Helen Potkin


I am an art historian interested in the relationships between art and education and the role of participation in both. As Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History, I am engaged with the various ways in which history, theory and practice interact.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, interested in pedagogy and the nature of learning, in and as art. Specifically, I explore the role of participatory practices in contemporary art and how participation itself is central to the learning process.

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor


  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2016
  • MA Sculpture Studies, University of Leeds, 1990
  • BA (Hons) History and History of Art, University of York, 1988

Teaching and learning




With Fran Lloyd, & Davina Thackara (2011) Public Sculpture of Outer South and West London (Public Monuments and Sculpture of Britain series), Liverpool: Liverpool University Press

Book Chapters

‘Inhabiting Site: Contemporary Art in Historic Interiors' (2011) in Fiona Fisher, Trevor Keeble, Patricia Lara-Betancourt, Brenda Martin, eds., Performance, Fashion and the Modern Interior: from the Victorians to today, London: Berg

‘Performance' (2000) in Feminist Visual Culture: An Introduction, edited by Fiona Carson & Claire Pajaczkowska, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Articles ‘An Experience of Introducing Reflective Journals' (2012) in Quality Enhancement in Learning and Teaching: How Kingston University is improving the student experience, ADC. 30-32

‘Research and Employability: redesigning the curriculum in BA History of Art, Design and Film' (2011) in Tim Linsey (ed.) Quality Enhancement in Learning and Teaching: How Kingston University is improving the student experience, ADC. 14-15


Potkin, H. (2019). Co-creating the Curriculum. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal2(3), 154–171. 

Conference Papers:

‘Curriculum co-creation: a transformative strategy to enhance student success' (with Annie Hughes, Equality Challenge Unit Conference Birmingham, 2017

‘Sleeping with Art: Hotel Room as Installation' Duration Conference, Culture Lab, Newcastle University 29-31 March 2012

‘In-habiting site: contemporary art practices within the historic(al) interior', Living in the Past: Histories, Heritage and the Interior, Kingston University, London, 14-15 May 2009

‘Constructing Identities: Dora Gordine in 1920s Paris', Dorich House Conference: Women, Sculpture and Place, May 2004

Research students:

Katya Micallef

Celeste Baracchi