Allan Antliff

Allan Antliff
Art History & Visual Studies
Office: Fine Arts 137

BA (Waterloo), MA (Queen's), MA & PhD (Delaware)

Area of expertise

Modern American and European art, Contemporary art, Anarchist studies

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 journal Anarchist Studies  and editor of 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; theater; protest movements, and aesthetics.  In his role as art critic he has published numerous art reviews and feature articles in journals such as SubStance, Canadian Art Magazine, C Magazine, and BlackFlash.  He has also contributed to exhibition catalogs for the Musee Du Luxemburg, 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).

Guernica - A Political Odyssey on the CBC | Gateway to Art

Art, Anarchy & Activism on the CBC | Gateway to Art

Selected professional achievements

Canada Research Chair, 2008-2013 
Canada Research Chair, 2003-2008
Director, Anarchist Archive, UVic, 2005-present

Selected publications


Joseph Beuys. London: Phaidon Press, 2014.

Anarchy and Art: From the Paris Commune to the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2007, pp. 213; Portuguese ed., 2009; revised and expanded German ed., 2011; Korean ed., 2015; Farsi ed., 2020

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

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

Edited journals

Guest co-editor, “Special Issue: George Woodcock,” Anarchist Studies 23:1 (2015): pp. 132.

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.

Book chapters, articles, interviews and art criticism

"Divine Fire: Alfred Stieglitz's Anarchism," With Freedom in Our Ears: Histories of Jewish Anarchism, Kenyon Zimmer and Anna Torres, eds. (Bloomington, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2022) 173-193.

"The Black and Red Edition," On the Poverty of Student Life, Anna O'Meara and Mehdi El Hajoui, eds. (New York, NY: Common Notions Press, 2022), 67-78.

“Afterward: Agitating Beauty: The Anarchist Politics of the Book” in Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: An Illuminated Factor in Evolution, illustrated by N.O. Bozo (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2021), 224-269.

“Rompend com a lógica capitalista de uma pandemia (Rupturing the Capitalist Logic of a Pandemic),” Pandemia e Anarquia, Edson Passetti, João da Mata, and José Maria Carvalho Ferreira, eds. (São Paulo/Brazil, Hedra, 2021), 39-47.

“Indigeneity, Sovereignty, Anarchy: A dialog with many voices” (interview with Gord Hill), Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies no. 1 (2021): 99-118.

“Timothy Hyman: Anarchism and the ‘Ideal Picture’” (interview with Timothy Hyman) Anarchist Studies 29:1 (2021): 5-18.

“Clyfford Still on the Margins of Anarchy,” 27:3 Modernism/Modernity (2020): 491-517.

“Aesthetics of Tension,” The Anarchist Imagination: Anarchism Encounters the Humanities and Social Sciences, Carl Levy and Saul Newman, eds. (London: Routledge, 2019), 229-239.

“Decolonizing Modernism: Robert Henri’s Portraits of the Tewa Pueblo Peoples of New Mexico,” The Art Bulletin 100:4 (2018): 106-132.

“Pedagogical Subversion: The ‘Un-American’ Graphics of Kevin Pyle,” SubStance: A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism 46:2 (2017), pp. 95-109.

“Poetic Tension, Aesthetic Cruelty: Paul Goodman, Antonin Artaud and the Living Theatre,” Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies no. 4 (2015):  3-30; (reprint) Tensione poetica, crudeltà estetica: Paul Goodman, Antonin Artaud e il teatro vivente/ Poetic Tension, Aesthetic Cruelty: Paul Goodman, Antonin Artaud and the Living Theatre. (Naples: Foundatione Morra, 2017.

“Utopie Vivante,” Pissarro à Éragny: La nature retrouvée (Paris: Musée Du Luxemburg, 2017), pp. 39-46.

“Anarchism and Aesthetics,” A Companion to Anarchist Philosophy, Nathan Jun ed. (London: Brill Press, 2017), pp. 39-50.

“Aestheticizing Revolution,” Anarchism 1914-1918: Internationalism, Anti-Militarism, and War, Matthew Adams and Ruth Kinna, eds. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017), pp. 223-242.

“Glamourized,” New Perspectives for Contemporary Music in the 21st Century, Daniel Biro and Kai Johannes Polzhofer, eds. (Hofheim, Germany: Wolke Verlag, 2016), pp. 11-18.

“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 19:1 (2011), pp. 98-106.

“Adrian Blackwell’s Anarchitecture,” Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies 1:1 (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.

 “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.