Nick Thurston


I joined the University of Leeds in 2012 as Lecturer in Fine Art and became an Associate Professor (Reader) in 2018. Previously, I worked as an associate lecturer and workshop leader at various art schools and departments in the UK and Europe, teaching from Foundation level to MA since 2007.

My undergraduate studies were as a part-time student with the Open University, effectively minoring in Linguistics and majoring in Moral Philosophy, graduating in 2007. My postgraduate studies were as a part-time Chancellor's Scholarship awardee at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, then Middlesex University, graduating in 2011.

My first book was published in 2006 and throughout my time studying and teaching I was publishing and exhibiting. My academic awards include an Author Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art History at Yale (2014) and a Visiting Research Fellowship in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (2016).


  • Programme Director, interdisciplinary undergraduate Fine Art

Research interests

My academic research focuses on the production, distribution and criticism of literary and extra-literary forms of writing, primarily in relation to the field of contemporary art and the disciplinary formation of Fine Art but also drawing heavily on media theory, poetics and the sociology of literature.

My practice more broadly, as a writer and editor who makes artworks, involves traditional and post-digital forms of publishing as well as exhibitions and readings.

I speak about my work and interests regularly and internationally. Interviews with me can be found in-print and online in English, French, German, Italian and Polish. I also regularly write essays and reviews for academic publications and the literary and art press.

Up-to-date news about my recent projects and exhibitions, as well as listings for my books, chapbooks, anthologisations and editorial work can be found on my homesite.

At Leeds, I am co-founder of the Artists' Writings & Publications Research Centre and a Research Fellow of the Poetry Centre.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PGC Lecturer Training for Higher Education
  • MA Modern European Philosophy
  • BA Open

Professional memberships

  • Higher Education Academy, London, 2012-
  • International Association of Art Critics, UK branch, 2014-
  • Association of Art Historians, UK, 2015-

Student education

In 2015 I became the inaugural Programme Director of our three interdisciplinary undergraduate Fine Art programmes: BA Fine Art with Contemporary Cultural Theory, BA Fine Art with History of Art, BA Fine Art with Museum and Gallery Studies.

I teach in the studio across our UG and PG programmes and have convened the weekly Visiting Artists' Talks programme since 2013.

I am Module Leader for 'Fine Art Dissertation ARTF5017' and supervise practice-led PhD candidates.

Research groups and institutes

  • Artists’ Writings and Publications Research Centre (AWP)

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>