Dr Alexandra Bickley Trott


Programme Lead for Art & Design, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory

School of Arts


Alexandra Bickley Trott joined Oxford Brookes as Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Theory in January 2016. She was awarded her PhD by Royal Holloway, University of London in 2015, and completed her MA at the Courtauld Institute in 2009.

As Programme Lead for Art & Design, Alexandra leads the BA in Fine Art, and Foundation Art & Design, as well as the undergraduate programmes in Photography and Graphic Design, both of which she established in 2019. She also helped to establish the MFA in Fine Art, for which she leads the Critical Theory modules.

Dr Bickley Trott welcomes PhD applications from students interested in British and French art from the nineteenth century to the present day, particularly those wishing to work on avant-garde communities, lesser-known figures of the avant-garde, and issues of class in western art.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught


  • Major Project (3rd year, Theory element)
  • Critical Essay (3rd year, Extended essay supervision)
  • Modernism and Avant-gardes (1st year)


  • Fine Art Theory 1: Topics in Contemporary Fine Art Culture
  • Fine Art Theory 2: Extended Critical Essay

Alexandra teaches topics on art theory and practice, covering Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary art.


Research grants and awards

  • Kahoon Projects, funded by Oxford Brookes University and Arts Council England.
  • Duncan Grant's Scoll, In Focus project, funded by Tate.

Research projects

Alexandra is Principal Investigator of 'Kahoon Projects', a platform for examining class identity in C21st Britain. In 2019 this included a series of contemporary artist residencies, community engagement, and performance, poetry and music events. This was hosted by SET Centres, and organised in collaboration with Roland Fischer-Vousden.

As part of this examination of working-class identity and cultures, Alexandra is also co-editor of 'The Working-Class Avant-Garde' (OLH Special Collection, forthcoming 2019), with Dr Leon Betsworth and Dr Nick Lee.

Alexandra recently completed a collaborative research project examining Duncan Grant's Abstract Kinetic Collage Painting. This was part of a Tate 'In Focus' commission.


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • External Examiner for the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art and Deisgn at Sotheby's Institute of Art.
  • Trustee, SET Centres, arts charity.


Selected Conference Papers

  • September 2019, 'Kahoon Projects: contemporary art residencies examining class in 21st century Britain’, Working-Class Studies Association conference, University of Kent.
  • June 2018, 'La Société du Bon Bock: Caricature, Beer and the Franco-Prussian War', New Geographies of Cultural Satire, Christ Church Oxford.
  • June 2017, ‘Bloomsbury’s Kinetic Body: the Ballets of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell”. International Virginia Woolf Society Conference, University of Reading.
  • June 2017, ‘“A Demon Dwelt in Him”: Madness, Consumption, and the Intangible Art of Fumisterie’. The City as Modernist Ephemera Conference, School of Arts & Creative Industries, LSBU. (Invited Speaker)
  • February 2017, ‘Transit Vans and Origami Swans’. Visual Cultures Research Forum, Queen Mary, University of London. (Invited Speaker)
  • December 2016, ‘“A Lion in the Skin of an Ass”: Fumist Paris and the Birth of Anti-Art’. Historical Modernisms symposium, Senate House, University of London
  • August 2014, ‘The Cercle des Hydropathes: A Liberal Utopia?’. European Network of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, University of Helsinki, International Conference
  • April 2014, ‘Your Body as My Canvas: Collective Identity and the Hydropathe Body in the Early Third Republic’. Modernist Communities International Conference, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III
  • January 2013, ‘Humour, satire and the denial of political cause in Parisian bohemian art’. University of Utrecht, Faculty of Humanities, Satire Across Borders International Conference
  • September 2012, ‘Battle in Bohemia: The Hydropathe Club as Social Protest in the Early Third Republic’. University of Kent, Centre for the Study of Social and Political Movements, Theory, Action and Impact ofSocial Protest.

Selected Event Organising

  • 'The Working-Class Avant-Garde', LSBU London, 22nd June 2018. In collaboration with Dr Leon Betsworth (LSBU) and Dr Nick Lee (Royal Holloway, University of London).
  • ‘Modernism & Ritual’, Research Panel at the European Network of Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies (EAM), hosted by the University of Helsinki, Finland. Organised and chaired with Dr Essi Viitanen (UCL), August 2014.
  • Conference Panel organiser: ‘Modernism’s Intermedialities from Futurism To Fluxus’, Research Panel at the Association of Art Historians (AAH) conference hosted by the Open University, Kent. Co-organised and chaired with Professor Christopher Townsend and Rhys Davies (RHUL), March 2012.
  • Convenor of ‘Future of Arts Research’, postgraduate conference, funded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, RHUL, held at the British Library, November 2011.

Further details

Other experience

  • Teaching Fellow, Department of French, Queen Mary University of London, 2013-2015.
  • Associate Lecturer, Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2011-2015.
  • Alexandra has previously worked with contemporary artist Eloise Hawser to help produce exhibitions for Tate Britain (Weight of Data, May-October 2015), the New Museum, New York (2015 Triennial: Surround Audience), and the ICA, London (Lives on Wire, June-September 2015).