Fiona Loughnane

BA, M.Litt


History & Theory of Photography, Visual Culture, Visual Anthropology, Archives, Postcolonial Studies, Irish Studies

Fiona Loughnane is a lecturer in the School of Visual Culture and also lectures on the CEAD course ‘Theories and Concepts in Critical Cultures’. She has previously worked as an associate lecturer with the Open University, and for the Education Dept. of The National Gallery of Ireland. She has a Diploma in Art & Design (GMIT 1993), BA (UCD 1997) and M.Litt (NCAD 2005). Her ongoing PhD research investigates the photographic cultures of Irish Catholic evangelists in Africa.

i) Book chapters/ Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

(2022) ‘Foetal Images on Political Posters: Bodily Intimacy, Public Display and the Mutability of Photographic Meaning’ Feminist Encounters 6 (1) available at:

(2018) “'With the Eyes of Another Race': Congo Atrocity Photographs and the Commemoration of Easter 1916” in Review of Irish Studies in Europe (RISE) 2 (2) pp 19-39 available at:

(2015) “Irish Catholic Mission Photography” and “A Document of Civility and Unity: The Maxwell Presentation Album” in Ryan, Salvador (ed) The Treasures of Irish Christianity III: To the Ends of the Earth, Dublin: Veritas pp 156-160; 218-222

(2011) “F.E.McWilliam and Surrealism in Britain” in Coulter, Riann (ed) The Surreal in Irish Art, Banbridge: F.E.McWilliam Gallery and Studio, pp 34 – 41

(2008) “Materialism and Idealism: The Influence of Salvador Dalí on Colin Middleton” Artefact, Issue 2, pp 29-44

ii) Selected reviews, catalogue essays, other writing

(2021) Claudia Kinmonth Irish Country Furniture and Furnishings 1700-2000, book review for Journal of Social History Curators Group

(2018) with Ann Curran and Dr. Orla Fitzpatrick “I'm a poster, receive my message” Source Photographic Review, no 94, pp 24-27

(2016) “Bertien van Manen: Beyond Maps and Atlases” (review)

(2014) “What is Surrealism” essay for 'What Is' education programme booklet, Irish Museum of Modern Art

(2013) “Construction X for a Second Time” (review) Critical Bastards, no 8

(2012) “Borrowed Memories” catalogue essay for Luan Gallery, Athlone

(2011) “What is Photography” essay for 'What Is' education programme booklet, Irish Museum of Modern Art

My research engages with Irish imaginaries of Africa as expressed in vernacular photography. I have expertise in visual culture, the history and theory of photography, postcolonial studies and modernity and modernism in Ireland.

My current PhD studies investigate the photographic economies of Catholic missions from Ireland to Africa in the twentieth century – with an emphasis on photograph albums. These layered artefacts occupy not only a space between cultures, but also between the personal and the institutional, the visual, the textual and the material. These albums have been located and recorded through extensive, archival research in Irish missionary institutes. The distinct characteristics of these archives, and of the photograph albums within them, provide a provocative example through which different approaches to colonial knowledge are explored and elucidate the complex position of Ireland as both subject and author of a colonial imaginary.

Together with Ann Curran (TU Dublin, School of Media) and Dr Orla Fitzpatrick (NMI) founded 'Photography/ Archives/ Ireland' to bring together shared interests in Irish photographic history, practice and archives.

Events organised to date:

The symposium 'Photography/ Archives/ Ireland' held in TU Dublin November 2017

“The Politics of the Long Haul” – with the photographers Laia Abril, Emma Campbell and Sarah Cullen – held in NCAD in May 2018

“Photography and the Museum: Contradictory Histories and Contemporary Perspectives” – with speakers Eléonore Challine (University of Paris, Sorbonne-Pantheon); Alison Nordström (Museum Associate Peabody Museum, Harvard); Marco de Mutiis (Fotomuseum, Winterthur) – held in conjunction with The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Dublin Castle, July 2019. Further information is available at:

Involved in the 'What Is' programme with the Education Dept. of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, writing an introductory texts and giving talks on the topics 'What is Photography?' and 'What is Surrealism?'.

From 2009-2012, an editor of Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians.

2022 Travel Grant from Photography Network

2022 Staff development funding NCAD

2018 Awarded a Royal Historical Society Travel Bursary

2015 Awarded the Thomas Dammann Scholarship