Research course

Global and Cross-cultural Art History

Open University · Department of Art History

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent). MA or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

The Art History discipline has a strong interest in issues of artistic encounter and exchange across cultures. It has the following two-part focus:

  • Art produced from the 13th through to the 16th centuries in Italy and Byzantium.
  • Art’s connections to world economies and cross-cultural movement, during subsequent centuries (1550 and after).

The Open University art historians seek to re-evaluate art history’s established methods and approaches in the light of emerging concerns across the wider humanities with processes of cultural encounter, movement and conflict. The geographical study of art has been championed recently as a foremost interest of art history as it undergoes its current ‘global turn’. We build on this awareness by interrogating how histories of art, place and location may be compared across diverse spaces and periods. Our research identifies both strategic practices of art scholarship and significant patterns in historical evidence in order to read ‘back and forth’ between diverse temporal contexts and regional locations. A major forthcoming publication in this area is the anthology, Art in Theory: The West and the World, edited by Paul Wood and Leon Wainwright.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact us (details below).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    24 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    15 months
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)1908 652479