Allan Antliff

Ph.D. University of Delaware
Associate Professor
Modern and Contemporary Art, Anarchist Studies

Fine Arts Building 137
By appointment| Phone 250-721-6303


Areas of Research

  • Modernism in the United States and Europe
  • Contemporary Art
  • Anarchist Studies



  • On Leave

Brief Biography

Allan began his appointment as Canada Research Chair at University of Victoria in 2003. He has taught courses on activism and art; anarchist aesthetics; Russian Constructivism; New York Dada and a host of other subjects dealing with modernism and contemporary art. In addition to his art historical work, he is Director of the Anarchist Archive at U.Vic.,
where he is involved in archival acquisitions and the development of the Archive’s Digitization Centre and on-line Virtual Archive. Allan is art editor for the interdisciplinary journals Anarchist Studies and Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies.

Allan has authored three books and is editor of Only a Beginning, an anthology of the anarchist movement in Canada.  Active as a theorist and art historian, he has written on a wide range of topics including pedagogy; post-structuralism; new media; and aesthetics.  In his role as art critic he has published numerous art reviews and feature articles in journals such as Canadian Art Magazine, Fuse, C Magazine, and Galleries West.  He has also contributed to exhibition catalogs for the Whitney Museum of Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and other institutions. Allan has produced two feature programs for CBC Radio (Guernica: A Political Odyssey, 2007; Anarchy, Art and Activism, 2002).

Selected Professional Achievements

Canada Research Chair, 2008-2013
Canada Research Chair, 2003-2008
Director, Anarchist Archive, U.Vic, 2005-present

Selected Publications


Joseph Beuys. London: Phaidon Press, 2014.

Anarchy and Art: From the Paris Commune to the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007, pp. 213 Portuguese ed., 2009; revised and expanded German ed., 2011

Anarchist Modernism: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-Garde
. University of Chicago Press, 2001, pp. 292 paperback edition, 2007

ed. Only a Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004, pp. 406 (folio)



Guest Editor, “Special Issue: Anarchist Modernism in Print,” Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 4:2 (2013), pp. 299

Guest Editor, “Art and Anarchy,” Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies 2:2 (2011),  pp.213



“Participatory Surveillance & the Internet Commons,”BlackFlash: Art, Photography, New Media 29:3 (2013), pp. 32-39.

“Ezra Pound, Man Ray and Vorticism in America, 1914-1917,” Vorticism: New Perspectives, Scott Klein and Mark Antliff, eds. (London: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 139-155.

“Stieglitz parmi les anarchists, ”Carrefour Alfred Stieglitz: Colloque de Cerisy, Jay Bochner and Jean-Pierre Montier, eds. (Paris: PU Rennes, 2012), pp. 39-55.

“Anarchism and Art History,” The Continuum Companion to Anarchism Ruth Kinna, ed. (London: Continuum Press, 2012), pp. 72-85.

“Parodying Degeneration,” Boris Lurie: Prologue To a Retrospective (New York: Boris Lurie Foundation/Pierre Menard Gallery, 2011), pp. 15-19.

“David Goodway Critiques Herbert Read,” Anarchist Studies 19 no. 1 (2011), pp. 98-106.

“Adrian Blackwell’s Anarchitecture,” Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies 1, no. 1 (2010), pp. 165-180.

“Interview mit Allan Antliff und Richard Day,” Von Jakarta bis Johannesburg: Anarchismus Weltweit, Sebastian Kalicha and Gabriel Kuhn, eds. Berlin: Unrast-Verlag, 2010, pp. 305-317.

“Response: Au Travail/At Work,” Byproduct: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices, Marisa John, ed. (Toronto: YYZ Books, 2010), pp. 100.

“Donald Judd’s First Element,” The Writings of Donald Judd: Chinati Foundation Symposium, Marfa, TX: Chinati Foundation, 2009, pp. 173-192.

“We are all Anarchists” and “Anarchy at Documenta,” Luis Jacob: Towards a Theory of Impressionist and Expressionist Spectatorship Köln: Verlag der Buchenhandlung Walther König, 2009, pp. 47-52; 135-142 German/English).

“Open Form and the Abstract Imperative,” Re-Reading Read: New Views on Herbert Read, Michael Paraskos, ed. London: Freedom Press, 2008, pp. 33-43.

“Luis Jacob,” Documenta Kassel: 16/06-23/09 Berlin: Taschen, 2007, pp. 172; 262.

“Breaking Free: Anarchist Pedagogy,” Radical Experiments in Utopian Pedagogy: Confronting Neoliberalism in the Age of Globalization. Mark Coté, Richard Day, Greig de Peuter. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007, pp. 248-265.

“Anarchy, Power, and Post-Structuralism,” Substance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism, Special Issue on “Anarchism and Literature” 36 no. 2 (2007), pp. 56-66; reprinted in Post-Anarchism: A Reader, Duane Rousselle and Süreyyya Evren, eds. London: Pluto Press (2011), pp. 160-167.