Dr Robert J. Wallis

Dr Robert J. Wallis

Dr Robert J. Wallis

Professor of Visual Culture Associate Dean of MA Programmes Convenor of the MA in Art History and Visual Culture School of Communications, Arts and Social Sciences


PhD in Archaeology (1996-99), University of Southampton, submitted 1999, awarded 2000
MA (Distinction) Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art (1995-1996), University of Southampton
BA (Hons) Archaeology 2:1 (1992-1995), University of Southampton
Associate Professor of Visual Culture, Richmond University (2005-2010)
Director, MA in Art History and Visual Culture, Richmond University (2007-2013)
Associate Director of MA in Art History, Richmond University (2002-2007)
Assistant Professor of Visual Culture, Richmond University (2002-2005)
Research Fellow, Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton (2002-2003)
Lecturer in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton (2001-2002)
Convenor, MA Archaeology & Anthropology of Rock Art, University of Southampton (2001-2002)
Part-time Lecturer in Cultural Studies, University of Winchester (2001-2002)
Co-ordinator of Archaeology (Adult Education), University of Southampton (2000-2001)
Part-time Lecturer, Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton (1999-2001)

Faculty Research
Wallis, R. J. 2019. ‘Art and Shamanism: from Cave Painting to the White Cube’. Religions (Special Issue: Explorations in the Practice and Theory of Shamanism: A Collaborative Project Between China and the West). Religions 10(54): 1-21. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/10/1/54

‘I know those spells’: Staves for ‘Sayings of the High One’. Introductory essay to artist’s monograph by Jesse Bransford, ‘A Book of Staves: Galdrastafabók’: xv-xxiii. London: Fulgur.

‘As the Falcon Her Bells’ at Sutton Hoo? Falconry in Early Anglo-Saxon England. Archaeological Journal of The Royal Archaeological Institute, 2017: 1-28.

Witchcraft and magic in the age of anthropology. In: O. Davies (ed.) The Oxford Illustrated History of Witchcraft and Magic: 225-252 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism (co-authored with Graham Harvey). (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, second revised and expanded edition 2016).

‘”To claim a great antiquity for that diversion”:  re-examining the earliest evidence for falconry’. The Falconer (July), 2015: 58-71.

Paganism, archaeology and folklore in twenty-first century Britain: the case study of ‘The Stonehenge Ancestors’. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion: Special Issue: Religion, Archaeology and Folklore 28(2), 2015: 129-157

‘Re-examining prehistoric stone “wrist-guards” as evidence for falconry in later prehistoric Britain.
Antiquity 88(340), 2014: 411-424.

‘Animism, ancestors and adjusted styles of communication: hidden art in Irish passage tombs. In: T. Meier and P. Tillessen (eds) Archaeological Imaginations of Religion: 283-314. (Budapest: Archaeolingua, 2014).

‘Animism and the interpretation of rock art’, special issue on rock art of Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture 6(1), 2013: 21-28.

‘Bouncing on a huge inflatable Stonehenge: Considering Sacrilege by Jeremy Deller’, World Art, 3(2), 2013: 1-23.

‘Exorcising ‘spirits’: approaching ‘shamans’ and rock art animically’,. in: G. Harvey (ed.) Handbook of Contemporary Animism: 307-324. (Durham: Acumen, 2013).

‘Pagans in place, from Stonehenge to Seahenge: ‘sacred’ archaeological monuments and artefacts in Britain’, in: T. A. Heslop, E. Mellings and M. Thofner (eds) Art, Faith and Place in East Anglia: From Prehistory to the Present: 273-286. (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2012).

‘Entangled – Within the Liberty Realm of Catharyne Ward’, in: ‘Libery Realm: Cathy Ward’, artist’s monograph, ‘published on the occasion of the ‘Unstable’ exhibition at Maggs Counterculture, London, May 2012’: unpaginated. (London: Strange Attractor Press, 2012).

Negotiating archaeology/spirituality: Pagan engagements with the prehistoric past in Britain’, (with J. Blain,) in: K. Rountree, C. Morris and A. Peatfield (eds) Archaeology of Spiritualities: 47-68. One World Archaeology Series. (London and New York: Springer, 2012).

‘Neoshamanisms in Europe’, in: N. Drury (ed.) Pathways in Modern Western Magic: 127-158. (Richmond, California: Concrescent Scholars, 2012).

‘Austin Osman Spare, visionary shaman: deconstructing the myth’, in: S. Pochen (ed.) Austin Osman Spare: Fallen Visionary: Refractions: Cuming Museum 2010: 119-133. (London: The Jerusalem Press, 2012).

‘From respect to reburial: negotiating Pagan interest in prehistoric human remains in Britain, through the Avebury consultation’ (with Jenny Blain). Public Archaeology 10(1), 2011: 23-45.

‘Re-enchanting rock art landscapes: animic ontologies, non-human agency and rhizomic personhood. Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture 2(1), 2009: 47-70.

Antiquaries and Archaists: The Past in the Past, the Past in the Present (coedited with Megan Aldrich). (Reading, Berkshire: Spire Books, 2009).

Get in Touch

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I teach on:
MA in Art History and Visual Culture – distinctive in its intercultural approach to the visual arts and professional training including an optional accredited internship. I supervise dissertations and teach the course ‘World Arts’ examining museums and the archaeology and anthropology of art.

Some of the courses I teach:

AVC 5415 – Art of Prehistoric Europe
AVC 7103 – World Arts
AVC 7500 – Thesis Research
HST 5440 – Anglo-Saxons and Vikings

Research Centres:
International Visual Arts and Cultures (IVAC)

Research Interest & Expertise:
In am interested in the archaeology and anthropology of art and religion. I specialise in prehistoric rock art, particularly in animistic and shamanistic contexts; the use of archaeology and anthropology by today’s Pagans and neo-Shamans; and how modern and contemporary artists have engaged with shamanism. I have published extensively on these topics, including six books, dozens of journal articles, book chapters, book and exhibition reviews, and over 100 conference presentations and public lectures internationally.