Prof David Bate

Prof David Bate

DAVID BATE is an international scholar, writer and photographer working in the visual arts. His interests relate to the critical history, theory and practice of the photographic arts, including avant-garde history, postcolonial critiques and theories of the images. His writings on the history, theory and practice of photography are widely disseminated and his own visual work is published and exhibited internationally. He has made extensive contributions to the field in dozens of books, journals and magazines and are  translated, in Japan, Italian, Turkish, Slovenian Polish, French, Spanish, German and Chinese.  

 He is also co founder and co editor of the international photography theory journal Photographies 

He received the prestigious Royal Photographic Society 'Education Award' in 2018.


David has a Doctorate from the University of Leeds with Griselda Pollock. He studied the famous MA Social History of Art (Leeds) and a BA (Hons) Film and Photographic Arts at PCL (London). He has worked as a photographer and curator and exhibited his work internationally, UK, Europe, Canada, USA, India and China.

A co-founder member of Accident and Five Years artist gallery collective, London.

A  co-founder and co-editor of photographies the well know international journal for the study of photography since 2008. 


Include: Danielle Arnaud, London, Freemantle Art Centre, Perth, Australia; The Louvre, France; Billboard Project (The Social: Photography Festival), Sunderland/Newcastle, Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Photographer’s Gallery, London; Diemar/Noble Gallery; Work Gallery, London; Cube Gallery, Plymouth; London Gallery West, London; Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland; Hoopers Gallery, London, Istanbul Photography Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA, Camerawork, London, Impressions, York; 


Photography After Postmodernism, Routledge,2022.

Photography: Art Essentials, Thams & Hudson, 2021. 

Photography as Critical Practice, Intellect/University of Chicago, 2020

Photography Key Concepts, second edition Routledge, 2019

Art Photography, Tate Publications, 2015.

ZONE, London: Artwords, 2012.

Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent, IB Tauris, 2004


Chapters in books (examples):

'Jacques Rancière: Aesthetics and Photography' Routledge Companion to Photography Theory, eds. M Durden & J Tormey,  Routledge,2020.

‘Habitation: Photographic Space’, Eikon: 5x5 (Vienna, 2016).

‘The Syntax of Photography’, Imprint: Visual Narratives in Books, Stockholm: Art & Theory Book, 2013).

‘The Emancipated Photographer’, The Versatile Image, Leuven Press, 2013.

‘The Digital Condition', The Photographic Image in Digital Culture, ed. Martin Lister, Routledge, 2012.

Research interests include: avant-garde practices, critical history and theory of photography, subjectivity, identity, space and memory, Ai, technics and digital culture. His  specialist knowledges include avant-garde surrealism, histories of photography, contemporary art, the digital environments of social photography, including psychoanalysis, semiotics, philosophy and critical theory.

His writings are widely used and he has a long track record of exhibiting photographic works in solo and group shows internationally in galleries, museums and festivals. 

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

photography, virtual, history, theory, memory, archives and migration and art history