Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll PhD, MA, BA (hons)

Photograph of Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll

Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Professorial Fellow
Chair of Global Art History

Contact details

Barber Institute of Fine Arts
University of Birmingham
B15 2TS
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am an artist and a historian specializing in global histories and contemporary art. The legacies of colonialism from the sixteenth century to the present, around the world, are my focus.


  • PhD Harvard University
  • MA Harvard University
  • BA (hons) La Trobe University


I grew up between Austria and Australia and studied both Fine Art at the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste in Vienna and liberal arts in Australia before going on to do my graduate studies in the US. I lived in New York City, Boston and LA and did my PhD in the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard. Then I had two post-doctoral positions in Berlin (DAAD and AvH) and spent five years in Berlin running an exhibition design company and developing my artistic practise.

My studio is in east London, since I came to the UK on a British Academy Newton International Fellowship.  My host was Cambridge University and their Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology where I curated The Lost World (Part 2) by the Aboriginal artist Julie Gough and made other interventions using the collection, including Partial Proclamations which is part of the permanent Tasmanian display. I have curated several other international exhibitions including Kranich Museum, and The Vienna Zocolo.

My installations and texts have been exhibited in venues such as the Venice Biennale, Institute of Contemporary Art London, Marrakech Biennale, and Skuc Llubijana. My first book, Art in the Time of Colony, inspired related exhibitions including Ore Black Ore in the Allegory of the Cave Painting at Extracity Kunsthal Antwerp; Investigated & Dissident Domesticity at Savvy Contemporary Gallery Berlin; Artists in Residence at the Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford; and Embassy Embassy at Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin.


From 2017-18, I am convening the BA 3rd Year module Global Art and contributing to a new Art and Law module.

I also lecture on the MA program, in 2016-17 in Criticism and Methods and Theorising Exhibitions.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students wishing to research any subject that overlaps with my interests.


My research comes in various forms: books, exhibitions, videos, performances, lectures. They all grapple with a set of concerns about power and representation. I am interested in Art History as a form of writing that is rigorous and rhythmic, political and poetic, that reflects the art and world it seeks to represent. Rather than working on a particular period or medium I’m interested in anachronism and reception history. Interrogating the geographic complacency of the discipline, I work comparatively and on non-European knowledge systems.

I have been doing art-research recently on confinement, imprisonment, detention and surveillance. As well as being scholarship my research feeds my art projects and aims also to be useful broadly to museums and other institutions who are grappling with the ethics of diverse representation, colonial collecting histories, and epistemic regimes based on existing hegemonies.

Other activities

I am an editor at Third Text journal. 

I am artist in residence at Border Criminologies (since 2015) within the Law faculty at Oxford University, working on an immigration detention archive, and play (to premier in Switzerland at the Konzerttheatre Bern on March 16, 2017).

I will be convening a conference on Challenging Art History with Settler Colonial Dynamics in May 2017 at the Barber Institute.

In 2017-2018 I am the Sackler-Caird fellow at the Maritime Museum and will be working on new art works and a conference entitled Cook’s New Clothes in 2018.

I am on the international board of Art Monthly Australasia.

I recently appeared on the BBC4 TV documentary Kew’s Lost Queen and am currently working on a radio program about my repatriation book project. I have a film being shown in the Casablanca International Film Festival in 2017 and other screenings. See my website for news:



  • Art in the Time of Colony, (First Edition: Ashgate Press, 2014; Second Edition: Oxford: Routledge, 2016).
  • Fragile Crown: Empire, Collection, Restitution, (Chicago University Press) forthcoming.

