edinburgh University Press, together with Ryan Bishop and Joanne Roberts.

John’s research interests are in the fields of:

Current Projects include:

His most recent book, co-edited with Joanne Roberts, is Critical Luxury Studies: Art, Design, Media (Edinburgh University Press, 2016).

Winchester Luxury Research Group

Visit the Winchester Luxury Research Group website to find out about research that recognises the artistic and cultural aspects of luxury in the contemporary globalised world.

Research interests

John’s current research interests include luxury and visual culture; luxury and art; luxury and design; luxury and the media; new media art; continental aesthetics; critical theory of technology; architecture; cultural politics; modernism and postmodernism; vision and visuality; cultural studies; media studies; urbanism; and the phenomenology of perception.

John is presently involved in various research projects, including ones that examine:

  • the relationship between luxury and visual culture;
  • luxury brand management;
  • luxury and the senses (food, feasting, touch, music, vision, voluptuousness, taste, smell - perfume, drink- wine);
  • luxury and adornment (clothing/ fashion, splendour, jewellery);
  • luxury, space and time/history (place, the exotic, the Other, hotels, architecture, interior design, shelter, local, global, anticipation, contemplation, fast and slow luxury, yachts, planes, cars);
  • luxury and consumption (display, democratization, improvement, taste, subjectivity, journey, travel, pilgrimage, gender, race and class/identity);
  • luxury and the object (refinement, skill, creativity, invention, rarity, exclusivity, perfection, craftsmanship, design, intrinsic value);
  • luxury and production (manufacture, labour, technology, distribution, retail, sustainable and ethical production);
  • luxury and philosophy (morality, ethics, corruption, immorality, excess, regulation/sumptuary laws);
  • luxury and art (the beautiful, the sublime).

Research projects

Cultural Politics: Founder and co-editor with Ryan Bishop and Douglas Kellner for Duke University Press.

Technicities: Book series edited with Ryan Bishop and Joanne Roberts for Edinburgh University Press.

Victoria and Albert Museum: Since 2011, Winchester School of Art has worked in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. Together with Leanne Wierzba, Jonathan Faiers, and Joanne Roberts, John worked on the curation of the V&A’s

‘What is Luxury?’ exhibition (25 April – 27 September 2015)

Research group

Winchester Luxury Research Group

John is currently Co-Director of the Winchester Luxury Research Group.

John is always delighted to converse with potential PhD students wishing to suggest projects on concerns related to his research.

He is currently supervising numerous PhD students on topics including luxury and the airport and luxury and the post-global condition.

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Book Chapters


Professor John Armitage
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire. SO23 8DL United Kingdom

Room Number: 63A/2027

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