Ruth Pelzer-Montada


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Areas of interest: Contemporary art, especially expanded print practices; photography; installation; intermediality; drawing,
Key words: craft, technology, technique; discursivity, citationality and performativity; haptics and surface; ‘screen’, ‘skin’ and the ‘imprint’; multi-and/or intermediality; repetition, copy, reproduction; materiality; narrative in contemporary art; print in the public sphere; the frame in printed art

Personal profile


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Dundee
A Poetics of Repetition. Theory and Practice in/of Printmaking

Bachelor of Arts (Painting), Edinburgh College of Art

Master of Arts (German Literature and Political Science), Rupprecht-Karl-Universität, Heidelberg

Master of Education, Rupprecht-Karl-Universität, Heidelberg 


Dr Ruth Pelzer-Montada is an artist and scholar with a particular interest in print media. She holds a PhD in art practice, a BA(hons) in Painting from ECA and an undergraduate and postgraduate degree  in German Literature and Political Science from the University of Heidelberg. She has been teaching Visual Culture and historical and critical studies at ECA and other Scottish art colleges while pursuing her research through both artistic projects and writing. Her work has been exhibited in Scotland and abroad. Her writing has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals and conference publications and online. She is currently completing a book project Print Matters. An anthology of critical writing on prints and printmaking since 1986 for Manchester University Press.

Between 2010-2012 she acted as external examiner for Printmaking at National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

From 2004 to 2007 Ruth was an elected member of the Council of the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA).


As a lecturer at ECA and other national and international art colleges, both in the seminar room and studio, Ruth has taught a wide range of art and design-related subjects over the course of thirty years, at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Specialist undergraduate courses developed by Ruth include the history and theory of photography; postmodern, postcolonial and identity theories in relation to art and, narrative in contemporary art. At Masters level she has contributed to art theory and curating courses. She is currently largely involved in PhD supervision and admission.

Research Interests

The juncture of art practice and visual and material culture discourses are at the centre of Ruth’s research. Her teaching and research are closely intertwined. Since 1998 her artistic practice has involved printmaking and installation. Her critical and theoretical concerns in turn have been informed by her artistic practice. The notion of ‘repetition as difference’ serves as a practical and poetic metaphor for this interweaving of a multi-dimensionally understood ‘practice’ and ‘theory’ relationship. Ruth has been particularly interested in contributing to the development of a critical discourse on print media in the context of contemporary art.

She is a member of the Material/Technê/Materialisms and Futurity / Society / Action ECA research clusters.

Current Research Interests

In addition to developing her artistic practice and curatorial activity, Ruth has contributed to numerous international conferences and peer-reviewed as well as subject-specific publications, such as Art Journal, Visual Culture in Britain, Print Quarterly, IMPACT Conference Proceedings and Art in Print. She has also written catalogue essays and gallery texts for artists.

Her academic writing and art criticism has explored a range of concepts and themes affiliated with contemporary cultural and aesthetic practices, especially in relation to prints/printmaking. These include:

  • notions of ‘craft’, ‘technology’, ‘technique’;
  • discursivity, citationality and performativity;
  • haptics and surface;
  • ‘screen’, ‘skin’ and the ‘imprint’;
  • multi-and/or intermedial practices;
  • the sonorous quality of visual art;
  • the material aesthetic of paper;
  • drawing and printmaking;
  • translation and copy;
  • print and narrative;
  • printmaking and the problematics of vision in photography;
  • changing notions of the frame in contemporary art and print
  • the ‘post-productive’ aspect of arts-based research.

Research students

Current PHD students

Rachel Adams, School of Art (SGSAH - Scottish Graduate School Arts and Humanities Research Award)

Leanne Gonczarow, School of Art (SGSAH - Scottish Graduate School Arts and Humanities Research Award)

Sandra de Rycker, School of Design (SGSAH - Scottish Graduate School Arts and Humanities Research Award)

Julia Smith, History of Art (completed 2022)

Matthew Attard, School of Design

Elizabeth Palmer, School of Art (ECA PhD Award)

Miriam Hancill, School of Art (ECA PhD Award)

Rita Mahfouz, School of Art and History of Art (ECA PhD Award)

External positions

External Examiner, Royal College of Art


External Examiner, National College of Art and Design Ireland



  • NC Drawing Design Illustration
  • drawing and print
  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • photography and print
  • NE Print media
  • print and craft
  • print and technology
  • print and surface
  • print and screen
  • print and the public sphere
  • the frames of print
  • ND Painting


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