History of Art


Amber Husain

PhD supervisor: Dr Cadence Kinsey
Working title for PhD: 'Psychosomatics of Refusal: British art and biopower, 1982–1998'

My research analyses the work of British ‘Corporeal Artists’ active in the 1980s and ’90s with a view to better understanding the neoliberalisation of the UK health system and its biopolitical ramifications. This project compares artists’ visual discourses with medical-institutional constructions of the living subject, drawing critically on Foucauldian, Deleuzian, Marxist, psychoanalytic and affect-theoretical accounts of power and subjectivation. Historicising the biopolitically significant persistence of post-Cartesian dualisms in medical discourse, I turn to the realm of artmaking and the plane of the aesthetic as sites of potential critique and intervention. 

Prior to joining UCL I was a research fellow at Afterall, Central Saint Martins, where I was Managing Editor of Afterall books and an editor of Afterall Journal. I have also worked in trade publishing as Associate Editor on the Art list at Thames & Hudson. My non-academic essays appear in various publications, and my first book, Replace Me was published by Peninsula Press in 2021. 



  • ‘Virtual Tower , “Virtual” Pit: On Potentiality and the Status of Unrealised Art’, Afterall Vol. 50, Autumn/Winter 2020

Book Reviews 

  • ‘Cyborgs without Organs’, Radical Philosophy Vol.2, No.9, Winter 2020


  • (Previously) Associate Lecturer, MA Culture, Criticism, Curation, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London


  • PhD project fully funded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC)
  • LSE Hobhouse Memorial Prize for Best Overall Performance, MSc Culture and Society