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People looking at an art installation of light boxes with world maps printed on them
People looking at an art installation of light boxes with world maps printed on them
Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, The World Justified, Left Aligned, Centred, Right Aligned, 2004. 4 Light Boxes,120 x 250 x 12cm each. Installation View. Photograph Ding Musa.

TrAIN is a cross disciplinary hub for historical, theoretical and practice-based research in art and design.

The Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) investigates historical, theoretical and practice-based research in art, architecture, craft and design.

This research is driven by the desire to critique dominant ideas of 'globalisation' and to open up new perspectives that address questions of how art and design can respond to social (in)justice, decolonisation of institutions and the creation of more diverse global art histories. TrAIN’s members include internationally recognised scholars and practitioners across UAL as well as a community of post-graduate students. Issues and debates arising from research activities are disseminated by TrAIN conferences, lectures, reading groups, exhibitions and publications.

Director: Professor Paul Goodwin
Research Centre administrator: Ewelina Warner,


The UAL Transnational Art, Identity, Nation research centre hosts various events including the TrAIN Open Lecture series, seminars, workshops, symposia, and exhibitions.

TrAIN stories

  • Cartographic painting
    Arjan Martins, Atlântico. 2016. Acrílica sobre tela [acrylic on canvas]. 200 x 390 x 4 cm [78 3/4 x 153 1/2 x 1 5/8 in]. Photo: Pepê Schettino. Courtesy: Galeria Gentil Carioca.

    Call for papers for the conference ‘Worldviews: Latin American art and the decolonial turn’

    TrAIN welcomes papers for the upcoming conference ‘Worldviews: Latin American art and the decolonial turn’ co-organised by Dr Sofia Gotti from the Centre for Visual Culture (CVC) at the University of Cambridge and Dr Michael Asbury from the Transnational Arts Identity and Nation (TrAIN) research centre at UAL, which will be held online between 4 November and 2 December 2021.

  • A casually dressed professor shot against a large internal grey wall with Portuguese writing
    Felipe Scovino, Professor of art history at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

    Professor Felipe Scovino returns to UAL as TrAIN Visiting Scholar

    TrAIN welcomes Felipe Scovino, Professor of art history at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro as Visiting Scholar. Formerly the curator for the estate of Lygia Clark, Professor Scovino has since worked extensively as an independent curator. His current research focuses on the work of artist Hélio Oiticica and architect Lina Bo Bardi.

  • Close up of pale white textile with faded blue cloud design
    Cloud patterned textiles by Hugging Yue MA Textile Design Chelsea UAL Photo by David Poultney

    New TrAIN Associate Dr Nela Milic to lead on Postsocialism and Art

    TrAIN is excited to welcome new research Associate Dr. Nela Milic, who will lead on decolonial research project, Postsocialism and Art. Dr Milic is an artist and academic in the Design School at UAL’s London College of Communication.

  • A derelict industrial building with an internal archway overgrown with grass and shrubs and a newer brutalist style building beyond the arch
    Ilona Németh, Eastern Sugar, 2018-21. Derelict sugar factory in Pohronský Ruskov, 2020. Photo Olja Triaška Stefanović. Courtesy of the artist.

    Postsocialism & Art: A Masterclass with Maja and Reuben Fowkes

    Our Postsocialism and Art research project reflects on the current state of Eastern European postsocialist heritage. This March we are excited to welcome the first in a series of Masterclasses delivered by renowned scholars in the field - Unruly Elements: Ecologies of Post-Socialism, presented by Maja and Reuben Fowkes.

  • The statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland
    The statue of the Duke of Wellington outside the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland

    New TrAIN MA seminar Series: Monuments, Museums and Myths

    As the research centre’s new contribution to postgraduate curricula, TrAIN will be running a transnational MA seminar entitled ‘Monuments, Museums and Myths: the colonial legacy and the modern nation’.

  • Abstract painting
    Paul Chisholm, 2019. MA Fine Art Chelsea College of Arts, UAL Photo by David Poultney.

    Worlding Public Cultures: new research seeks to reimagine the global

    TrAIN has been awarded an international grant for our new research project Worlding Public Cultures: The Arts and Social Innovation.

Current projects

Postsocialism and Art

TrAIN has received grants by the British Society of Aesthetics and Association for Art History for the project Decolonising the Arts that is seeking to explore the Eastern Europe within the context of transnational and global arts by creating a platform for the emergence of a community of artists and art historians.

Worlding Public Cultures

This project aims to develop a critical art theory and practice based approach to social innovation, which takes worlding as its central methodology. It’s a collaborative research project and transnational platform conceived by the Transnational and Transcultural Arts and Culture Exchange (TrACE) network and funded by a Social Innovation Grant from the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Our history

Since 2004 when it was founded by art historians Professor Toshio Watanabe and Professor Oriana Baddeley, TrAIN has played a leading role in establishing the discourse of the ‘transnational’ in the field of art and design globally. This has resulted in an increased awareness and critical understanding of transnational art and design, to the benefit of the Museums and Galleries sector, arts organisations, and the artistic community.

Our members

TrAIN postdocs

  • Dr Maribel Hidalgo Urbaneja (Research Fellow Worlding Public Cultures)
  • Dr Kimathi Donkor (TrAIN Research Fellow 2017-2018)
  • Dr Ope Lori (TrAIN Research Fellow 2017-2018)

TrAIN associates

PhD students

Nwakaego (Ego) Ahaiwe Sowinski | Ellen de Medeiros Nunes |  Lucia Gomez Mejia | Pamela Jikiemi-Pearson | Roxy (Caroline Roxana) Minter | Stephanie Cheung | Maria Kheirkhah (Smith) | Marcia Michael | Madeline Yale | Scott (Louis) Schwager | Gerard Choy | Jin Ah Lee | Lynton Talbot | Gustavo Montero Grandal | Ewelina Warner

Get in touch


TrAIN Research Centre
University of the Arts London
16 John Islip Street London
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7514 2165 
+44 (0)20 7514 7839

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