Lucy Soutter

Lucy’s research focuses on questions of value and meaning in art and photography. She has written art criticism for publications including ApertureSource, Frieze and 1000 Words. Her book Why Art Photography? was published by Routledge in a revised second edition in 2018 and traces her research interests in relation to ambiguity, objectivity, fiction, authenticity, the digital and photography’s expanded field. Lucy is available to supervise PhD students in these and related areas. She is currently researching “expanded photography,” contemporary photography’s overlap with other contemporary art forms and activities, including installation, performance and sculpture.

A multi-disciplinary background provides the foundation for Dr Lucy Soutter’s teaching and writing. After concentrating in Visual and Environmental Studies and English and American Literature at Harvard College, Soutter went on to receive an MFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts. Her 2001 Yale University PhD thesis in the History of Art, The Visual Idea, examined the uses of photography by first generation conceptual artists. Based in London since 2000, Soutter has taught at The London College of Communication, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Royal College of Art. She is the Course Leader of the Westminster Photography Arts MA.

Lucy is a founding member of the Global Photographies Network, an international community of universities and photographic organisations, working together to co-author a programme of talks, seminars and workshops for photographic practitioners and students in a professional and educational network. It has a number of innovative objectives: it seeks to develop more inclusive, de-colonial discourses for photography in both its local and global contexts; it is designed to create a digital network of artists in dialogue with educators, curators and arts professionals around the world to interface and digitally share skill sets, knowledge and resources using digital tools; and it is a public platform for accessing talks by photographers and artists from underrepresented positions.

For further information about Lucy’s research, supervision and teaching experience also see:

More People

Research Areas


We understand photography as a broad inter-disciplinary field of study based on the photographic image, set within the distinct but overlapping networks of visual art, culture and media practice. Current focus includes contemporary art, social media, digital imaging, politics and big data networks.