The University of Wolverhampton

Dr Rina Arya

Research Group: Communication and Pedagogy
Title: Reader, Visual Communication

About Dr Rina Arya

Rina Arya is an art theorist who has a background in theology.  She is interested in a number of different subject areas including art, theology and spirituality, Francis Bacon, Georges Bataille, gender studies, aesthetics, critical theory, visual communication.

REF Outputs

Research Output 1Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World
Research Output 2 Contemplations of the Spiritual in Visual Art
Research Output 3 The Role of Objects in Bataille’s Story of the Eye
Research Output 4 Chila Kumari Burman: the power of shakti



  • Arya, R. Abjection and Representation (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2013).
  • Arya, R. The Sacred Dimensions of Georges Bataille (Peter Lang, forthcoming 2013).
  • Arya, R. Francis Bacon: Painting in a Godless World (Lund Humphries, 2012).
  • Arya, R. Chila Kumari Burman (K T Press, forthcoming 2012)
  • Arya, R. Francis Bacon: Critical and Theoretical Perspectives (Peter Lang, June 2012).

     Journal articles

  • Arya, R. ‘The role of Objects in Bataille’s Story of the Eye’ in the ‘On Objects’ issue (12.4), Performance Research (Taylor and Francis), 2008, pp. 67-77.
  • Arya, R. ‘A-theology and the recovery of the sacred in Bataille and Bacon’ in La Revue Silène, (2008), pp. 45-58 (English), pp. 59-72 (French).
  • Arya, R. ‘Ecstasy and pain: the ritualistic dimensions of performance practice’ in the ‘Congregation’ issue (13.3), 2008, Performance Research (Taylor and Francis), pp. 31-40.
  • Arya, R. ‘Painting the Pope: An analysis of Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Pope Innocent X’ for Literature and Theology (Oxford University Press), 23, no. 1, March 2009, pp. 33-50.
  • Arya, R. ‘The Implicit Religiosity of Compulsive Buying’ for Implicit Religion, (Equinox), vol. 12, no. 2, July 2009, pp. 165-185.
  • Arya, R. ‘Remaking the body: the cultural dimensions of Francis Bacon’ in Journal for Cultural Research, 13.2, 2009, (Taylor and Francis), pp.143-158.
  • Arya, R. ‘Contemplations of the spiritual in visual art’ in Journal for the Study of Spirituality, Vol. 1, 2010, (Equinox Press), pp. 76-93.
  • Arya, R. ‘The Primal Cry of Horror: the a-theology of Francis Bacon’ in Artibus et Historiae, Vol. 63, 2011.
  • Arya, R. ‘Transitional Spaces: The Phenomenology of the Awayday’ in Tamara: Journal for Critical Organization Inquiry, Vol. 9. 3, 2011.
  • Arya, R. ‘The Neglected Place of Religion in Contemporary Western Art’ in Fieldwork in Religion, Vol. 6.1, 2012.
  • Arya, R. ‘Constructions of homosexuality in Francis Bacon’ in Journal for Cultural Research, 16.4, October 2012.
  • Arya, R. ‘Documents: an analysis of the Playful Museum’ for ‘Folk Art and the Museum’, Tate Papers, forthcoming.
  • Arya, R. ‘Assaying the Pope: Francis Bacon’s interrogation of religion’, Implicit Religion (Equinox), vol. 14, no.3, 2011, pp. 343-349.
  • Arya, R. ‘Ritualised violence and the restoration of community’ in ‘Losing it’ issue, Parallax (Taylor and Francis), vol. 18, issue 2, 2012, pp. 32-44.
  • Arya, R. ‘Black Feminism in the Academy’ in ‘Being a Feminist Academic’, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, vol. 31, issues 6, 2012.

     Chapters in books

  • Arya, R. ‘The Religious Significance on Violence in Football’ in, Holy Terror: Understanding Religion and Violence in Popular Culture edited by, Eric Christianson and Christopher Partridge (London: Equinox, Nov. 2010), pp.122-134.
  • Arya, R. ‘Consecrating the body: the sacred and the profane in performance art’ in, Sacred Space: Interdisciplinary Perspectives within Contemporary Contexts edited by, David Torevell and Jenny Daggers (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), pp. 114-126.
  • Arya, R. ‘The epistemological claim for pictures’ in, The Stone Theory Seminars: What do Artists Know? edited by, James Elkins with Frances Whitehead, vol 3. (University Park, PA: Penn State Press), forthcoming.
  • Arya, R. ‘Art in Sacred Places’ in, Site, Material, Object by, Lin Holland and Jane Poulton (ISBN 978-1-898749-08-0) 2010, pp. 6-9.
  • Arya, R. ‘The graphic power of Käthe Kollwitz’ in, Essays on the Influence of the Female Artist in the Early Twentieth Century edited by, Paul Fryer (Jefferson, NC: McFarland), forthcoming, 2012.
  • Arya, R. ‘Embodiment as Sacrament: Francis Bacon’s Postwar Horror’ in, Towards a Sacramental Methodology of Art History: An Examination of the History of Christianity and the Visual Arts edited by, James Romaine and Linda Stratford (Oregon: Cascade Books, 2013).

