Professor Steve Edwards

Professor of History & Theory of Photography, Birkbeck College, University of London

BA Hons, Fine Art (South Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education),

MA Social History of Art (Leeds), PhD (Leeds)

Professional biography

Steve Edwards joined the Open University as Research Lecturer in Art History in 1997. After a first degree in Fine Art, he was awarded an MA in the social history of art from the University of Leeds. In 1996 he received his PhD for a thesis on nineteenth-century theories of photography. During 2006 Professor Edwards was visiting professor in art History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In addition to writing extensively on the history of photography, he regularly produces essays on contemporary art and on art and social theory. His work has been translated into eleven languages.

Research interests

History and theory of photography; Marxist and socialist thought; Contemporary art; Art, work and industrial knowledge; Film and video, Art theory; Cultural theory; Historiography; Utopia; ‘Globalisation’.

In 2006 he published two books: The Making of English Photography, Allegories (Penn State University Press) and Photography: a Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press). His most recent book is Martha Rosler, The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems (2012). He serves on the editorial boards of The Oxford Art Journal and Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory.

Professor Edwards regularly organises conferences and is a convenor for the research seminar ‘Marxism in Culture’, held at the Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

He is currently working on research projects on image copyright and piracy; contemporary art and contemporary capitalism; and photography, socialism and feminism at the turn of the twentieth century.

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Jorge Ribalta
(available soon)

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Jacinto Godinho
(available soon)

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Nélio Conceição
(available soon)