Portia Ungley

Research Group: Visual & Material Culture Research Centre
Award studied: PhD

Project title

Leon Bakst: the intersection of orientalism & visual culture in avant-garde Paris


Portia Ungley is a lecturer in visual culture, a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, with particular interests in interdisciplinarity and non hierarchical visuality. Her doctoral studies consider the ways in which critical theory engages with the past through a detailed examination of four early twentieth century Ballets Russes productions, opening discussions of the historicity of the artefact, the concretising of stage-based ephemeralities, janus-faced Russianicity and the predation of the visual. Engaged with autoethnographic and postphenomenological methodologies, her research often crosses into contentious spaces and this leads to mining of disciplinary tribalism and postdisciplinary futures as means to synthesise reality and idealism. She published a chapter 'prefixdisciplinarity' in Specialisms with Open Editions in 2014 and is working on future projects including a co-edited publication on Designing the Future and a multidisciplinary collaboration of Synaesthesia in Ballet Costuming.