Anna is a Cultural Advisor, Historian and Researcher working at the intersection of theory and practice across institutes of advanced study, universities, museums and industry internationally.
For over a decade, Anna has been a member of multidisciplinary institutes of advanced study in the US, UK and Europe, advancing research, projects and public-facing discourse on subjects of critical and contemporary concern. These include art and terrorism; monuments and the culture wars; the public role of museums in the wake of crisis; and the place of arts and culture in fostering human thriving. Beyond academia, she is a cultural advisor and researcher for industry, and co-directs a grass roots think tank.
Anna is interested in innovative programme building and how new forms of collective intelligence and creative strategy can address issues of civic, cultural and global priority. A long-time activist, she is committed to bridging divides and reaching broader publics, translating academic research for diverse audiences and convening unusual coalitions to produce new frameworks for positive, societal transformation.
As an art historian, Anna contributed to a new public-facing direction for the Research Forum at the Courtauld Institute of Art, as Andrew Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow (2015-16). With Julian Stallabrass, she organised and presented at a major symposium on Art and Terrorism, with sequel at King’s College (2016). She became an Associate Fellow of the newly formed King’s Centre for Strategic Communications, contributing expertise on the role of images in conflict and an article for their new NATO journal, on graffiti as a material form of political agency. Recently, Anna was commissioned by King’s for a strategic report on the social impact of the arts, featuring collaborations between academic researchers and artists (2018).
As Visiting Research Fellow at UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies (2017-18), Anna organised and chaired "Troubling Monuments", a symposium on making and re-making history and heritage. Her research on histories and practices of iconoclasm has been supported by multiple grants, including the DFG, as invited Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies, BildEvidenz. Geschichte und Ästhetik at the Free University, Berlin (2016); and SIAS fellow at the Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin (2014) and the National Humanities Center, US (2013). In 2011, she was invited to join a US-UK network of scholars and curators breaking new ground on the subject, funded for three years by the AHRC. Their work contributed to Tate Britain's Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm (2013) and an edited volume, Striking Images, Iconoclasms Past and Present (Ashgate, 2013).
Anna regularly speaks, writes and advise on the arts, invited by The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, US, to advise on programming for a major Mellon Foundation grant on Edge-Border-Conflict; the Courtauld Institute, as Chair of Politics and the Public Role of Museums, in dialogue with artist Peter Kennard; by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and by BlainSouthern. She has written art criticism for FRIEZE and is invited writer for Tate Liverpool’s Whose Tradition?.
Anna is currently Associate Fellow of the Thriving Cities Lab, based at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, where she is the lead scholar advancing research on the role of the arts and the built environment in fostering civic agency. She was the project lead, author and editor of a Brief on the Beautiful as an Endowment for Thriving Cities (2015), which was published in part by Routledge in its Creative Placemaking Series (2019). Anna has consulted for the Global Cultural Districts Network, co-authoring a report on best practices in governance (2018), one of the first of its kind and highlighting the importance of artists in development. Currently she is Senior Cultural Researcher and Associate at Futurecity, a global placemaking agency, where she works with architects and developers to embed the arts and culture as an integral part of urban regeneration. She is on the academic panel for the Thamesmead Regeneration Project (2021).
Anna has worked as an Associate at Foster and Partners global studio, where she designed a research programme integrating the Human Sciences/Applied Humanities with existing technical and technological groups to advance human-centred design, with social sustainability at its core. Currently, she is the Director of Cultural Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at the Centre for Conscious Design, a grassroots collective of architects, thinkers, designers and practitioners.
- PhD, History of Art and Architecture, University of Virginia
- PhD Program, Philosophy, Brown University
Anna is affiliated with the "In-Public" research group for the Research Centre in Creative Arts, Culture and Engagement (CREATURE).
Current areas of research include:
- monuments, iconoclasm and (up)staging power
- participatory and disruptive design practices
- phenomenologies of the city
- aesthetics and ecologies of care
- the perfomance of civic possibility
- critical creative placemaking
Anna has taught on the MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, the BA at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, and the BA at the University of Virginia’s Department of Art and Architectural History.
