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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 as an Associate Lecturer and Module Leader in Art History at the University of Plymouth (2015-2020) and a Visiting Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art (2019-2021). In these roles, I was responsible for: writing, leading and delivering undergraduate modules covering museology, the methodologies of art history, and art and politics in 20th century Europe; contributing to the delivery of a Masters level dissertation module; and acting as a tutor for MA dissertations.

Before working in HE, I taught courses in 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 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 A843 and A844.