Writer, Author, Speaker

Barbara Maria Stafford is an independent writer, curator and speaker. Her work has consistently explored the intersections between the visual arts and the physical and biological sciences from the early modern to the contemporary era. Her current research charts the revolutionary ways the neurosciences are changing our views of the human and animal sensorium, shaping our fundamental assumptions about perception, sensation, emotion, mental imagery, and subjectivity. Her most recent book is The Field Guide to a New Metafield: Bridging the Humanities-Neurosciences Divide [2011].


Mellon Sawyer Seminar | "Strange Shadows: The Magical Sublime"

Southwestern University presents Brown Symposium 38: Art & Revolution
"Creation Unbound: The Revolution from Matter to Stuff" by Barbara M. Stafford

Barbara Stafford Receives the MediaArtHistories Award

On November 7, 2015, Prof. Dr. Barbara Maria Stafford was honored in Montreal with the MediaArtHistories Award of the International conference series on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology. Stafford is one of the most renowned and innovative contemporary art historians.

The Jewel Game: Gems, Fascination and the Neuroscience of Visual Attention

By Barbara Stafford

Each time our gaze strikes the surface of any material or substance, a small miracle occurs. That which was nothing before becomes something for a few moments, and then nothing again once our gaze is averted. Looking at jewels makes us aware that we are aware, integrating the mind with the body at a particular instant in time while simultaneously incorporating the nonhuman world into our innermost being. 

Controversial Bodies:Thoughts on the Public Display of Plastinated Corpses

"A rich survey of the issues provoked by the public display of plastinated corpses backed up by an impressive range of scholarship."—Alastair V. Campbell, author of The Body in Bioethics

Controversial, fascinating, disturbing, and often beautiful, plastinated human bodies—such as those found at Body Worlds exhibitions throughout the world—have gripped the public's imagination. These displays have been lauded as educational, sparked protests, and drawn millions of visitors. This book looks at the powerful sway these corpses hold over their living audiences everywhere.