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Languages, Cultures and Visual Studies

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Mr Sebastian Tym

PhD Student


Sebastian Tym is a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter. Sebastian is a specialist of the art, history, and philosophical edifice of Napoleonic France, with a particular research interest in visual representations of the complex and politically charged interplay between past, present, and future, under both Napoleonic empires. His doctoral thesis concerns an illustrated polemic from the period of the Crimean War by the artist Gustave Doré, titled Histoire Dramatique, pittoresque et caricaturale de la Sainte Russie (1854).

In 2019, Sebastian was awarded a First-Class Masters by Research (ResM) degree in Art History at the University of Plymouth, where he finished top of his class. Since then, he has maintained a still-unsatisfied fascination with the life and work of Gustave Doré, whom he continues to write about today. In 2021, Sebastian presented new research exploring a series of allegorical canvasses by Doré which put in dialogue the Theban Cycle of Aeschylus and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 at the major international conference marking the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune, The Commune and Its Others: An Outsider’s History of 1871, at Durham University and the Bowes Museum. A short collected volume of the conference proceedings is forthcoming. In 2022, he chaired the inaugural annual postgraduate conference in art history at the University of Exeter, titled Common Place, which sought to explore notions of commonality and exceptionality in both art and related scholarship.

Since 2020, Sebastian has also been a Postgraduate Teaching Associate (PTA) at Exeter, as well as the PTA Rep for Art History and Visual Culture. He currently teaches several modules between AHVC and Modern Languages (French). In 2022/23, these include:

AHV1011 – Questions and Methods in Art History  

AHV1006 – Visual Media 

MLF1121 – French Visual History  

MLF1017 - The Making of Modern France

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