Dr Lauren Walden
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Contemporary Chinese Art
Dr Lauren Walden's first degree was in Modern and Medieval Languages (French and Spanish) at the University of Cambridge. Having gained linguistic fluency, her cultural interests broadened beyond literature and an interest in visual arts and cultural institutions emerged. This was initially met by a Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Newcastle. Lauren was lucky enough to have received a Special Exhibition Scholarship at Coventry University for a fully-funded Phd in Art History which was awarded in May 2019.
Lauren's doctoral research elaborated a re-writing of Surrealism's cultural memory as cosmopolitan. She couched Surrealist photography as a pivotal vector in the dissemination of non-European iconographies as diverse as Africa, Oceania, Latin America and China. Her research includes a chapter on Chinese photographer Lang Jingshan and interrogates his relationship with Man Ray. In September 2019, she began a Research Assistant post attached to the AHRC funded project "Postwar Urban Reconstruction in China, 1938-1958". In March 2020, she commenced a postdoctoral fellowship in Chinese Contemporary Art at Birmingham City University.
Lauren is currently working on a short book publication entitled 'Surrealism in Shanghai' supported by the Fondation Giacometti in Paris. She is fluent in French and Spanish with advanced Chinese, which she studied in her spare time alongside her Phd. She has obtained associate fellow of Advance HE (higher education academy) and will be taking up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Birmingham City University from September 2021.