Staff profile

Dr Maria Photiou

Research Development Fellow



Research centre

Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an art historian and a Research Development Fellow based in the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office.

I am responsible for managing activities that support the development of Postgraduate Research students and I work with Colleges and Professional Services to ensure all PGR students (PhD and professional doctorate) have a positive experience at the University of Derby.

Part of my role is to manage the organisation of the annual PGR Conference and the University’s 3MT Competition, and to lead the University’s participation at the East Midlands Doctoral (EMDoc) Network events.


Research interests

My research focuses on visual narratives of homeland, migration, and belonging. I present my research at international conferences, including the 2011 College Art Association annual conference, held in New York, USA. In 2017, I conveyed the academic session ‘Home, Exile and the Politics of Belonging’ at the Association of Art Historians’ annual conference, held in Loughborough University, UK.

I’m currently preparing the book 'Art, Borders and Belonging: On Home and Migration in the 21st Century'.

Membership of professional bodies


PhD, Modern and Contemporary Art History, Loughborough University

Recent conferences

04/2018 ‘Weaving in Exile: Exploring Narratives of Migration and Loss’, Textile and Place Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University

11/2017 ‘There will be no Homecoming: Visual Narratives of Home, Exile and Belonging’, Conflict and/or (Be)longing: Thinking with Stories and Images, University of Lisbon

02/2017Home, Exile and the Politics of Belonging’, AAH (Association of Art Historians) 43rd Annual Conference, Loughborough University

12/2014 ‘Photographic Practices of Homeland: Re-presentations of Home, Location and Identity’, 3rd International Conference of Photography and Theory, Cyprus

09/2014 ‘Be/come Closer to Home’, Trans-Figurations: Feminism, Art and Global Futures Symposium, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Leicester

02/2011 ‘Reviving Koukkoumara Tradition through Self-Expression: The Greek Cypriot artist Nina Iacovou and her Female Figure Vessels’, CAA (College Art Association) 99th Annual Conference, New York

Recent publications

Photiou, M. ‘Let’s Talk About Peace Over Dinner: A Cultural Experience on Memory, Dislocation and the Politics of Belonging in Cyprus’, in Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture

Photiou, M. (2016) ‘Be/come Closer to Home: Narratives of Contested Lands in the Visual Practices of Katerina Attalidou and Alexandra Handal’, Third Text (Taylor & Francis), 29 (4-5), 340-355

Photiou, M. (2012) ‘Who Are We, Where Do We Come From, Where Are We Going To? Greek Cypriot Women Artists in Contemporary Cyprus’, Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Taylor & Francis), vol. 41, pp. 941-958

Photiou,M. (2012) ‘The Green Line: Greek Cypriot Women Artists’ Politicised Practices – Lia Lapithi and Marianna Christofides’, n.paradoxa, vol. 30 Feminist Aesthetics pp. 83-90