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Marcus Wood

Marcus Archive


Marcus M. G. Wood


Date of birth:             7 October 1958



1971-77                     Sevenoaks School, Kent

1978-81                     St. Catherine's College, Oxford

1983-84 & 85-86     Painting School, Royal College of Art, London

1984-85                     Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass (Henry Fellow)

1986-87                     St. Catherine's College Oxford

1987-1990                Worcester College Oxford


July 1981 First Class Hons. B.A. (English), Oxford University

June 1986  MA (Painting) Royal College of Art, London

Oct.  1989 D. Phil. (English), Oxford University.  'Popular Satire in Early Nineteenth Century Radicalism'.  Supervisor John Bayley.


Oct 1987 - Sept. 1990  Michael Bromberg Fellow in the study of Prints, Worcester College Oxford.

Oct. 1990 - Sept. 1993 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, and Senior Research Fellow Worcester College, Oxford.  Artist in Residence, Ruskin School of Drawing.

Oct. 1993 - Sept. 1994 Stanford Lecturer in English, St. Catherine’s College Oxford.

July. 1994 Senior Lecturer in English, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (Position Resigned Sept. 1994)

Sept.  1994 - Oct 1995 Wingate Fellow, Researching Brazilian Slavery, São Paulo and Salvador Bahia.

Sept. 1995 - Sept. 1998 Senior Research Fellow, University of Manchester, Dept. English and American Studies.

Oct. 1998 - 2001 Lecturer University of Sussex, (Tenured August 2000)

Oct. 2001 Reader in English and American Studies, University of Sussex.

March 2003 – present  Professor, Dept. English University of Sussex.



1994 (reprinted, 1996) Radical Satire and Print Culture 1790-1822.  Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 318. 32 plates.

2000   Blind Memory, Visual Representations of Slavery in England and America 1780-1865. co. pub. Manchester University Press, Manchester, Routledge, New York, pp. 362, 180 plates.

2001 High Tar Babies, Race, Hatred, Slavery, Love, Clinamen Press, Manchester.

2003 Slavery, Empathy and Pornography, Oxford University Press, pp. 480.

2010 The Horrible Gift of Freedom:  Atlantic Slavery and the Representation of Emancipation,University of Georgia Press 516 pages, 171  black and white and colour illustrations.

2013 Black Milk: Imagining Slavery in the Visual Cultures of Brazil and America (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2019 (in press) The Black Butterfly, Slavery and Trauma in the Works of Castro Alves, Euclides da Cunha and Machado de Assis, University of Virginia Press.

2020 (forthcoming) Exploding Archives: Meditations on Slavery, America, Brazil and the Limits of Cultural Memory.  (110,000 words 60 plates).


2004 The Poetry of Slavery in England and America 1780-1865.  Oxford University Press, 780 pp.  16 plates.

Exhibition Catalogue

1990 Folly and Vice the Art of Satire and Social Criticism Art's Council Exhibition (Redstone Press, London) pp. 50.


1990-1998 Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine and Art New York Academy

Since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1986 I have kept up my career as a practising artist.  My work is in public and private collections in England, America, Denmark, Germany and Brazil.  My work and friendships with artists, gallery owners and critics provide me with a first hand knowledge of developments in contemporary art and its relation to English and American Literature.  My current London dealer is Anne Berthoud, and my Australian dealer Stephanie Burns.  While Bromberg Fellow I was invited, by Stephen Farthing, Master of the Ruskin School of Drawing, to take up the position of Artist in Residence for the academic year 1993-4.   I maintained  connections with the Ruskin as a visiting tutor teaching painting and printmaking and delivering lectures on subjects such as Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Steve MacQueen, Kara Walker.  From 2009 to the present I have been involved in a number of international performance, installation and film projects focused on giant soft sculptures and the elements.  These are all documented in detail and access to them and the resulting films are available within this website.

Recent major projects since 2000 include:

2000-2002 High Tar Babies The HTB project (sponsored by the AHRB and Elephant Trust) resulted in a one-man show at the Henry Moore Galleries, RCA, installations and a film.  HTB concerned contemporary constructions of the ‘Tar Baby’ myth.

2002-20005 Grubbing Around in Oceanic Ground encompassed a one man exhibition of paintings, prints, drawings and installations at the CSA gallery, Canberra April 2002; the sculpture ‘Six foot under’, now in the Australian National Sculpture Garden, Canberra; the short film ‘Grub the Movie’ supported by the Australian National Film Museum and Archive, Canberra (Bigslugsister Films, 2005 DVD). 

2006 The Great Blacks in Wax, Baltimore.  Documentary, 30 minutes (Bigslugsister Films, 2006 DVD).  The film has been screened at conferences and festivals in Baltimore, Padua, Melbourne, Dundee and most recently Rio de Janeiro.

2007 Bat  Installation of 12 ft. and 4 ft. wood, gold leaf, and marble dust baseball bats. Performance, ‘Kiss the Bat’ Gardener Centre, Unviersity of Sussex.  The film Bat released 2008, DVD, Bigslugister Productions.

2008 La Cucaracha   Performance and soft sculpture in Recife, Pernambuco, extrapolated from a short story by Clarice Lispector.

2008-9 (forthcoming) The Horrible Gift of Freedom.  Documentary 45 mins.  Covering the events generated in Great Britain and Ghana around the 2007 bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade.

2010-2011 Stick.  Performances Installation and film in various Locations Gurarat, Kashmir, Rajastahn India focused on a giant Hockey Stick.

2011-13 Swastik.  Performance films installations and visual art reclaiming the Indian Vedic Swastika from the Nazi Hakenkreutz.

"We are poor passing facts, warned by that to give each figure in the photograph his living name."  Robert Lowell

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