Anthony Downey

Dr., Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Anthony is interested to hear from potential PhD students with interests that connect to his supervisory expertise, which includes:

Contemporary Cultural Production in Middle East and Global South
Digital Methodologies and Practice-Based Research
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Computer Vision
Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and Cultural Critique
Human Rights, Bio-politics, and Migration in Contemporary Art Practices
New media, Performativity and Civil Society

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research and Innovation interests

Dr Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University), where his research and teaching focuses on contemporary visual cultures and practice-based research, postcolonial theory and praxis, digital methodologies, computer vision and AI, and interdisciplinary knowledge production. In his role as College Lead for Research, Excellence and Innovation, he supports colleagues in the development of research capacity and cultures (specifically as it relates to AHRC funding application development and REF research outputs for early career and senior career researchers). 

In his capacity as BCU lead, he is the Cultural and Commissioning Lead on a four-year £2.2 million Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC, 2021-2025) funded project, where his research focuses on the expansion of educational and cultural provision for people with disabilities in Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territories, and Jordan. The latter award was preceded by an AHRC Development Award (2019-2021). 

Anthony's teaching focuses on the politics of global contemporary art practices; post- and anti-colonial theory; contemporary research practices and knowledge production in visual culture; human rights, bio-politics and migration; new media, collaborative and participative art practices; and contemporary cultural production in the Maghreb, the Middle East and Global South.

Recent and forthcoming publications include Trevor Paglen: Adversarially Evolved Hallucinations (Sternberg Press/MIT Press, 2024); Neocolonial Visions: Algorithmic Violence and Unmanned Aerial Systems (PostScriptUM no. 47, 2023); Khalil Rabah: Falling Forward—Works 1995- 2025 (Sharjah Art Foundation and Hatje Cantz, 2023), and Shona Illingworth: Topologies of Air (Sternberg Press and The Power Plant, 2021). In 2025, he will publish Decolonizing Vision: Artificial Intelligence, Algorithmic Anxieties & the Future of Aerial Warfare.


Education/Academic qualification

Humanities, PhD, Postcolonial Theory and the Politics of Mimesis, Goldsmiths

Award Date: 18 Sept 2006

Humanities, Masters (Dist.), Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Goldsmiths

Award Date: 29 Sept 1997

Arts & Humanities, BA (First Class Honours), Postcolonial Theory and Literature, Birkbeck University of London

Award Date: 30 Sept 1995

External positions

Co-Investigator, AHRC Network Plus award (2021-2025)

29 Mar 202129 Mar 2025

Associate Editor, Journal of Memory, Mind & Media (Cambridge University Press)

1 Mar 2021 → …

Series Editor, Research/Practice (Sternberg Press)

29 Oct 2019 → …

Co-Investigator, AHRC Development Award (2019-2021)

1 Mar 20191 Mar 2021

Editor, Journal of Digital War (Palgrave Macmillan)

11 Jan 2019 → …

Editor, Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture (Routledge)

21 Mar 2012 → …


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