Khadija Carroll

Colleges, School and Institutes


Khadija has been Professor of Global Art History at the University of Birmingham since 2016. Prior to this she held a British Academy Newton International Fellowship at Cambridge University, based within the History of Science and Philosophy department and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. During this time she curated The Lost World (Part 2) by artist Julie Gough and undertook a number of artistic interventions in the Museum, such as Partial Proclamations (the Museum's permanent Tasmania display). Since 2015, she has also contributed to the ERC-funded project, ‘Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power’, based within the Law Faculty at Oxford University. This project developed an Immigration Detention Archive, and subsequently led to a related solo exhibition of Khadija’s work at Stryx Gallery, Birmingham, in 2018. Khadija is also currently working on a forthcoming book with Sternberg Press that documents her work on the Immigration Detention Archive.

Khadija has curated several other international exhibitions including Botanical DriftKranich Museum, and The Vienna Zocolo, whilst her installations and texts have been exhibited in venues such as the Venice Biennale; Institute of Contemporary Art London; and Marrakech Biennale. Her first book, Art in the Time of Colony, inspired related exhibitions including: Ore Black Ore in the Allegory of the Cave Painting at Extracity Kunsthal Antwerp; Investigated & Dissident Domesticity at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin; Artists in Residence at the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxfordand Embassy Embassy at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin.

Khadija grew up between Austria and Australia and studied Fine Art at the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste in Vienna and Liberal Arts at La Trobe, following which she wrote her MA and PhD in the department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard. Following the completion of her PhD, Khadija undertook two post-doctoral positions in Berlin (DAAD and AvH).

Research interests

Khadija is a leading international expert on contemporary and colonial art history. Recent research has focused on two main strands, firstly that of confinement, imprisonment, detention and surveillance, and the other focus is that of indigenous heritage, decolonization and repatriation.

Khadija’s research is embedded within a critically engaged art practice, with outputs spanning a range of formats, such as texts, exhibitions, videos, performances and lectures. Her research and practice grapple with a set of concerns regarding power and representation, and how these manifest themselves within artistic conventions and cultural institutions. Khadija’s work therefore not only seeks to rethink art history canons and the discourses surrounding these, but also attempts to develop routes and strategies for facilitating change at institutional level.

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Khadija welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate students wishing to research any subject that overlaps with her interests.

If you are a prospective student, a work sample and interview precedes the application. As Khadija is on research leave the head of PG studies should also be included in any preliminary enquiries about studying in the department.

Current PhD students include:
Azadeh Sarjooghian; ‘Identity and Gender Stereotypes: The Representation of Muslim Men’s and Women’s Bodies in Contemporary Middle Eastern Art’
This research attempts to further the analytical research on Middle Eastern art and gender by considering the impact of globalisation on local gender relations, and by taking masculinities into account so as to assess the interactions between the stereotypical representation of Muslim men’s and women’s gender practices. The project engages with various fields including Middle Eastern art criticism, the social aspects of contemporary curatorial practices, Muslim feminist theory, critical studies of men and masculinity, and postcolonial theory

Stacey Kennedy; ‘Women's agency in the African Contemporary Art World; exploring Afropolitan art networks’
This research addresses women’s agency in the African contemporary art world, through an exploration in real-time of the spaces in which the art world is made - for example art fairs, galleries, auction houses, exhibitions, museums. An investigation into the concept of ‘Afropolitanism’- cosmopolitanism with a connection to Africa- is crucial to this work, as I investigate how women negotiate and connect global art spaces. The project is interdisciplinary and uses Anthropology and Art History methodologies and research practices to contribute to the study of African Art History and debates around gender and feminism within Africa and its diasporas in the contemporary moment.

Stephanie Misa; 'Of Bastard Tongues and Ghosts in the Archive' (University of the Arts Helsinki).

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