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Dr Lindsay Crisp

Photograph of Lindsay Crisp

Profile summary

Professional biography

As a Cultural Studies scholar working in an Art History department, I am interested in materiality and mediality in contemporary art. I often explore how the physical form of objects enables them to tell a story or to be ‘read’ like a text, and relatedly, how engaging with the materiality of written texts helps us to reach new understandings of how they work, or what they do in the world.

I hold a PhD in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a MA with Distinction in Cultural and Media Studies from the Open University, for which I was awarded the Pavis Prize in recognition of outstanding work in my dissertation. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am a trained community arts practitioner and began my career as a drama facilitator and mental health support worker before joining the Open University. In 2003 I began work as an Associate Lecturer and in 2006, as a Senior Faculty Manager. I joined the Art History department as a Staff Tutor in 2019, and since 2020 have acted as Qualification Lead, with responsibility for supporting the development and review of the BA (Honours) in Art History and Visual Cultures (R27) and the MA in Art History (F33).

Research interests

I write about materiality, text, and fragmentation in contemporary art, the assemblage theory of Deleuze and Guattari, and new media theory. My doctoral thesis investigated these themes as they arise in Michael Landy’s art event Break Down ​(2001), in which the artist systematically destroyed his possessions. I am currently adapting elements of this project for publication.

Conference papers

Jun 2019: ‘The manual in Michael Landy’s Break Down’: Languages INTER Networks conference. Lancaster University.

Sept 2017: ‘Fragment / Part / Whole: Matter and Mediality in Michael Landy’s Break Down’. Waste: A Symposium. Birkbeck, University of London.

Jan 2017: 'Michael Landy’s Break Down: Trashing and Transforming’, TRASH conference, Department of English Studies, University of Vienna. Supported via a grant from the competitive Graduate School Fund at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Oct 2016: ‘Writing through the fragments: Ekphrastic encounters with Michael Landy’s Break Down’. Creative Humanities: Thinking, Making and Meaning. AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Supported via a full bursary from the Consortium.

Jun 2011: ‘Michel Landy’s Break Down and the search for the thing’. Materiality and the materials of research: Theory and practice in the humanities. Material Cultures Research Group, The Open University.

Invited speaker

​Jan 2020: ‘Material, process, time: The fragment in Michael Landy’s Break Down’: Literary London Reading Group. University College London.

Teaching interests

I am a member of the Module Production Team for A236: Art and Visual Cultures in the Modern World, a second-level module that launches in October 2023, and am authoring two chapters that explore art history and visual culture in innovative ways. The first will examine how scientific images and new visual technologies have transformed visual culture in modernity. The second will explore the image and its role in private life, from daguerreotype portraits to the mobile phone.

Between 2019 and 2021, I acted as the Tuition Lead on the Module Team for A111: Discovering the arts and humanities, where I took a lead role in designing and coordinating the tuition strategy for this module across the regions and nations from its launch in October 2019. As a Staff Tutor I continue to have oversight of A111 in both the East Midlands, and the East of England, where I coordinate matters relating to tuition and provide other advice and support as needed. Between 2003 and 2019, I was an Associate Lecturer specialising in the teaching and support of introductory-level Open University students. Most recently, I taught the interdisciplinary Arts modules AA100: The arts past and present and A105: Voices, texts and material culture.

In support of innovative and inclusive teaching at the Open University I regularly contribute to scholarship projects. In 2019-20 I acted as sponsor for a project lead by Dr Veronica Davies to investigate strategies for effective online 'gallery visits', and in 2019, I was lead researcher for the arts strand of a mixed methods, cross-School scholarship project to investigate the pedagogic implications of synchronous, online teaching within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences particularly in relation to issues of equalities and access.


Objects and bodies in Michael Landy's Shelf Life (2024)
Crisp, Lindsay Polly
In: Mohan, Urmila ed. The Efficacy of Intimacy and Belief in Worldmaking Practices (pp. 58-72)
ISBN : 9781032498812 | Publisher : Routledge