Programme & More Info




9.30 – 10am Registration and Coffee


10 – 10.10am Welcome and Opening Remarks


10.10 – 11.05am Panel 1: Re/thinking Avant-gardes (Chaired by Dr. Christian Weikop)


Jean Marie Carey (University of Otago/ Universität Kassel)– “Trigger for a Train of Thought: Franz Marc’s Socialist-Anarchist Utopia”


Lola Lorant (Université Rennes 2) – “The Collision of the Nouveau Réalisme with Dada in the United States”


11.05 – 11.30am Coffee and Networking


11.30 – 12.45pm Panel 2: Bataillean Dialogues (Chaired by Prof. Neil Cox)


Hailey Maxwell (University of Glasgow) – “’Imagine a bullfight for you alone’: Surrealism and Laure’s sacred”

Naomi Stewart (University of Edinburgh) – “Maar, Bataille and the Eye: Aggressive Visuality in Dora Maar’s Photomontage”

Catherine Howe (Courtauld Institute of Art) – “Representing the Self ‘en procès’: Viewing Francis Bacon’s Van Gogh through Georges Bataille and Antonin Artaud”


12.45 – 1.45pm Lunch


1.45 – 2.55pm Keynote Address


Prof. Sanja Bahun (University of Essex) – “The Economy of Discomfort: Mina Loy, the Homeless Body, and the Issues of Aesthetic Reception”


2.55 – 3.15pm Coffee and Networking


3-15 – 4.30pm Panel 3: Cultural Transgressions (Chaired by Dr. Patricia Allmer)


Amelia Miholca (Arizona State University) – “The Romanians of Dada Zurich”

Bárbara Barreiro León (University of Aberdeen/Oviedo) – “Man Ray’s Erotic Photography: Gender Ideal and the Embodiment of the Surreal”

Lena Sideri (University of Edinburgh) – “Social Criticism via Fearless Laughter”


4.30 – 4.45pm Closing Remarks


4.45 – 5.30pm Wine Reception








To register your place, please go to our Eventbrite page at the following link:

Aggression, Transgression & the Avant-garde Tickets on Eventbrite

If you have any dietary requirements, please indicate them when selecting your ticket.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the conference committee at


Sanja Bahun is Professor of Literature and Film at the University of Essex. Her area of expertise is international modernism, and her research interests include theory of comparative arts, world literature, psychoanalysis, and women’s and gender studies. She is the author of Modernism and Melancholia: Writing as Countermourning (2013), the co-editor of The Avant-garde and the Margin: New Territories of Modernism (2006), Violence and Gender in the Globalized World: The Intimate and the Extimate (2008), From Word to Canvas: Appropriations of Myth in Women’s Aesthetic Production (2009), Myth and Violence in the Contemporary Female Text: New Cassandras (2011), Language, Ideology, and the Human: New Interventions (2012), Myth, Literature, and the Unconscious (2013), and Cinema, State Socialism and Society in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1917-1989: Re-Visions (2014) and she has published articles and book chapters on a variety of subjects concerning modernism, world literature, psychoanalytic theory and intellectual history. She has also authored two books of creative writing: On the Atomic Bomb, Pain, Spaghetti, and All the Rest… (1994) and To Icarus, with Love (1998). Currently, Sanja is engaged in two major research projects: an investigation of the concept of home in modernist art, film, and literature, and a study of the interactions between the arts and transitional justice.

Pamela Bianchi is Art Historian (2011) and Doctor (PhD, 2015) in Aesthetic Sciences and Technologies of Arts at the University of Paris VIII (Paris). Since 2013, she is Senior Lecturer in History of Contemporary Art in the department of Fine Arts at the University of Paris VIII. Her research interests include the history of the exhibition space, the history and theories of exhibition, the aesthetic and phenomenological theories of arts, museographic studies and new curatorial approaches. In addition to numerous articles, she is the author of Espaces de l’oeuvre, espaces de l’exposition. De nouvelles formes d’expérience dans l’art contemporain, Paris, Connaissances et Savoirs, 2016.

Jean Marie Carey is an ABD PhD candidate from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her dissertation, ‘How Franz Marc Returns,’ examines the painter and writer through the framework of animal studies and activism. Carey is presently an Erasmus Fellow at the Tier-Mensch Gesellschaft at the Universität Kassel in Germany.

Catherine Howe is a PhD candidate at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her thesis is titled ‘Francis Bacon’s French Influence(s): From Surrealism to Post-structuralism’. Her recent publications include ‘Beautiful Bodies’, a text on Francis Bacon and David Hockney in the catalogue for Tate Britain’s ‘Queer British Art’ exhibition (2017), and the essay ‘Bacon, Leiris: The Impossibility of Presence’ in the book Francis Bacon: France and Monaco (2016). She has given lectures on Francis Bacon at Tate Liverpool and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

Bárbara Barreiro León is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at the University of Oviedo and a Visiting Student at the Film and Visual Culture Department of the University of Aberdeen. In her research, she explores the Philosophy of Art and Perception, Photography and Surrealism, Contemporary Aesthetics and Critical Studies in Postmodern architecture.

Lola Lorant is a PhD student in art history, associated to the research unit
« Histoire et critique des arts » (History and Art Criticism) at University Rennes 2, in France. Her dissertation, under the supervision of Prof. Elvan Zabunyan, deals with the artists of the avant-garde group of Nouveau Réalisme in the United States from the late fifties to the late eighties. She serves as a graduate researcher for the program PRISME focusing on the International Association of Art Critics, held at the Archives of Art Criticism in Rennes. In this framework she is the recipient of a three-year doctoral contract (co-funded by the Fondation de France and the Brittany Region).

Hailey Maxwell is a PhD candidate in History of Art at the University of Glasgow where she also graduated from the department’s MLitt in ‘Art, Politics, Transgression: 20th Century Avant-Gardes.’ She is particularly interested in Dada and Surrealism, and in George’s Bataille’s philosophy and its legacy in French continental thought.

Amelia Miholca is an American-Romanian art historian and artist, with an M.A. in Art History and B.A.F. in Painting. She is currently in the first year of her PhD at Arizona State University. Her specialization is modern and contemporary art, with an interest in Eastern European avant-garde, post-socialist, and post-colonial art. Her Masters thesis, titled Constantin Brancusi’s Primitivism, examines the influence of Romanian folk art and African art on Brancusi’s modernist, abstract sculptures. Chapters of her thesis have been published in Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture and in Visual Past: A Journal for the Study of Past Cultures.

Lena Sideri completed her BA (Hons) in Visual Arts Practice and she has a background in Visual Communications and Art Conservation. She is currently studying Modern and Contemporary Art History, Criticism and Curating (MSc) at the University of Edinburgh.

Naomi Stewart is a second year PhD student and Wolfson Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, researching the photographic works of Dora Maar and their dialogic relationship with Surrealism. She holds an MA (Hons) in Art History and Classical Studies and an MLitt in History of Photography from the University of St Andrews. In 2012, she was a runner-up in the inaugural Burlington Contemporary Art Writing Prize and, in 2014, published an essay on the work of contemporary Scottish photographer, Calum Colvin. Naomi is also currently serving on the committee of the Association for Art Historys Student Members Group, and is a member of the Dada & Surrealism Research Group led by Edinburgh College of Art.