- Peer-reviewed article: ‘Can we design for culture? paradigms and provocations’, Built Environment, special issue Arts & the City (Summer issue 2020).
- Peer-reviewed article: ‘Towards Beauty and a Civics of Place: Notes from the Thriving Cities Project’, (with J. Yates), in Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice, Cara Courage and Anita McKeown, eds. (Routledge, 2019).
- Commissioned Research brief: Governance models for Cultural Districts (with J. Doeser), commissioned by the Global Cultural Districts Network (April 2018).
- Peer-reviewed article: A.M. Kim (with T. Flores) ‘Overwriting the city: graffiti, crisis politics, and the image of Athens’ (with T. Flores) in Defence Strategic Communications, Journal of NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (Fall 2017).
- Commissioned Research brief: ‘Beauty as an endowment of Thriving Cities’, A. M. Kim, editor and author, with L. Merrill, C. Miller, C. Yates, 2015. Image culture and conflict
- Commissioned essay: ‘Re-enchantment and Iconoclasm in an Age of Images’, The Hedgehog Review, Critical Reflections on Contemporary Culture, Fall 2015.
- Peer-reviewed article: ‘Creative Iconoclasms in Renaissance Italy,’ in Striking Images, iconoclasms past and present’, S. Boldrick, L. Brubaker and R. Clay, eds. (Farnham, England and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press, 2013).
- Exhibition Review/Invited Editorial: Hamed Abdalla, The Mosaic Rooms, London, Frieze Magazine (online), May 2018.
Select presentations and panel organisation
- Q&A performing borders | Live, performative reading and conversation between Nobel Peace Prize photographer and artist Sim Chi Yin and curator Annie Jael Kwan from Something Human and Asia-Art-Activism, curated by Alessandra Cianetti, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, 19 March 2019.
- Conference Paper, ‘Theorising the image and art for IR conflict studies: the iconic turn and political mediation’, War for Presence: Conflict and Identity at the Art History-IR Nexus, King’s College, 30 June 2018.
- Organiser (with Art History/UCL) and presenter, Troubling monuments: making, breaking and re-making heritage and history, Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture, UCL, 15 May 2018.
- Organiser and discussant, Landscapes of vulnerability: a conversation with Lola Frost (Leverhulme Fellow, King’s College) and Edmund Clark (award-winning photographer), Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, 25 April 2018.
- Public lecture, ‘Enchantment and iconoclasm in an age of images’, with Prof. Martin Holbraad (Anthropology) and Dr Hans Christian Hoenes (Warburg Institute), respondents, Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture, UCL, 20 Feb 2018.
- Invited Keynote, ‘The Aesthetics of the Abdomen: art historical and philosophical reflections’, Annual Meeting, Royal College of Physicians, London, 2 Feb 2018.
- Public presentation, ‘Cosmos <Affect> Polis’, Summative panel, Rosi Braidotti Seminars on the Post-human, Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, 19 Nov. 2018.
- Panelist, Screening of ‘White Helmets’ documentary, Refugee and Migration Unit, UCL, Dec. 2017.
- Conference paper, ‘Reforming the image: idols and iconoclasm in Early Modern Europe’, Ikonoklasmus. Bilder verehren/ Bilder zerstören, workshop in conjunction with exhibition Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, Kulturforum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 11-12 May 2017.
- Chair, panel for conference Dead or Alive! Tracing the Animation of Matter in Art and Visual Culture, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-11 November 2016.
- Panelist, Museums and social responsibility in the wake of humanitarian crisis (in conjunction with exhibitions, Refuge/e and Disappearance at Sea), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, April 2017.
- Co-organiser and respondent, Traces of War: A Pre-Exhibition Symposium, Kings College, London, October 2016.
- Chair: Politics over the Public: The Role of Museums, Courtauld Institute of Art, June 2016.
- Conference paper: ‘Painting the Eternal: Mosaic and Stone in Early Modern Italy’, British School at Rome, Italy, May 17, 2016.
