Stephen Barber

Art History, Kingston University London

Stephen Barber is Professor of Art History at the Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, London. He has received many awards for his research projects, from the DAAD and Gerda Henkel Stiftung, as well as from the Leverhulme Trust and British Academy in the UK, from the Japan Foundation and Daiwa Foundation in Japan, and the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Program), Getty Foundation and Paul Mellon Centre in the USA. He was a Fellow of the Käte Hamburger Centre ‘Interweaving Performance Cultures’ at the Freie Universität Berlin from 2012-15. His recent books include The Projectionists: Muybridge and the Future Projections of the Moving Image (Diaphanes, 2020), Film’s Ghosts (Diaphanes, 2019) and Berlin Bodies: Anatomising the Streets of the City (Reaktion Books, 2018). He is Co-Director of Kingston University’s Visual and Material Culture Research Centre, which incorporates the personal archive of the photographic innovator Eadweard Muybridge.

His current research interests are in transformations in contemporary urban space, and the responses of artists and filmmakers to the challenges and dilemmas those transformations raise, alongside research interests spanning moving image, performance and photographic cultures.

His research monograph project at HIAS concerns urban wastelands. It is intended to generate an in-depth account of the past, contemporary and potential future forms of wastelands. It proposes that wastelands – as well as being urban indicators of ecological disintegration – also offer the unique opportunity to reconfigure conceptions of urban space in innovative new ways, through wastelands’ imaginative potential as sites for art, film, performance, activist interventions and gatherings of displaced communities. It is intended to be undertaken in close collaboration with researchers and artists in Hamburg.

His collaboration partner is Ute Berns, Professor for British Studies at Universität Hamburg.

Stephen Barber’s HIAS Fellowship is funded by the ZEIT STIFTUNG BUCERIUS.


Stephen Barber




Ute Berns, Professor for British Studies, Universität Hamburg.

Image Information

Title: Into the Wastelands, © Photo by Stephen Barber