Dr Nina Lübbren

Deputy Head of Department

Principal Lecturer, Film Studies

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of English and Media

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Film, media and communication studies , Fine art

Courses taught: Film Studies, Film Studies and Media Studies

Nina researches visual narrative, focusing on 19th-century history and genre paintings. She's also working on the German Expressionist Gela Forster, in particular on her 1919 sculptures of women and men.

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Nina is currently completing a book on visual narrative in nineteenth-century European, mainly academic, history and genre painting. Her work draws on reception theory and narrative theory (narratology), with a strong methodological focus on close visual analysis. She's also started a new research project on the German Expressionist sculptor Gela Forster, looking at issues of gender politics in the Weimar Republic and the representation of post-war trauma.

Nina's past research has focused on landscape and peasant painting in the context of nineteenth-century rural artists' colonies, with an emphasis on geographical and tourism studies. She's also passionate about Bollywood cinema.

Nina completed her education (primary to PhD) in Jakarta (Indonesia), Sydney (Australia), Heidelberg and Berlin (Germany), Berkeley (California, USA) and Leeds (England). After graduation, she taught at Leeds, Birkbeck College and the Open University before joining Anglia Ruskin University. 

Before taking up her present role as Deputy Head of the Department of English and Media and Principal Lecturer in Film Studies, she was Senior Lecturer in Art History and Modern Visual Culture in Cambridge School of Art.

Nina warmly welcome research students in the areas of 19th-century art, narrative, German art and Indian cinema.

Research interests

  • Expressionist sculpture, especially by women sculptors
  • Visual narrative in 19th-century painting
  • 19th-century landscape
  • 19th-century academic painting
  • Rural artists' colonies
  • Narrative
  • Iconic script/word as image/word and image
  • Ottilie Reylaender
  • Gela Forster
  • Henri Regnault

Areas of research supervision

  • 19th-century art
  • Bollywood cinema
  • German art, 1850-1950


  • PhD History of Art, University of Leeds
  • MA Art History and Italian, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, Association of Art Historians (AAH)
  • Member, Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art (AHNCA)
  • Member, International Society for the Study of Narrative (ISSN)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Selected recent publications

Painting and Narrative in France, from Poussin to Gauguin, edited with Peter Cooke, Routledge / Ashgate, 2016.

'Eloquent Objects: Gérôme, Laurens and the art of inanimate narration', in Painting and Narrative in France (see above).

'Europäische Künstlerkolonien' ('European Artists' Colonies'), in Thomas Andratschke (ed.), Worpswede und die europäischen Künstlerkolonien, exh.cat. Landesmuseum Hannover, 2016.

Lübbren, N., 2010. The Objects of Genre. In: Baird, O. (Ed.). The Cranbrook Colony: Fresh Perspectives. Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Lübbren, N., 2010. Crime, Time and Gérôme's Death of Caesar. In: Allan, S. (Ed.). Reconsidering Gérôme. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute.

Lübbren, N., 2009. Narratives of Rural Life. In: McCullough, H. and Stott, A. (Eds.). Dutch Utopia. Savannah, Georgia:  Telfair Museum of Art.

Lübbren, N., 2007. Breakfast at Monet's: Giverny in the Context of European Artists' Colonies. In: Bourguignon, K. (Ed.). Giverny: International Artist Colony. Giverny:  Musée d'Art Américain, and Chicago:  Terra Foundation for American Art.

Lübbren, N. and Crouch, D. (Eds.), 2003. Visual Culture and Tourism. London: Berg.

Lübbren, N., 2003. North and South: Paradigm Shifts in European Art and Tourism, 1880-1920. In: Lübbren, N. and Crouch, D. (Eds.). Visual Culture and Tourism. London: Berg.

Lübbren, N., 2002. Toilers of the Sea: Fisherfolk and the Geographies of Tourism in England, 1880-1900. In: Peters Corbett, D., Holt, Y. and Russell, F. (Eds.). The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past 1880-1940. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Lübbren, N., 2001.Rural Artists' Colonies in Europe, 1870-1910. Manchester: Manchester University Press and New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.