neil matheson

Dr Neil Matheson is a Senior Lecturer in Theory and Criticism of Photography. He is
an art historian with a particular interest in surrealism and dada, modernist and
contemporary art. After a degree and MA in photography, he took his PhD in the
History and Theory of Art at the University of Kent at Canterbury, where his
research focused on surrealism and masculinity. He currently teaches photography
students on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and supervises PhD
candidates. As a researcher he is part of the CREAM research group and is a member
of the Group for War and Culture Studies (GWACS).


Research interests have focused on surrealism, photography and contemporary art.
Recent projects have included an AHRC funded research project on Spiritualism and
Technology, and work on performance art and photography. Currently researching magic
and completing the book Gothic Surrealism.

PhD Supervision

Available for supervision.
Currently supervising PhD candidates in Surrealism in Japan, and in the
representation of violence against the body.



The Sources of Surrealism
Lund Humphries, 2006.

The Machine and the Ghost: Technology and Spiritualism in C19th-C21st Art
MUP,forthcoming 2013.

Gothic Surrealism
Ashgate – forthcoming 2014.


Fear of Reflections: The Photoworks of Paul McCarthy
in Mieke Bleyen (ed), Minor Photography, Leuven, 2012.

Magritte A-Z
(exh. cat.), Tate, 2011 (also in German translation) – contributor to catalogue.

Something borrowed, something new
Tate Etc. magazine, no.22, summer 2011.

National Identity and the Melancholy of Ruins: Cecil Beaton’s photos of the London
Journal of War and Culture Studies, Vol.1 no.3, November, 2008.

Gursky, Ruff, Demand: Allegories of the Real and the Return of History
in D.Sutton (ed), The State of the Real, I.B. Tauris, 2007.

Surrealist Masculinity and the late collages of ELT Mesens
in Patricia Allmer and Hilde Van Gelder (eds), Collective Inventions, Leuven, 2007.

The Ghost Stamp, the Detective and the Hospital for Boots
Early Popular Visual Culture, Vol. 4, No.1, April 2006.

The Phantom of Surrealism: Photography
National Identity and the Reception of Surrealism in England, History of Photography, Summer, 2005.


Magritte A-Z
Minor Photography
State of the Real