Dr Rebecca Starr


I joined the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies as Lecturer in History of Art after completing my PhD at the University of Leeds. My doctoral research was informed by my interest is ‘socially-engaged’ art practices and their relationship to political, social and cultural unrest. I am currently working on publications stemming from my thesis that aim to reconsider ‘relational aesthetics’, in addition to questioning notions of temporality and duration in such practices.

Since 2018 I have worked with Educational Engagement on widening participation and increasing arts engagement. I currently work with Arts and Humanities Outreach at the University of Leeds on initiatives such as ARTicluation, Futures and Reach for Excellence. Between 2019-2023, I co-ordinated the National Art and Design Saturday Club alongside Dr Sarah Harvey Richardson. In this role, I designed and delivered arts workshops to young people aged 13–18 and worked alongside artists to develop our programmes of events. 


  • Widening Participation Lead
  • Admissions Tutor

Research interests

My research, more broadly, is concerned with the intersections between participatory, or ‘social’ art practices, histories of social unrest and critical theory. I am particularly interested in cultures of resistance and the roles of art in labour disputes. 

I am interested in supervising projects which relate to the following areas: 

  • ‘socially-engaged’ or ‘relational’ art practices
  • depictions of labour in arts and social practice 
  • labour disputes and strike action 
  • twentieth and twenty-first century art and critique
  • notions of industrial and ‘post’-industrial landscapes and cultures 
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA(Hons) History of Art with Museum Studies
  • MA History of Art
  • PhD Contemporary Art History and Theory

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I am currently Module Leader across a range of History of Art modules.

Responding to student needs and developing student education is central to my work. Recently, I worked with Professor Gail Day and Dr Joanne Crawford on evaluating approaches to digital learning through a PRiA project which is shaping the ways in which we deliver blended learning across first-year programmes. In addition to this, in 2020 I won an award for my teaching practice in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures as part of the University of Leeds Partnership awards, having been nominated by students across the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. 

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>