     Encyclopedia articles

  • ‘Ilya Bolotowsky’: the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (2011).
  • ‘John Currin’: the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (2011).
  • ‘Bill Viola’: the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (2011).
  • ‘The Middle Ages’: the Sage Encyclopedia of Social Networks (2011).
  • ‘The cycle of rebirth’: the Sage Encyclopedia of Global Religion (forthcoming 2011).
  • ‘Rites of Passage’: the Sage Encyclopedia of Global Religion (forthcoming 2011).
  • ‘bell hooks’: the Sage Encyclopedia of Gender in Media (forthcoming 2012).
  • ‘Male Gaze’: the Sage Encyclopedia of Gender in Media (forthcoming 2012).
  • ‘Last Judgement’: Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (De Gruyter), (forthcoming).
  • ‘Caspar David Friedrich’: Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, edited by Eric Ziolkowski et al., De Gruyter, 2012.
  • ‘Georges Bataille’: Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by Jon R. McGee and Richard L. Warms, Sage, 2012.
  • ‘Mary Kelly’: The Multimedia Encyclopedia in Today’s World, edited by Mary Zeiss Stange and Carol K. Oyster, Sage, 2012.

     Conference Papers

  • Paper: Representation and Tokenism in the New Art History, Conference – ‘After the New Art History’, University of Birmingham, March 26-27 2012.
  • Paper: The a-theology of Francis Bacon, ASCHA, MOBiA, New York, February 8 2011
  • Paper: Axiological issues in Schwitters, Conference on Schwitters and appropriation, Chester University, June 10-11 2009.
  • Paper: The Religious Hangover of Bacon, Denton Conference on Implicit Religion at Denton Hall, Ilkey, May 8-10 2009.
  • Paper: Consecrating the body: the sacred and the profane in performance art, Conference on Sacred Space, Liverpool Hope University, September 16th 2009.
  • Paper: The Implicit Religiosity of Compulsive Buying, Denton Conference on Implicit Religion at Denton Hall, Ilkey, May 9-11 2008.
  • Paper: Levels of Reality in Surrealism, Conference on Altered States at St. Deniol’s College, Harwarden, February 1-3 2008.
  • Paper: A comparison of Ballard’s Crash and the dolls of Hans Bellmer, Conference on J. G. Ballard, University of East Anglia, May 5-7 2007.
  • Paper: Time, Motion and Disintegration in Bacon, Conference, ‘Repeat, Repeat’, Chester University, April 19-20 2007.
  • Paper: Atheology in Bacon and Bataille, Conference on Georges Bataille, Newham College, Cambridge, April 2006.
  • Paper: The Importance of Transgression in Culture, Conference on Ethics, University of York, October 2002.
  • Paper: Transformation in the art of Francis Bacon, Conference on Magic, University of Glasgow, June 2002.
  • Paper: The Annihilation of vision and Identity in Bataille, Conference on Desire, University of Essex, June 2002.
  • Paper: Violence and death in the Sacred, Conference on Theology, University of Edinburgh, May 2002.
  • Paper: Death and Desire in Religion, Conference on Dangerous Sex, University of Glasgow, April 2002.
  • Paper: Fragmentation in Bellmer and The Bacchae, Conference on Religious Studies, University of St Andrews, June 2001.
  • Paper: The Papal Image in painting, Conference on Postmodernism and Spirituality, University of Central Lancashire, March 2001.

Invited Talks

  • October 27th 2012. The 30th anniversary of the BLK group. Paper: TBC.
  • May 10th 2012. University of Glasgow, Centre of Literature, Theology and Arts. Paper: Contemplations of the spiritual in Western Art.
  • January 19th 2011.  University of Leeds, Department of Theology. Paper: Violence and the Sacred.
  • October 13th 2010.  Leicester University, School of Management. Paper: The Phenomenology of the Awayday.
  • March 17th 2010. Liverpool Hope University, Department of Theology, Religious Studies and Philosophy.  Paper: Fieldwork in Religion.
  • February 20th, 2010.  Tate Britain.  Symposium on The Contemporary Sublime.  Paper: Bill Viola, new media and the contemporary sublime.
  • January 27th, 2010.  Essex University.  Paper: The Mind-Body Problem.
  • May 20th, 2009. Leicester University, Department of the History of Art and Film.  Paper: Anti-narrative gestures in Bacon.
  • March 19th , 2009. The Arnolfini, Bristol.  Paper: Remaking the Body in Bacon.
  • January 21st, 2009. Reading University, Department of the History of Art.  Paper: An analysis of Bacon’s theories of motion through Bergson’s theories of time.
  • October 14th, 2008. The Grosvenor Museum, Chester.  Paper: Francis Bacon’s art of distortion.

Dr Rina Arya is Director of Studies for the following PhD students:

  • Carol Meachem
  • Clive Moore
  • Sara Saeidlou
  • Daniel Somerville