Mary Ikoniadou

Dr. Mary Ikoniadou

Lecturer in Photography

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Media Factory, ME201

+44 (0) 1772 89 4751

Dr Mary Ikoniadou is a Lecturer in Photography at the School of Art, Design and Fashion where she lectures on Critical Theory and Critical Practices as well as leading the third-year Dissertation and Extended Research Project modules. Her research interests cluster around the intersection of visual culture and the history of culture, design and photography during the Cold War.

Full Profile

Mary received her Ph.D. in Visual Culture from the Postgraduate Arts & Humanities Centre (PAHC) at Manchester Metropolitan University. She holds an MA (Distinction) from Chelsea College of Arts and a BA from Camberwell College of Arts, both at the University of the Arts London. Before joining the academic staff at UCLan, Mary was, amongst others, a Research Fellow at the Jan van Eyck Academie in the Netherlands, a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and a Graphic Design practitioner in London — working in collaboration with artists, curators, publishers and cultural institutions. For the last ten years, Mary has lectured undergraduate and postgraduate modules in art and design critical history and theory as well as critical studio practice in several UK universities. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Research Interests & Activity

Mary’s research focuses on the ways conscious design, the juxtaposition of image and text and the entanglement of visual and material objects amongst cultural producers and participants encourage aesthetic and political shifts and can intervene in the sociopolitical sphere.

Mary’s research has been supported by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the Jean Monet Centre of Excellence, the Jan van Eyck Akademie, the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the City of Maastricht and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as well as the Modern Greek Studies Association and the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland amongst other academic support.

Mary has presented her research in numerous national and international academic conferences including more recently the Association of Art Historians Annual Conference (2019) where she also co-convened a session (Visual Solidarities: Crossing Borders in Aesthetic Practices). She has co-organised an international conference (2018, Pictures of War: The Still Image in Conflict since 1945) and three research-based events that invited the participation of the scholarly community and the general public (Ways of Unlearning; Common Senses; Imagery of Crisis).

She has exhibited, held artist residencies and participated in publishing fairs internationally.


Mary’s teaching ranges from the history and theory of photography to methodological approaches in visual culture as well as the relationship of images, to texts and contexts across cultural histories and critical practices.

Mary is keen to supervise postgraduate students in any of her areas of research interest such as on the role of print and publishing cultures as political practices, refugee publishing, periodical studies, Cold War visual culture, the study of visual and material activism and solidarity, or their convergence.


  • AAH, Association for Art History
  • ESPRit, European Society for Periodical Research
  • HEA, Higher Education Academy Fellow   
  • JVEA, Jan Van Eyck Akademie Alumni Association (Organising Committee Member 2015-2016)
  • MGSA, The Modern Greek Studies Association
  • Photography Research Group (University of Central Lancashire)
  • WIGS, Women in German Studies


Mary has published on the ways in which political refugee populations and their solidarity networks in socialist and third-world countries mobilised the qualities of illustrated magazines to negotiate national belongings and internationalist sentiments and on the unstable relationship of pictures to conflicts.

Co-editor of Refereed Special Issue Journal

Aulich, Jim and Ikoniadou, Mary (ed.), “Pictures and Conflicts since 1945”, Special issue, Humanities, MDPI. (2019) [Open Source]

Book Chapters

Ikoniadou, Mary, “We Are and We Remain Greeks”. The Radically Patriotic Discourse in Pyrsos Magazine, GDR, 1961–1968’, In The Politics of Culture in Turkey, Greece & Cyprus: Performing The Left Since The 1960s, edited by Leonidas Karakatsanis and Nikolaos Papadogiannis (London and New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 184-207.

Ikoniadou, Mary, ‘Re-claiming Greek national history in the GDR in the 1960s. The case of Pyrsos illustrated magazine’ In Deutsch-Griechische Beziehungen Im Ostdeutschen Staatssozialismus (1949-1989). Politische Migration, Realpolitik Und Interkulturelle Begegnung, edited by Marco Hillemann and Miltos Pechlivanos (Berlin: Edition Romiosini/CeMoG, Freie Universitt Berlin, 2017), pp. 123-133.

Non-Refereed Articles

Visual Essay Ikoniadou, Mary, “The Historicization of Resistance In Pyrsos Magazine; Some Visual Fragments”, Counter-Signals, 2018, pp. 54-68. 

ORCID identifier: 0000-0002-6572-9148

Conferences and Invited Presentations

Reclaiming National History through Brechtian Dialectics in Πυρσός Illustrated Magazine in the 1960s’. Paper presented at the 26th Modern Greek Studies Association Symposium, California State University (Sacramento, 7-10 November 2019).

‘Image & text in the production of national cultural identities in the Cold War’. Paper presented at the 8th European Society for Periodical Research Conference: Periodicals and Visual Culture, Panteion University (Athens, 11-13 September 2019).

‘Greece in the Third World. The aesthetics of solidarity in Pyrsos magazine’. Paper at The Radical Sixties: Aesthetics, Politics and Histories of Solidarity, University of Brighton (Brighton, 27- 29 June 2019).

‘We Are and We Remain Greeks. The Radical Patriotic Discourse in Pyrsos Magazine,
GDR, 1961–1968’. Invited presentation. Bangor University, (Bangor, 3 May 2017).

‘Image and Text in the Construction of Greek National Imaginaries: Pyrsos Magazine
in the GDR, 1961–1968’. Paper presented at the 21st Postgraduate Students’ Conference, German Historical Institute, (London, 12-13 January 2017).

Conferences and Invited Presentations (Cont.)

‘Re-claiming Greece from within the GDR. Nikos Manousis and the visual economy
of Pyrsos illustrated magazine’. Paper presented at Cold Atlantic. Cultural War, Dissident Artistic Practices, Networks and Contact Zones at the time of the Iron Curtain, conference and PGR workshop, (Madrid & Barcelona, 8-9 September 2016).

The Greek-language press in the GDR: the case study of Pyrsos illustrated magazine’. Invited paper at the Deutsch-griechische Beziehungen im ostdeutschen Staatssozialismus (1949-1989), Freie Universität Berlin, (Berlin, 22-23 April 2015).

‘Re-presentations of the Greek Landscape. Fragments of historical time in Pyrsos magazine’. Paper at the 24th Symposium of the Modern Greek Studies Association, Georgia State University, (Atlanta, 15-18 October 2015).

‘Images of Greekness; the visual and the imaginary in Pyrsos magazine, 1961-1968’,
Paper presented at the Jan Van Eyck Association in collaboration with the 8th Berlin Biennale, Crash Pad, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, (Berlin, 24 July 2014). 

Conference and Events organised

Visualising Solidarities: Crossing borders in aesthetic practices. Co-organised the titled panel (with Zeina Maasri) and presented a paper at the Association for Art History Annual Conference, University of Brighton (Brighton, 4–6 April 2019).    
Pictures of War: The Still Image in Conflict since 1945. Co-organised the conference (with Prof Jim Aulich et al) and organised the panel ‘Pictures on the Move, Visualising Solidarities’ Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester, 24–25 May 2018).

Ways of unlearning. Co-organised the research event on practices and processes of knowledge production in art and design, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester, 5 July 2017).

JVEA, Jan Van Eyck Association. Organising committee and panel discussant, Vierte Welt, (Berlin, 28 July-7 August 2015).