Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Book launch: Art and Emancipation

15 March 2024, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm

Art and Emancipation book cover

A discussion at the Marxism in Culture seminar between John Roberts and Kim Charnley about 'Art and Emancipation' recently published in the Historical Materialism series.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students




Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Forum
G17, ground floor, South Wing
UCL, Gower St, London

Book launch: Art and Emancipation (Brill, 2024) by John Roberts

The conversation will cover the thematic divisions of the book - ‘Value’, ‘Technique’, ‘Praxis’, ‘Image’ and ‘History’ - as a way into discussing the multiple registers of art and emancipation. The discussion will draw on debates in recent Marxist political and cultural theory in relation to the legacy of the historical avant-garde and contemporary practice after conceptualism.

Booking is not required. All welcome to this free event.

The Marxism in Culture seminar series was conceived in 2002 to provide a forum for those committed to the continuing relevance of Marxism for cultural analysis. Both ‘Marxism’ and ‘culture’ are conceived here in a broad sense. We understand Marxism as an ongoing self-critical tradition, and correspondingly the critique of Marxism's own history and premises is part of the agenda. ‘Culture’ is intended to comprehend not only the traditional fine arts, but also aspects of popular culture such as film, popular music and fashion. 

About the Speakers

John Roberts

Professor of Art & Aesthetics at University of Wolverhampton

He is the author of a number of books, including, The Intangibilities of Form: Skill, Deskilling in Art After the Readymade (Verso 2007), The Necessity of Errors (Verso, 2011), Photography and Its Violations (Columbia University Press, 2014), Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde (Verso 2015), The Reasoning of Unreason: Universalism, Capitalism and Disenlightenment (Bloomsbury, 2018), Red Days: Popular Music & the English Counterculture 1965-1975 (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2020), Capitalism and the Limits of Desire (Bloomsbury 2022) and Art, Misuse and Technology: Micheál O'Connell's 'System Interference' (Uillinn, 2022).

Kim Charnley

Lecturer in Art History at Open University

Kim Charnley is author of Sociopolitical Aesthetics: Art, Crisis and Neoliberalism (Bloomsbury, 2021). His work has also been published in Art and the Public Sphere, The Large Glass and  Historical Materialism. He is an art theorist and art historian who researches contemporary art, especially socially-engaged art, social practice, art activism and institutional critique. His research has focused especially on the way that the ‘art collective’ functions as a way of working, and as an ideal, in art that intends to be a vehicle for social and political action.