- Chair: Panel on Art and Conflict, Beyond Borders at Blain|Southern Galleries, sponsored by UNICEF NextGen London, May 2016.
- Invited Panelist: A Dialogue on Beauty, The Ford Foundation, New York, December 2016.
- Co-organizer (with Robert Williams, Univ. of Santa Barbara, CA) and Chair: Rethinking the Rhetoric and Force of Images, Renaissance Society of America meeting, Boston, MA, March 2016.
- Conference paper: IAS-HNS joint session, ‘Reforming the idol: Maerten van Heemskerck’s St. Luke and the Virgin (1545)’, Renaissance Society of America meeting, Boston, MA, March 2016.
- Co-organizer (with Julian Stallabrass) and Presenter, Symposium on Art and Terrorism, The Sackler Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, February, 2016.
- Co-organizer (with Robert Williams), IAS sponsored session, Rethinking the Rhetoric and Force of Images, College Art Association meeting, Washington, DC, February 2016.
- Conference paper: ‘Idols of art and of the mind: Michelangelo’s Rondanini pietà’, Renaissance Conference of Southern California meeting, The Huntington Library, CA, June 2015.
- Invited presenter, roundtable on Beauty and Justice, Art of Change program, Ford Foundation, NYC, NY, Dec. 2015.
- Invited lecture: ‘The New (Old) Image Wars: Rethinking Image and Violence after Paris,’ UC Santa Barbara, CA, April, 2015.
- Invited lecture: ‘The New (Old) Image Wars: Rethinking Image and Violence after Paris’, The Hallie Ford Museum, Willamette University, OR, March 2015.
- Conference paper: ‘Idols of Art and of the Mind: Sculptural and Spiritual Iconoclasm in Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà’, Mellon Research Forum Conference on Religion, Art and Conflict, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Dec. 5-6, 2014.
- Panel organizer, session titled Creative Destruction in Early Modern Europe, Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, New York 2014.
- Fellowship, Center for Advanced Studies, Research group BildEvidenz. Geschichte und Ästhetik, Freie Universität, Berlin, Sept. 2016 – January 2017
- Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 2015–16
- Kress Travel Grant to present at joint session of the Historians of Netherlandish Art and the Italian Art Society, Renaissance Society of America Meeting, Boston, April 2016
- Summer Fellowship, National Humanities Center (N.C., USA) & Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2013/2014
- Jefferson Scholars’ Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, University of Virginia, 2013–14
- Research grant funding, international interdisciplinary research network: Iconoclasms: practices of the past, interpretations of the present, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (U.K.), 2011–13, Leslie Brubaker and Richard Clay (University of Birmingham, U.K.), Directors
- Society of Fellows’ Travel Fellowships, University of Virginia, April 2013; February 2011
- Robert J. Huskey Travel Fellowships, University of Virginia, March 2014; March 2011; Feb. 2008
- Award and travel grant, U.S. Graduate Representative, 33rd Congress of the International Historians of Art, July 2012
- Fellowship for Translating the Past, Paleography Institute at Palazzo Rucellai, Florence, June 2011
- Philip Francis du Pont Fellowships, University of Virginia, 2007-8; 2010-11
- Dissertation Research and Travel Grants, Lindner Center and the Robert Craine Fund, McIntire Department of Art, Univ. of Virginia, Summer 2008; May 2010; September 2011
- Travel Grant to participate in Resources and techniques for the study of Renaissance and Early modern culture, Warburg Institute, London, May 2010
- Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, University of Virginia, 2009–10
- Dissertation Research Award, Society of Fellows, University of Virginia, 2009
- Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufacture and Commerce
- Royal Institute of British Architects, Affiliate Member
- Director of Cultural Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, the Centre for Conscious Design
- Senior Cultural Research and Associate, Futurecity
- Associate Fellow, Thriving Cities Lab
- Academic Panel, Thamesmead Regeneration Project
- Invited lectures on the image wars and Charlie Hebdo murders, with radio interview
- Interview for ITV on monuments and iconoclasm
- Invited keynote for the Royal Society of Physicians
Dr Anna Marazuela Kim