Fine Art

BFA Freshers’ Suggested Reading List:
History & Theory of Visual Culture 2020

  • Aranda, Julieta, et al: What is Contemporary Art? (E-flux publishing)
  • Barthes, Roland: Camera Lucida (Vintage)
  • Chambers, Eddie: Black Artists in British Art (I.B. Tauris)
  • Kalb, Peter: Art Since 1980 (Laurence King)
  • Lorde, Audre: The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House (Penguin)
  • Stallabrass, Julian: Contemporary Art (Oxford)
  • Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt: The Mushroom at the End of the World (Princeton)

These are not set texts, just suggestions of books that contemporary art students often find useful or stimulating. You might also take a look at a couple of excellent series and, following your own interests, choose one work or theme to explore in more depth:

It is also well worth reading art magazines like Frieze (, Art Monthly (, and e-flux (

There is a useful repository of moving image and sound art, called Ubuweb, at

The Tate Modern website also has links to articles and videos on contemporary art and artists:

Study skills for incoming undergraduates

As an Oxford student, you have many great opportunities ahead, but studying here can also be very challenging. To help you prepare for this, we have put together some resources that will help you develop your study skills before you start at Oxford, no matter your subject.

Starting at Oxford

Starting a course at Oxford can be very daunting, but there are many resources out there to help you succeed! Here are some useful guides from across the University that you might want to check out:

  • Study skills and training: Here you can find advice on academic good practice including avoiding plagiarism, managing your time, reading, note taking, referencing and revision.
  • Student life: It’s not all about academics at Oxford; here you can find out about the range of other opportunities available to you as a student, as well as tips on how to navigate student life with your workload. If you prefer podcasts, much of this information is available in that form here!
  • Managing the cost: Undergraduate students Helena, Joe and Dan, have teamed up with the University’s Undergraduate Admissions team to discuss the financial support available to students and how they manage the cost of studying at Oxford.

Useful contacts

If you have any questions that aren’t answered on this page, you can get in touch with the following people:

ContactQuestions they can answer
Admissions Office: Sarah JonesAnything to do with offers, visas, UCAS issues, reading lists and preparatory materials
Accommodation OfficeAccommodation, what to bring, insurance, electoral roll issues  
BursaryAll things financial
College OfficePractical arrangements, bank letters, etc.
Disability enquiries: Elaine EastgateAny issues relating to disability or special requirements