Editing Projects

  • The Importance of Being Anachronistic: Contemporary Aboriginal Art and Museum Reparations, Discipline journal with Third Text publications, 2016 
  • Botanical Drift: Economic Botany and its Plant Protagonists, with Petra Lange-Berndt, (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2016)
  • Artist and Empire, with Natasha Eaton, Third Text journal, 2016
  • The Vienna Zocalo, (Vienna: Academy of Fine Arts Press, 2012)

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • ‘Art and Criminology of the Border’, with Mary Bosworth, Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform, April 2017.
  • ‘The Art of Dissident Domesticity: Julian Assange, King Prempeh and the Prison House’, with Jesse Shipley and Michal Murawski, forthcoming
  • ‘Marianne North: ‘Curatorial intervention in the conflict between the artists’ response to plantlife and the classification of economic botany’, Third Text journal special Issue on Botanical Conflicts, Shela Sheikh and Ros Gray (Eds), 2017.
  • ‘“Sartre’s Boomerang: The Archive as Choreographed Readymade”’ in: The Importance of Being Anachronistic: Contemporary Aboriginal Art and Museum Reparations, special issue of Discipline, Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (ed.), 2016
  • ‘Anachronismus oder Vitrinendenken’ and ‘Wilhelm von Blandowski's Vorlesungskarten und Encyclopaedia von Australien’, Floorplan, (2015).
  • ‘The Presence of Absence: Tommy McRae and Judy Watson in Australia, the imaginary grandstand at the Royal Academy in London’, World Art Journal, 4.2, (2014).
  • ‘What would Indigenous taxonomy look like? The case of Wilhelm von Blandowski, Arcadia, (2014).
  • ‘Fight the dragon long, the dragon you become: Performing Viewers in the Graffiti Monument’, Laboratorium, 2 (2013) 101-127.
  • ‘…(excerpting collections) from a history of interventions’, On Curating, 12 (2011), 20-24.
  • ‘The Very Mark of Repression: The Dismantling of the Palast der Republik and the New Schloss Berlin’, Architectural Design Journal, (Sept. 2010), 10-18.
  • ‘Humboldt's Meal Micropolitics: Exploring Ethico-Aesthetics’, Inflexions, 3 (2009)
  • ‘Re-membering the Body: J.J. Winckelmann’s Ekphrasis’, Word & Image Journal of Verbal and Visual Inquiry, 21/3 (2005) 261-269.

Contributions to Books

  • ‘The Inbetweenness of the Vitrine’, P. Basu (ed.), The In-Betweenness of ThingsMaterialising Mediation and Movement between Worlds ~ A Cabinet of Curiosities ~, (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).
  • Appropriating Universal Centrality: Containing the World in Berlin’s new Humboldt Forum,in The (City) Centre Cannot Hold? New Monumentality, Neo-Modernity and Other Zombie Urban Utopias, UCL Press, 2017.
  • ‘Painting the Political in Oceanian Textile Cultures: Collectivity, syncretism and globalization’, in J. Harris (ed.), A Companion to Textile Culture, (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016). In press.
  •  ‘Anachronically Archived: Time in Contemporary Art’, in I. McLean and Darren Jorgenson (eds.), The Archival turn in Australian Aboriginal art, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 2016) In press.
  • ‘Introduction’, and chapter ‘Marianne North, William Colenso, and Economic Botany at Kew’, Botanical Drift: Economic Botany and its Plant Protagonists, (Berlin: Sternberg, 2017).
  • ‘Ready-mades for repatriation, poetic re-enactments, and comic performances for the camera’, Julie Gough, in Terri Ann White (ed.), (Perth, University of Western Australia, 2016).
  • ‘Living Paint, even after the death of the colony’, in Mihnea Mircan (ed.), Allegory of the Cave Painting, (Milan, Mousse Press, 2015).
  • ‘Object to Project: Artist’s Interventions in Museums’, in: Christopher Marshall (Ed.), Sculpture in the Museum, (London, Ashgate Press, 2012), 216-239.
  • ‘Curating Curiosity: Wonder’s Colonial Phenomenology’, in: Timothy Mehigan (Ed.), Frameworks, Artworks, Place: The Space of Perception in the Modern World, (Amsterdam, Rodopi Press), 2008, pp. 203-225.

