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Dr Ben Wiedel-Kaufmann

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the OU as a Staff Tutor in Art History in July 2021, having previously worked at the University of Plymouth (2015-2020) and the Royal College of Art (2019-2021). In these roles I've worked across undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Art History and Critical and Historical Studies: writing, leading and delivering modules covering museology, the methodologies of art history, and art and politics in 20th century Europe, supervising MA dissertations and contributing to the delivery of an interdisciplinary Masters level module.

Before working in HE, I taught A-level Art History and English for speakers of other languages. Outside of education, I have worked as a researcher, writer, technician, exhibition organiser and director of communications.

I hold a PhD in Art History (University of Plymouth), and a BA in History of Art (University of Cambridge).

Research interests

My research centres on the interrelations of art and politics in the 20th-century and is rooted in the methodologies of Marxist art history and the social history of art. At present, I am expanding on my doctoral research, which examines a body of publicly-funded exterior murals made in London across the 1970s and '80s. Focussing particularly on those murals which were rooted in, and gave explicit form to, the Left politics of the period, my research asserts its case studies within the urban, social, cultural and political dynamics of the period. In so doing, it also seeks to situate the murals’ within histories of post-war British art, ‘realist painting’, public art and international muralism.

Teaching interests

I have written, taught and led a range of modules for undergraduate art history and anthropology students, tutored MA Level dissertations and contributed to the delivery of an interdisciplinary MA module in Critical and Historical Studies. At the OU, I am a cluster manager for the Level One module ‘Cultures’ (A112) and the MA in Art History (A843 and A844). I am on the module team for 'Exploring Art and Visual Culture' (A226) and the MA Art History (A843 and A844).