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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I am an art historian whose research comprises contemporary art, art historiography, politics of exhibitions, and feminist art & art histories with a special focus on Turkey and the Middle East since 1960. I joined the University of Brighton, History of Art and Design Programme as a lecturer in 2017. Since then, I have taught across all levels at the School of Arts and School of Humanities. In addition to teaching on core History of Art and Design and Fine Art Historical and Critical Studies modules, I also run the college option Sexual Politics: Art and Feminism.

Before coming to Brighton, I held a two-year British Academy Newton International Fellowship at the University of Sussex, Department of Art History (2015-17). Prior to that, I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds (2013-14). I completed my PhD in History of Art at Istanbul Technical University in 2015. I hold an MA in Fashion and Textile Design and a BA in Art Management with Curating. I have taught in the areas of art and cultural history, critical studies, art management and visual culture at many universities in Istanbul since 2008. 


My latest book, a co-edited volume titled Under The Skin: Feminist Art and Art Histories from The Middle East and North Africa Today, is published by Oxford University Press in September 2020. My first monograph The Art Historiography in Turkey (1970-2010), which stemmed from my doctoral work, was published in 2016 by Tarih Vakfi Press. My next monograph is also forthcoming with Oxford University Press, which investigates the relationship between art history and women artists in Turkey. My latest articles appeared in the Art Journal (2019), Art in Translation (2018), Art & the Public Sphere (2018), and Third Text online (2018).

Research interests

My research interests lie in three specific areas: The first one addresses the significance of art historiography in understanding artistic practices today. It discusses the agency of the artists that has been shaped through particular forms of art history writing in post-1960s Turkey. My Art in Translation (2018) article on art-historical periodisation speaks to the heart of this matter.

The second area concerns with transnational feminist alliances within the wider Middle Eastern geography since the postwar period. It addresses the impact of inter-subjective links in the creative milieu of artists on art and visual culture with an emphasis on the effects of the changing political landscape in post-conflict societies. Watch me give a lecture on this topic at the British Institute at Ankara back in September 2019.

The third one addresses the politics of exhibitions by examining the curatorial strategies and rhetoric of major exhibitions and biennials. It opens up the discussion on the impact of local and international art worlds on the reproduction of the post-urban public space in the Global South. Read my peer-reviewed article on the Istanbul Biennial in Art & the Public Sphere from 2018.

Rising Star Award

In 2020, I have been awarded a Rising Star, which is one of the University of Brighton's research awards, for my project "Where Matter Meets Memory: Alternative Political Futures in Kurdish Art Today.” My project will investigate the artworks produced within the diasporic Kurdish communities with an aim to demonstrate how the experiences of war, conflict and resistance can be re-constituted as visual forms of knowledge through everyday materials and techniques that bridge transnational communities.  

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising PhD projects on the 20th and 21st-century art and visual culture; feminist and queer approaches to art; politics of exhibitions; practices of writing art histories; narratives of difference, resistance and conflict; migration and (trans)national identities; memory and materiality in textile-based practices.

I also welcome doctoral students interested in researching any aspect of the project of decolonising the history of art and exhibitions, particularly but not exclusively, in the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African geographies.

External positions

British Academy Newton International Fellow, University of Sussex


Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds



  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • Women's art
  • Feminist theory
  • Art historiography
  • Feminisms
  • Queer theory
  • D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
  • Contemporary Art
  • Turkey
  • Middle East
  • Post-Colonialism
  • Modern Art
  • Mediterranean
  • North Africa
  • AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
  • Gallery studies
  • Biennials and fairs
  • Curating
  • Exhibitions

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Research Output

Under the Skin: Feminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and North Africa Today

Ozpinar, C. (ed.) & Kelly, M. (ed.), Sep 2020, Oxford: Oxford University Press (OUP). 240 p. (Proceedings of The British Academy)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Recontextualizing Gülsün Karamustafa’s Shield: The Politics of Writing Feminist Art Histories in Turkey

Ozpinar, C., 13 Sep 2019, In : Art Journal. 78, 3, p. 60-74 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Nil Yalter’s Topak Ev: The Nomadic Tent Between “Worlds”

    Özpınar, C., Sep 2020, (Accepted/In press) Transnational Perspectives on Feminism & Art, 1960-1985. Kennedy, J., Szymanek, A. & Mallory, T. (eds.). Routledge. Taylor & Francis

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

    Introduction: Transnational Feminisms and the Decolonisation of the History of Art

    Özpınar, C. & Kelly, M., Sep 2020, Under the Skin: Feminist Art and Art Histories from the Middle East and North Africa Today. Ozpinar, C. & Kelly, M. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press (OUP), p. 1-8 (Proceedings of the British Academy).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

    Istanbul Biennials and the Reproduction of Social Space

    Ozpinar, C., 1 Jul 2018, In : Art and the Public Sphere. 7, 1, p. 7-23

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 3 Conference
    • 2 Publication Peer-review
    • 2 External funding peer-review
    • 2 Invited talk

    European Commission H2020

    Ceren Ozpinar (EU expert evaluator)

    2019 → …

    Activity: External funding peer-review

    Third Text (Journal)

    Ceren Ozpinar (Reviewer)

    2019 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review

    Crossing Cultures

    Ceren Ozpinar (Presenter)

    15 Nov 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

    Association for Art History

    Ceren Ozpinar (Member of programme committee)

    4 Apr 20196 Apr 2019

    Activity: EventsConference