Professor Shearer West
Deputy Vice-ChancellorProfessor of Art History
B.A. (William and Mary), Ph.D. (St. Andrews)
18th-century British and Italian art; Victorian art; European art of the late nineteenth century’ 20th-century German art
+44 (0)114 22 21101
Office hours: Autumn 2015/16 - Monday 2-3pm; Tuesday 3-4pm
Shearer West is Professor of Art History and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. She obtained her B.A. degree in Art History and English at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and her Ph.D. in Art History at St. Andrews. She worked as an editor for the Grove Dictionary of Art before taking up an academic post in art history at the University of Leicester.
In 1996, she moved to the University of Birmingham as Head of the History of Art Department , then Head of the School of Historical Studies and briefly Acting Head of the College of Arts and Law. She was awarded a personal chair in 2000.
In 2008 she was appointed Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council where she also chaired the Research Directors Group for RCUK. She was appointed Head of the Humanities Division at Oxford in 2011, where she oversaw the launch of the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities.
She moved to Sheffield in 2015 to be Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford (2011-15)
Honorary Fellow, Mansfield College, Oxford
Chair of the Association of Art Historians (2001-2004)
Fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art (2003)
Charles J. Cole Fellowship at the Lewis Walpole Library of Yale University (1999)
Professor West is the author or editor of nine books on aspects of eighteenth-, nineteenthand twentieth-century European art, including Portraiture (OUP) and Italian Culture in Northern Europe in the Eighteenth Century (CUP). She has been a Visiting Fellow at Yale
She has supervised many Mphil theses and the following Ph.Ds subjects to completion:
2004: Portraiture (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 256pp [e.g. review in Independent 30 April 2004]
2000: The Visual Arts in Germany 1890-1937: Utopia and Despair (Manchester: Manchester University Press and Rutgers University Press, 2000), 242pp. [e.g. review in The Art Book]
1993: Fin de Siècle: Art and Society in an Age of Uncertainty (London: Bloomsbury and New York: Overlook Press, 1993), 152pp.
1991: The Image of the Actor: Verbal and Visual Representation in the Age of Garrick and Kemble (London: Pinter Publishers, 1991), 191pp, paperback edition also in 1991. [reviewed TLS 4 October 1991; Theatre Notebook, vol. XLVII, no. 1, 1993; The Year’s Work in English, 1991; and a Swedish journal, entré, no. 2, 1992, p. 88]
1990: Chagall (London: Bison Books, 1990), French translation (Paris: PMI Publications, 1991), 17
Public Engagement and Policy Work
2015: panel speaker on international research collaboration at Global Higher EducationConference in Melbourne
2015: University of Oxford Public Engagement Champion
2014: Invited plenary speaker for UK Research Office (UKRO) conference in Bristol
2014: Invited panellist for Knowledge Exchange in an International Context, roundtable at Southampton University
2014: (with Eva Hoogland), ‘Open Access in the Humanities’, paper for Pan European Networks
2014: ‘Why the World needs the Humanities’, New Statesman, 27 March 2014 (publication to coincide with British Council ‘Going Global’ conference in Miami)
2014: ‘Humanities Research Leadership in Europe’, commissioned stimulus paper for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, 2014
Presented findings of paper at British Academy launch, December 2013 and at LERU invitation only meeting in Brussels, May 2014, as well as Research away day at QMUL and invited by VC of UEA to run a workshop on the paper.
2013: Lead author on Science Europe Humanities Scientific Committee position statement on Open Access in Humanities and Social Sciences, 2013
2013: Invited plenary speaker at conference on ‘Measuring and Maximising Impact’, Melbourne, and invited consultant to the Australian Research Council.
2013: Invited chair for debate at ‘Academic Leaders in Wales’ conference for Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, 2013.
2013: Editor of LERU policy note for advice to the European Commission, ‘Essential SSH Research for the Societal Challenges: Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’,
2013: author of blog ‘A good humanities degree has real value and opens the door to a wide range of career prospects’, LSE British Politics and Policy Blog (invited contribution), 31 July
2013, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/35325 [also interviewed about the same report ‘Humanities Graduates and the British Economy: the Hidden Impact’ (July 2013) in Financial Times, The Australian, Chronicle of Higher Education, The Conversation UK and others]
2012: Speaker on the Value of Humanities in Cafe Humanities event held in a coffee shop in Tel Aviv, March 2012.
2012: Plenary panel speaker at Engage 2012 conference of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement
2011: ‘The Public Value of Victorian Studies’, Journal of Victorian Studies Online, 7 October 2011 (http://myblogs.informa.com/jvc/2011/10/07/the-value-of-victorian-studies/ )
2005: Expert commentator for BBC2 documentary on Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, aired April
2005 (other experts included John Malkovich and Germaine Greer).
International Roles of Responsibility
National Committee and Research Council Work
Research Assessment Exercise (RAE):
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC):
Advisory and Editorial Boards