Dr Lucy Soutter

A multi-disciplinary background provides the foundation for my teaching and writing. After concentrating in Visual and Environmental Studies and English at Harvard College, I received an MFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts. My Yale University PhD thesis in the History of Art, The Visual Idea, examined the uses of photography by first generation conceptual artists. Based in London since 2000, I have taught at The London College of Communication, The Sotheby’s Institute and the Royal College of Art. I joined the University of Westminster in 2016.

My research focuses on questions of value and meaning in contemporary art and photography. My book Why Art Photography? was published by Routledge in 2013 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2nd edition 2018) and has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Farsi. The chapters follow my key research interests in relation to ambiguity, objectivity, fiction, authenticity, the digital and photography’s expanded field. I have an ongoing research interest in “expanded photography”, contemporary photography’s overlap with other art forms and activities.

Actively engaged with new developments in the field, I have written art criticism for publications including AfterimageApertureSourceFrieze and Art India. I am co-editor with Duncan Wooldridge of Writer Conversations (London: 1000 Words, 2022) a book of interviews with leading photography writers.

A founding member of the Global Photographies Network [https://globalphotographies.com], I am the principal investigator for a 2022-3 AHRC Networking Grant project exploring how photographers and photography educators around the world consider questions of cultural translation, photography’s response to climate change, decolonial practices, network formation, new materialities, identities and the role of photobooks. This project involves research collaborations and dialogues with photographers and educators in many different countries. 

  • Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Photography, Contemporary Art, Global Photography, Expanded Photography, Fiction and Photography and Feminism

Supervision interests

Photography, Contemporary Art, Global Photography, Expanded Photography, Fiction and Photography and Feminism
Book of the Year (Photography Category) 2021

Islamic Republic of Iran Book of the Year Awards (38th Edition)