Current Academic Research and Projects


Anthony Downey is an academic, editor, and writer. He is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University) and was recently appointed Associate Director for External Research Funding. In 2019, he received an AHRC Development Award and, in 2020, in his capacity as Cultural Lead and Co-Investigator, he was the recipient of an additional GCRF Network Plus award (of £2 million). This latter project  will develop research and cultural events that support education provision, visual culture, and digital methodologies in the West Bank, Amman and Beirut. This project will be delivered over a four year period from 2020-2024, and Downey is currently working with colleagues from the University of Birmingham, Birzeit University, Lebanese American University, Islamic University of Gaza, alongside cultural partners including Qattan Foundation in Palestine and Queen Rania Foundation in Amman.

Professor Downey has the following professional affiliations:

  • Member of the Editorial Board of Third Text  (, appointed 2006.
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Digital War, appointed 2019.
  • Series Editor, Research/Practice (Sternberg Press/MIT), 2019-present.
  • Co-Investigator, GCRF Network Plus Award (2020-2024).
  • Co-Investigator, AHRC Development Award (2019-2020).
  • Research Associate, the Institute of Human Activities (, appointed 2016.
  • Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz (, appointed 2011.
  • Series Editor, Visual Culture in the Middle East (Sternberg Press), 2016-present.
  • Consultant Editor, Open Arts Journal at the Open University (, appointed 2012.
  • Trustee, Strange Cargo (an Arts Council funded organization focusing on community-based arts project,, appointed 2014.
  • Trustee, Maryam and Edward Eisler Foundation, appointed 2011.
  • Trustee, Arts Cabinet (an organization that develops international art and culture programmes in the Middle East and beyond,, appointed 2015.

Post-Graduate Supervision

  • Jacob Koster (Critical Practices in Contemporary Art)
  • Nat Muller (Futurism in Contemporary Arab Art)
  • Yuu Sachiel (Censorship in Chinese Art)
  • Lisa Deml (Spectatorship and Citizen Reporting after the Arab Uprisings)

Recently Graduated:

  • Khulod Albugami (Installation Art as a tool for Social Change: A Case Study of Saudi Contemporary Art)
  • Rawan Sharaf Khatib (The Role Played by Palestinian Cultural Institution in the Formation and Transformation of Palestinian Visual / Cultural Identity)

External Co-Supervision:

  • Heba Y. Amin, doctoral fellow in art history at Freie Universität, Berlin (Co-Supervisor)
  • Anastasia Shanaah, doctoral fellow, School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University (Co-supervisor)

For further information, see: