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Dr Joanne Morra

Professor of Art and Culture
Central Saint Martins
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Researcher Research
Giovanna  Morra


Dr Joanne Morra is Professor of Art and Culture, the convenor of The Doctoral Platform at CSM, supervises PhD students and teaches on the Art Programme at Central Saint Martins. Committed to education in the art school, Joanne’s research is dedicated to artistic practice and the psycho-social aspects of making, viewing and writing about art within contemporary culture. Taking on board the material, personal, and political aspects of art, her research is concerned with the processes that take place in the spaces of artistic, cultural and psychoanalytic practices (the studio, the study, the classroom, the museum, and the consulting room).

Joanne is Founding Principal Editor of Journal of Visual Culture, Founding Executive Board Member of International Association of Visual Culture, a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, on the Advisory Board of New Formations, a Board Member of Nida Doctoral School, a Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council, and a member of the Freud Museum London Exhibition Group.

Joanne is regularly invited to give lectures in the UK and abroad. These have included at: Aarhaus University, Bigli University, Clark Art Institute, Freud Museum London, Gothenburg University, Harvard University, Hong-Ik University, National Gallery of Art Warsaw, Royal College of Art, Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, European Humanities University of Lithuania/Belarus, University of Bergen, University of Zurich, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.

Joanne holds a PhD in Art History and Theory (University of Leeds), an MA in Feminism and the Visual Arts (University of Leeds), an MA in History of Art (University of Toronto), and a BA Hons in History of Art and English (University of Toronto).

Joanne's research has been supported by: Arts Council of England (2012), AHRB (2004-5), Leverhulme (2004-5); Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (1997-1998); Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (1994-1997); Samuel H. Kress Foundation (1996).

Present Research Projects:
A book, Women In the Studio and On the Couch: Art, Autobiography and Psychoanalysis which considers the relationship between women and 'being unwell'. It focuses on the intersection between contemporary art practices that use personal therapeutic experience as their basis, women's therapy memoirs, and the history of feminism.

A 4-year collaborative project (begun in 2019) entitled 'Creative Practices, Education and Wellbeing' with Judy Willcocks (Head of Museums and Archives at Central Saint Martins). Please see website:

A short book on IVF, motherhood, and feminism through the lens of contemporary artistic and textual memoirs.

A selection of recent publications in the area of artistic and psychoanalytic practices within contemporary culture include:

- The book, Inside the Freud Museums: History, Memory and Site-Responsive Art (I.B. Tauris 2018) which combines a detailed re-visiting of psychoanalysis, contemporary art works, and posit the dynamic concept of site-responsivity as a means of revising the relationship between art and site;

- ‘Being in Analysis: On the Intimate Art of Transference’, in 'Intimacy Unguarded: how the personal becomes material', for Journal of Visual Art Practice, co-edited with Emma Talbot (2017);

- 'On Use: Art Education and Psychoanalysis’ in '50 Years of Art and Objecthood: History, Impact, Critique', for Journal of Visual Culture, co-edited with Alison Green (2017);

- ‘Seemingly Empty: Freud at Berggasse 19, A Conceptual Museum in Vienna’ in Journal of Visual Culture (2013);

- The curatorial project Saying It showcasing the work of Mieke Bal & Michelle Williams Gamaker, and Renate Ferro which was held at the Freud Museum London (2012);

- 'The Work of Research: Remembering, Repeating and Working-through’ in the collection What is Research in the Visual Arts?, co-edited by Holly and Smith (Clark and MIT, 2008);

- ‘Daughter’s Tongue: The Intimate Distance of Translation’ in 'Acts of Translation', for Journal of Visual Culture, co-edited with Mieke Bal (2007);

- ‘Drawing Machine: Working Through the Materiality of Rauschenberg’s Dante and Derrida’s Freud’ in the collection The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future, co-edited with Marquard Smith (MIT 2006);

- ‘Rauschenberg’s Skin: Autobiography, Indexicality, Auto-eroticism’, in 'The Prosthetic Aesthetic', for New Formations, co-edited with Marquard Smith (2002).

A selection of publications related to visual arts, visual culture and cultural theory:

- The collections Visual Culture: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, 4 volumes, co-edited with Marquard Smith (Routledge 2006);

- The collection, The Limits of Death, co-edited with Mark Robson and Marquard Smith (Manchester UP, 2000),

and a series of issues of the journal 'Parallax'
to jean-françois lyotard (2000);
the re-Interpretation of dreams (2000);
translator’s ink (2000);
translating ‘algeria’ (1998);
kojève’s paris/now bataille (1997);
dissonant feminisms (1996);
theory/practice (1996);
cultural studies and philosophy (1995).

Research Outputs

Conference, Symposium or Workshop item




Current research students

  • Evdoxia Baniotopoulou, Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis: A Case Study of Institutional Curating of Contemporary Art in an Urban Context. (Lead supervisor)
  • Sasha Burkhanova, The co-constitutive ethics of a contemporary art curator. (Lead supervisor)
  • Sophie Carapetian, The Work of Art in the Age of Crisis: Interrogating the ‘Labour Turn’ in the Culture Industries. (Lead supervisor)
  • Louise Garrett, The Star of Hesitation and Delay: Conditions of Uncertainty in Contemporary Art Practice (Lead supervisor)
  • Slawa Danuta Harasymowicz-Powell, Double Exposure: Memory, Post Memory and Autobiography as Practice (Lead supervisor)
  • Armenoui Kasparian Saraidari, The materiality of photography and the memory of the Armenian Genocide. (Lead supervisor)
  • Aviva Leeman, Reading the Material Text: Interactions between Art, Word, Object and Audience (Lead supervisor)
  • Silvana Macedo, From Fine Art to Natural Science through Allegory. (Lead supervisor)
  • Aaron John Matthews, Derrida, and Writing the Events of 1968. (Lead supervisor)
  • Zoe Mendelson, Psychologies and Spaces of Accumulation: The Hoard as Collagist Methodology (and other stories). (Lead supervisor)
  • George Unsworth, The World is Getting Smaller: How spatial and temporal resources influence the production of contemporary art. (Lead supervisor)
  • Anne Wainwright, A Ship of One's Own (Joint supervisor)