Contributions to Conference Proceedings

  • ‘Partially Proclaimed: Pictographic Law in the 1830 Tasmanian Picture Board’, Postcolonial Justice, (Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2016) 
  • ‘Vitrinendenken: Vectors between Subject and Object’, in: G. Ulrich Großmann and P. Krutisch (eds), The Challenge of the Object, Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, (Nuremberg: Germanisches National Museum, 2013)
  • ‘Wer performt Kunst? Die performenden Betrachter Innen’, This Sentence is Now Being Performed, (Vienna: Akademie Der Bildenden Kunst, 2010), pp. 31–5.
  • ‘Small Mirrors to Large Empires: Towards a Theory of Meta-museums in Contemporary Art’, in Jaynie Anderson (Ed.), Crossing Cultures, Economies of desire: art collecting and dealing across cultures, Proceedings of the 32nd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art (CIHA), (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2009), 1012-1017.

Critical Essays and Reviews

  • Everywhen: Interview with Stephen Gilchrist at Harvard Art Museums, Art Monthly, September 2016
  • Appropriating Universal Centrality: Containing the World in Berlin’s new Humboldt Forum,Calvert Journal, May 2016. Online
  • My Big Ugly Art World: Grayson Perry on Aboriginal art and how to be undiplomatic in the history wars, Art Monthly, November 2015, pp. 38-41.
  • Being in Detention: Media Arts at Colnbrook IRC. Border Criminologies, Oxford University, (2015). Online
  • Australia by Wilhelm von Blandowski, Australian Aboriginal Studies Journal (Canberra: Australian Aboriginal Studies Press, 2012), 1, 105-108.
  • The Object as Subject: dOCUMENTA 13, Artlink (Adelaide: Artlink, 2012), 32, 81-85
  • Breaking with Tradition, Artlink Indigenous, (Adelaide: Artlink), June 2011.
  • Documentary as Evidence?, In: Kaleidoscope, Ed. Joanna Fiduccia, 8, (Milan: Kaleidoscope, 2010).
  • Culture Warriors, In: Blak on Blak Artlink, Vol. 30, 1, (Adelaide: Artlink, 2010), 112-115.
  • Desert Visions Reach Across an Ocean, In: The Sydney Morning Herald, (August 25, 2007). Also printed as exhibition text at The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, (Charlottesville, University of Virginia, 2007).
  • Within Without: Elisabeth Weissensteiner, Sculpture, 24, 3, (2015). Online
  • Our culture's still cringing, In: The Age, (July 25, 2005)
  • Paul Capsis at home in Vienna, In: RealTime, 47, (2002), 30-36

Exhibition Catalogues

  • Bataille, Nieztsche, Clemens Wild: Portraits des Innenlebens als soziale Kritik, in: Clemens Wild: Outsider Artist, (Milan: Bolo Papers, 2016).
  • Ore Black Ore, in: Allegory of Cave Painting, (Extracity Kunsthal, Antwerpen, 2014).
  • The Artist as CV, in: Super Vero, (Vienna: Academy of Fine Arts, 2013).
  • The Rise and fall, in: Chan, Carson and Nadim Samman (eds), Higher Atlas/Au-delà de l’Atlas,  (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2012) 313-336.
  • Kranich Museum, (Hessenburg: Kranich Museum, 2011).
  • Le Musée comme la Silhouette, in: Jean-Charles Agboton-Jumeau (Ed.), Exposition 5-31 Janvier 2009, (Cherbourg-Octeville: Ecole des beaux-arts de Cherbourg-Octeville, 2009), 22-29.
  • Europe Lost and Found, in: Basekamp (Ed.), Plausible Artworlds, (Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, 2007), 6-8.
  • Living Monuments, in: Mihnea Mircan (Ed.), Memosphere: Rethinking Monuments, (Venice Biennale: Revolver Press, 2007), 4-6. Also published in an installation titled Living Monuments + Track Changes, in: Lost Highway Exhibition, (Ljubljana: Skuc Gallery, 2007), 10-12.
  • 6: Six artists from the MIT visual arts program, (Cambridge, MIT Centre for Advanced Visual Studies and Space Other Gallery Boston, 2006).