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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. Before joining the OU, I worked as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Plymouth (2015-2020) and Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art (2019-2021), writing, leading and delivering modules in Art History and Critical and Historical Studies for undergraduate and postgraduate students and supervising MA dissertations. 

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. I am currently expanding on my doctoral research into publicly-funded exterior murals made in London across the 1970s and '80s. Focussing on those murals which 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 conjuncture. In so doing, it 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 and postgraduate art, art history and anthropology students. At the OU, I have acted as a cluster manager for the MA in Art History (A843 and A844) and three level one modules: 'Discovering the arts and humanities' (A111), ‘Cultures’ (A112) and 'Revolutions' (A113). I am on the module team for 'Exploring Art and Visual Culture' (A226) and the MA Art History (A843 and A844).