Core Faculty

Our International core faculty teach seminars, direct independent studies and dissertations, and serve as student advisors. While the librarian serves on the core faculty, she does so as a part-time research advisor and also provides mini-seminars introducing students to IDSVA's virtual library.

George Smith

Founder and President / Edgar E. Coons, Jr., Professor of New Philosophy
Areas of Research
Philosophy, critical theory, literary studies, psychoanalytic theory, visual and cultural studies, gender studies, interdisciplinary studies, aesthetics

George Smith

GEORGE SMITH founded the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts in 2006. IDSVA is the first school in the world to offer a PhD in philosophy especially designed for visual artists, curators, and creative scholars. Professor Smith serves on the IDSVA Core Faculty and writes on literature, the visual arts, visual culture, psychoanalytic theory, and philosophy of education. He is the author of The Artist-Philosopher and New Philosophy (Routledge 2018). His forthcoming The Artist-Philosopher and Poetic Hermeneutics is due from Routledge in 2021.

Simonetta Moro

Director of School & Vice President for Academic Affairs Associate Professor of Art and Theory Director of Topological Studies
Areas of Research
Theory and practice of the visual arts; drawing, painting; Continental philosophy and aesthetics; cartography, mapping, psychogeography, and urban representation; art history; curatorial practices; interdisciplinary approaches to art and culture.

Simonetta Moro

SIMONETTA  MORO is a visual artist with a focus on painting, drawing and mapping practices. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally,  including Galleria del Carbone, Ferrara, Italy; BRIC Art House, New York;  Center for Architecture, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the  American Academy in Rome, Italy; the Harris Museum, Preston, UK. Moro’s  research in cartographic aesthetics informs many of her artworks and the book Mapping Paradigms in  Modern and Contemporary Art: Poetic Cartography (Routledge, 2021). Moro holds a PhD in Fine Arts, University of  Central Lancashire, Preston, UK; a MA in European Fine Arts, Winchester School of  Art, UK; and a BFA in Painting, Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna, Italy. Born in Italy, Simonetta Moro currently lives in New York City.

Dejan Lukić

Assistant Professor
Areas of Research
Crossovers between art, science, and religion. More specifically, philosophical and anthropological insights from: geo-philosophy, vital materialism, radical empiricism, theories of the avant-garde, and indigenous ontologies

Dejan Lukić

DEJAN LUKIĆ is trained as an anthropologist (PhD, Columbia University, 2007). His research encompasses continental philosophy, science and religion, art and ecology. He is engaged in the development of what could be called avant-garde philosophy and multi-ontology. Consequently, he is interested in ways in which art crosses into life. He has published two books and numerous catalogue essays. He is currently writing a multi-volume manuscript titled “Deranged Vivarium: Variations on Coexistence.” He lives and works between two places: the high desert of New Mexico and an Adriatic island in Croatia.

Howard Caygill

Professor of Philosophy, Aesthetics and Visual Culture
Areas of Research
History of Philosophy, Planetary Aesthetics, Aesthetics of Madness, Philosophies of Resistance, Philosophy and Literature

Howard Caygill

HOWARD CAYGILL is a philosopher and cultural historian who was educated at Bristol, Sussex and Oxford Universities in the UK. Most recently serving on the faculties of Goldsmiths, Kingston and Paris VIII, Howard Caygill is the author of several acclaimed books including A Kant Dictionary, Walter Benjamin: The Colour of Experience, On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance and most recently Kafka: In Light of the Accident. He is currently working on the philosophy and aesthetics of the anthropocene and the role of philosophy in curating and interpreting the art produced by inmates of mental hospitals during the first half of the Twentieth Century. He lives between Athens and Barton-on-Sea on the coast of England.

Silvia Mazzini

Dean of Students & Assistant Professor
Areas of Research
Aesthetics, Political Philosophy, Dramaturgy, Philosophy of Poverty, participative art, art and politics, tragic and comic thought, Sustainable Philosophy

Silvia Mazzini

SILVIA MAZZINI, a philosopher and theatre author, works on the intersection of Aesthetics and Political Philosophy. She published on Arts and Politics in Pasolini, Bloch and Vattimo, on tragic and comic thought and community theatre; currently she is writing on the Philosophy of Poverty. Before joining IDSVA, she was research fellow at the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry and worked as Assistant Professor at the Humboldt University (where she also obtained her PhD) and at the Berlin University of the Arts. She teaches History of late-modern Continental Philosophy at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands).

Laura Graveline

Library Director
Areas of Research
Library Science, Art History, Book Arts, Painting, Drawing

Laura Graveline

LAURA GRAVELINE earned her MLIS from the University of Rhode Island, and a BA from the University of Massachusetts in Art History, with a minor in Studio Art. Her reviews are published in Art Libraries Journal, and Art Documentation, and her most recent article is “Uncommon Partners: Facilitating Creative Collaborations in the Arts Across Campus,” College & Undergraduate Libraries, 2009. Laura is also the Visual Arts Librarian for Dartmouth College.