Dr Ian Neal


Position: Senior Lecturer: Visual Culture

College: College of Arts

Department: Art and Design

Subject area: Art and Design

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Module Leader for several Visual Culture modules across undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Member of the Visual Communication Team in the Department of Design.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on a range of courses, primarily delivering historical and theoretical modules to undergraduate and postgraduate art and design students.

Research interests

My research interests are in the history and theory of British art and visual cultures. My doctoral research focussed on representations of day dreaming and reverie in British art, 1848-1890. Reverie had a notable currency in Victorian art, yet, its significance has largely been overlooked by art historians. My thesis examined the functions of reverie and contended that its semantic flexibility was seized on by artists in order to expand conventional expectations of narrative. 

My recent interests are in the history and theorisation of illustration. Unlike fine art and certain design disciplines, there is a paucity of scholarship on illustration. I'm currently working on a book which advances the ways in which illustration as a discipline can be theorised. Some commentators note how it sits somewhere between fine art and graphic design; while this description is rather woolly, it offers a starting point to scrutinise this space 'in between' disciplines and to question its usefulness. 



  • BA (Hons) History of Art, Design & Film, Sheffield Hallam University (1992)
  • MA, University of Sussex (1993)
  • PGCE, University of Leeds (2005)
  • PhD, University of York (awarded 2012)
  • FHEA 2015

Additional interests and activities

Musician / Composer / Music Production

Currently working on a fourth album. My previous three albums have all been influenced by various instrumental genres and coloured by my interest in 1970s progressive rock, alongside both classical music and contemporary electronica.

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