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Patricia Leighten, Professor and Department Chair, Art & Art History

Patricia Leighten
Contact Info:
Office Location:  114 S. Buchanan Blvd. East Duke Building
Office Phone:  (919) 684-2224
Email Address: send me a message


Ph.D.Rutgers University1983
M.A.Rutgers University1975
BA summa cum laudeUniversity of Massachusetts/Boston1973
B.A.University of Massachusets, Boston1973

Late 19th and Early 20th Century Art
20th Century Art
Theory & Criticism
History of Photography
Modern Art
Research Interests: modernism, art and politics

Current projects: A Politics of Form: Art, Anarchism and Audience in Avant-Guerre Paris (forthcoming University of Chicago Press 2010), Modernism and Anarchism: Anarchist Aesthetics and Visual Culture (forthcoming Palgrave 2011), Anarchism, Animal Rights and Visual Culture in France and Britain, c.1900

Patricia Leighten received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. She is author of Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897-1914 (Princeton University Press 1989) and, co-authored with Mark Antliff, Cubism and Culture (Thames & Hudson 2001) and A Cubism Reader: Documents and Criticism, 1906-1914 (University of Chicago Press, 2008). She is currently completing her most recent book, A Politics of Form: Art, Anarchism and Audience in Avant- Guerre Paris, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press in 2010. Her fields of research are late nineteenth and early twentieth- century art and the history of photography. In both her research and teaching, she is interested in the relationship between visual culture and both the politics of representation and the politics of interpretation.

Areas of Interest:

modernism in France
art and politics
history of photography


politics • modernism • photography • France

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

    Representative Publications   (More Publications)

    1. Leighten, P, The Liberation of Painting: Modernism and Anarchism in Avant-Guerre Paris (2013), University of Chicago Press (Millard Meiss Publication Fund Grant, 2011.) [html]  [abs]
    2. Antliff, M; Leighten P,, A Cubism Reader: Documents and Criticism, 1906-1914 (2008), University of Chicago Press  [abs]
    3. Antliff, M; Leighten, P, Le cubisme devant ses contemporains – Documents et critiques (1906-1914) (2019), Les presses du réel, 35 rue Colson, 21000 Dijon – France (in press.) [ouvrage.php]  [abs]
    4. Antliff, M; Leighten, P, Cubism and Culture (2001), London and New York: Thames and Hudson (Cubisme et culture, Paris: Thames & Hudson, 2002.)
    5. Leighten, P, Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897-1914 (1989), Princeton University Press
    6. Leighten, P, Anarchist satire in pre-world War I Paris: The case of František Kupka, Substance, vol. 46 no. 2 (2017), pp. 50-70 (Special issue: "Rebel Lines: Comics and the Anarchist Imagination".) [doi]
    7. Cubist Critiques: Picasso, Rivera and World War I, in Picasso and Rivera: Modernism and Ancient Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Accepted, forthcoming 2016)
    8. Leighten, P, America, with Burk Uzzle, in All About America: Photographs by Burk Uzzle (2016), Ackland Museum of Art, University of North Carolina  [abs]
    9. Leighten, P, The World Turned Upside Down: Modernism and Anarchist Strategies of Inversion in ’L’Assiette au beurre’, Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, vol. 4 no. 2 (2013), pp. 134-170, Penn State University Press, ISSN 1947-6574 [html], [doi]  [abs]
    10. Leighten, P, Modernist Abstraction, Anarchist Antimilitarism, and War, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, vol. 2 (December, 2011), pp. 113-150 [79]
    11. Leighten, P, The White Peril: Colonialism, L'art negre, and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, in European Ghosts: The Representation of Art from Africa in the Twentieth Century (2015), Mu.ZEE Ostend [european-ghosts-the-representation-of-art-from-africa-in-the-twentieth-century]
    12. Leighten, P, Artists in Times of War: Response to Ariel Dorfman’s 'Picasso’s Closet', Art Bulletin (March, 2009) [20619654]
    13. Leighten, P, Café Scene; Salomé; Head of a Woman; Vase, Gourd and Fruit; Scallop Shells on a Piano; Still Life with Calling Card; and Ace of Clubs, in Picasso and the Allure of Language, edited by Fisher, SG (2009), Yale University Press, New Haven, CT  [abs]
    14. Antliff, M; Leighten P,, Primitive, in Critical Terms for Art History, revised edition, edited by Nelson, R; Shiff, R; Press, UOC (2003)
    15. Leighten, P, Colonialism, l’art nègre, and les Demoiselles d’Avignon, in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, edited by Green, C; Cambridge University Press, (2001)
    16. Leighten, P, Reveil Anarchiste: Salon Painting, Political Satire, Modernist Art, Modernism/Modernity, vol. II (April, 1995), pp. 17-47 [html]
    17. Leighten, P, Cubist Anachronisms: Ahistoricity, Cryptoformalism, And Business-As-Usual in New York, Oxford Art Journal, vol. XVII no. 2 (Fall, 1994), pp. 91-102, Oxford University Press (OUP) [1360577], [doi]
    Selected Invited Lectures

    1. The Secret Life of Henri Cartier-Bresson, November 6, 2014, Vanderbilt University    
    2. "Picasso and His Times", April 6, 2014, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art [EventDetailsAdmin.aspx]    
    3. "A Politics of Technique: Fauvism and Anarchist Individualism", January 25, 2013, Symposium: 'Ideas that Bind: Approaches to Modernist Groups and Networks', History of Art Department, York University (UK)    
    4. "Modernism, Antimilitarism and World War I", November 21, 2013, Conference series: 'Under the Sign of Amadeo', Art History Institute, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)    
    5. "Picasso and His Times", April 30 and May 1, 2012, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto    
    6. “From Mutual Aid to Radical Individualism: Neoimpressionism and Fauvism in Light of Anarchist Aesthetic Theory", September 10, 2011, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA    
    7. Keynote: "Modernism, Antimilitarism and War" (and podcast), November 11, 2010, Modernist Studies Association, Victoria, BC    
    8. "A 'Rationale of Ugliness': Primitivism, Cubism and Its Audience, 1908-13", 2010, Norma U. Lifton Memorial Lecture in Art History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (October 2010)    
    9. "Man Ray, Cubism and Primitivism", April 6, 2010, University of New Mexico Art Museum    
    10. "Abstracting Anarchism: Élisée Reclus, František Kupka and the Project of Modernism", September 2008, Symposium: Modernism and Antimodernism: Theories, Visions, Ideologies, Politics, National Museum of Romanian Literature and the Amfiteatru Foundation, Bucharest, Romania; and Conference: Humanity and the Earth/L’Homme et la terre: The Legacy of Élisée Reclus (1830-1905), Loyola University, New Orleans, October 2006    
    11. "Violence vs. Creativity in Kupka's Anarchist Art and Aesthetics", September 2007, Annual Conference of the Nordic Network for Avant-Garde Studies on 'Avant-Garde and Violence', University of Iceland, Reykjavik    
    Selected Talks

    1. Ethics and the ‘Decisive Moment’: The Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's Anarchist Individualism, November 19-21, 2015, Modernist Studies Association, Boston    
    2. "Expatriates and Exiles", November 2008, UAAC Annual Conference, Toronto