Dr. Anja Schürmann

Academic Career

From March 2019: Post Doc Fellow at KWI Essen (Institut for Advanced Study in the Humanities)

10/2009–03/2018: Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art History at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf

Research and teaching areas: Photobooks;Photohistory and -theory; Text/Image research; Aesthetics and Contemporary Art; History and Theory of Science.

10/2016–04/2017: Guest Lecturer at Folkwang University Essen

02/2016: Talent Art Criticism of the series C/O Berlin Talents

03/2015: Defence of PhD thesis in Art History at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf

Thesis Title: “Conceptual vision. Ekphrasis as an art historical medium in the 19th century”

10/2006–10/2009: DFG-Granted doctorial Research Fellow at Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe

10/2000–03/2006: Magister Artium, with Honors at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf

Art History, German literature, linguistics and musicology

10/1998–10/2000: Study of psychology, University of Konstanz


Link to the detailed CV

Research Interests

The photobook; photo history and theory; text/image research; aesthetics and contemporary art; history and theory of science; visual science.

Publications (Selection)


Conceptual vision. Ekphrasis as an art historical medium in the 19th century, (Studies on Modern Art Historiography 8), De Gruyter, Boston/Berlin, 2018.

The past is unpredictable & Interview Verónica Losantos, in: Felix Hoffmann for C / O Berlin Foundation (ed.), Talents 36: screen memories, Verónica Losantos / Anja Schürmann, Heidelberg / Berlin, 2016.


Academic Articles

Begriffskarierren: Taste and aesthetic education in art discourses of the 19th century, in: Christof Baier et al. (Ed.), “Absolutely Free”? Invention and Opportunity in Art, Liber Amicorum for Jürgen Wiener, Bielefeld 2019, 11 pages (in print).

The Private of Others: Narrative Approaches in the Photobook Ray’s a Laugh by Richard Billingham, in: Astrid Lang and Wiebke Windorf (Ed.), Blickränder – Borders, Thresholds and Aesthetic Edge Phenomena in the Arts. Liber Amicorum for Hans Körner, Berlin 2017, pp. 187–201.

“You are what you are seen as”. The wall as a sign bearer in the religious buildings of Josef Franke, in: Hans Körner and Jürgen Wiener (ed.), Materiality of the saint. Material choice, material effect and material evaluation in the Christian art of the 20th century, Essen 2017, pp. 83–93; 35f.


Curatorial Projects

11/2017: Curator “equivalence: contemporary photographic positions of analogy”. Kunstraum Düsseldorf.

06/02/16–24/04/16: Co-curation “screen memories – Verónica Losantos”, c/o Berlin.

07/2015–09/2014: Set-up of The PhotoBookMuseum, exhibition 19.8.2014 to 12 October 2014 in Cologne-Mülheim, Link: http://www.thephotobookmuseum.com/

04/2006–10/2006: Catalogue Editing & Assistant Project Management “Beautiful to die for! Alter, Totentanz und Sterbekunst von 1500 bis heute” at the Schnütgen Museum, Cologne.

07/2003–03/2004: Curatorial assistant and catalogue editor for the exhibition “Andy Warhol – The Late Work”, Museum Kunst Palast Düsseldorf, 14 February to 31 May 2004.

06/2001–07/2001: Project assistant of the exhibition “GeSoLei – Kunst, Sport und Körper”, Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf, 28 October 2001-30 January 2002.


Link to the detailed list of publications