Photo of Gavin Parkinson

Gavin Parkinson


  • Strand, Somerset House

    WC2R 0RN London

    United Kingdom

  • 1 Citations
  • 1 h-Index

Personal profile


Gavin Parkinson was a BA student in Manchester, then completed his MA at The Courtauld in 1997, followed by a PhD in 2000. After lecturing at Birkbeck College and the University of Oxford he joined The Courtauld teaching staff as a Lecturer in 2008 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2014.

Gavin’s teaching and writing are concerned with European art and visual culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a special interest in French Surrealism. His books are: Futures of Surrealism: Myth, Science Fiction and Fantastic Art in France 1936-69 (Yale University Press, 2015); Surrealism, Art and Modern Science: Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Epistemology (Yale University Press, 2008); and The Duchamp Book (Tate Publishing, 2008). He is just completing a book on the Surrealist reception of late nineteenth century art, entitled Enchanted Ground: Surrealist Appraisals of Fin de Siècle Painting.

Research interests

  • European Modernism, 1848-1960
  • Dada and Surrealist Art, Writing and Theory
  • Art and Science
  • Art and the Novel
  • Theory, Methodology, Philosophy and History of Art and Visual Culture
  • Science Fiction and Comics
  • Magic, the Occult and Alchemy

Editorial and Advisory Boards

  • Reviews Editor and Editorial Board Member, Art History, 2011-
  • Series Editor, Ashgate Studies in Surrealism, 2010-15
  • Series Editor, Studies in Surrealism, Routledge, 2016-
  • Member of Editorial Board, Black Mirror, 2014


  • AHRB Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Manchester
  • Postgraduate Studentship, British Academy Art and Humanities Research Board
  • Graduate Studentship, British Academy Art and Humanities Research Board

Other Ongoing Activities

  • Reviews Editor, Art History
  • Series Editor, Ashgate Studies in Surrealism
  • Member of Editorial Board, Black Mirror


  • BA History of Art Year 2: Lessons in Interpretation
  • MA History of Art: Modernism After Postmodernism: Modern Art and its Interpretation

PhD Students


  • Tim Satterthwaite, ‘The visual language of European photo-illustrated magazines, 1920-1934’ Oct 2011-May 2015
  • Gosia Osinska, ‘Warsaw Group ‘Rytm’ and the New Classicism, 1922-32′ Oct 2011-Oct 2014
  • Kristina Rapacki, ‘Asger Jorn’s Folk: Nationhood, Myth, and the Comparative Method in Postwar Europe’ Oct 2012-Oct 2016 (suspended 1 year)
  • Jeff Hammond, ‘Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism: modern art movements, artists groups and the individual in Japan (1910-1929)’ Oct 2013-Oct 2016 (suspended 1 year)
  • William Atkin, ‘A Total Revolution of the Object: Surrealist Discourse on the Object, 1924-1966’ Oct 2013-Oct 2016
  • Catherine Howe, ‘Francis Bacon’s French Influence(s): From Surrealism to Post-Structuralism’ Oct 2014-Oct 2017
  • Rachel Stratton, ‘"The Artist as a Mirror of his Time”: Art, Popular Culture and the “Dialogic” Relationship between Surrealism in Britain and the Independent Group’ Oct 2014-Oct 2017

Recently completed

  • Vanja Vlahovic, ‘Alexander Calder: Surrealism, Modern Science and the Everyday’ (2013)
  • Sam Ensor Rose, ‘Formalism, Aesthetics, and English Art Writing, 1918-39′ (2013)
  • James Day, ‘Studies in Art History Writing and the Revision of Whistler’s Art History’ (2013)

Education / Academic qualification

The Courtauld Institute of Art



University of Machester


External positions

University of Oxford


University of Manchester




Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the persons scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Narrative art Arts & Humanities
Fine arts Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2001 2016

‘Arrows of Surrealist Desire: Re-Reading J. G. Ballard’s Unlimited Dream Company'

Parkinson, G. Sep 2 2016 In : Word and Image. 32, 3, p. 294-310

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

J. G. Ballard

‘Arrows of Surrealist Desire: Re-Reading JG Ballard’s Unlimited Dream Company

Parkinson, G. Sep 2 2016 Word & Image. Taylor and Francis Ltd., p. 294-310

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


‘From Gas to Electric: Georges Seurat, Brassaï and the City of Light’

Parkinson, G. 2016 Electric Worlds. Creations, Circulations, Tensions, Transitions. Laborie , L., Beltran, A., Lanthier, P. & Le Gallic, S. (eds.). London: Peter Lang Publishing Group, p. 39-64

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


‘Pogo, Pop and Politics: Robert Benayoun on Comics and Roy Lichtenstein’

Parkinson, G. Sep 1 2016 In : European Comic Art. 9, 2, p. 27-58

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fine arts
Narrative art
science fiction