Dr Christopher Webster

ND and NHD (first class, academic colours received) (Vaal University of Technology, South Africa) PhD (Wales)

Dr Christopher Webster

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details


Born in Cheshire in 1965. Lived in South Africa from 1982 until 1994. Studied photography, photographic theory and photographic history as an undergraduate and postgraduate in South Africa and Wales (PhD). He has been a lecturer since 1991 with his first teaching post in Gauteng, South Africa. As a practitioner he has exhibited alongside artists such as Chuck Close and Sally Mann. Research and research supervision covers: occult and esoteric applications of photography (including physiognomy, spirit photography, documentation of esoteric events, photographs as evidence of the supernatural) especially the photograph as a marker of a racial mythos in National Socialist Germany. He is currently working on a major touring exhibition project 'A Radical Tradition' with accompanying monograph (Verlags der Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde e.V., 2019) exploring the work of German photographers from the Third Reich and is also editing a book project 'Photography in the Third Reich: Art, Physiognomy and Propaganda' (Bloomsbury, 2019). This will be the first English language survey to focus specifically on art photography in the Third Reich.


Module Coordinator
Additional Lecturer

I currently teach across the curriculum of Fine Art and Art History at Aberystwyth University's School of Art in the Institute of Literature, Languages and the Creative Arts (ILLCA). I am an excellent and effective communicator with experience of teaching at FE, HE, adult education and widening participation. In addition, I have a broad experience of inclusive teaching across a variety of cultures and economic backgrounds. I regularly lecture and conduct workshops in educational institutions and for the public and have done so here in the UK, in Ireland, South Africa, the USA and Germany. My research and practical exhibition experience directly informs my teaching.The students I teach produce first-class examples in all my taught subject areas and many have gone on to carve out successful careers in their own right. My reach as a teacher is broad and I teach first year undergraduates through to supervising MA/PhD students. I successfully supervised the School of Art’s first PhD in Fine Art and since then I have continued to supervise PhD candidates, act as an internal PhD examiner, Chair PhD Viva Voce examinations and work as an external PhD examiner. With my subject expertise, I work as an external validator for proposed courses at other institutions at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.


Aspects of the history of photography especially National Socialism and photography with regards race, physiognomy and propaganda; areas relating to the influence of western esotericism on photographic practices; darkroom and historic process photography.


Webster, C 2015, 'Colonising Visions: A Physiognomy of Face and Place in Erich Retzlaff’s Book ‘Länder und Völker an der Donau: Rumänien, Bulgarien, Ungarn, Kroatien’' PhotoResearcher, no. No.23, pp. 66 - 77.
Webster, C, Beyond (20/09/2014 to 23/11/2014), 2014, Exhibition.
Webster, C 2014, 'An Esoteric Anthropometry: The ‘Volksköpfe’ Photographs of Hans Saebens and their place in ‘Heimat’ Photography' Paper presented at HISTART 14, Istanbul, Turkey, 2014 - 2014, .
Webster, C 2014, An Esoteric Anthropometry: The ‘Volksköpfe’ Photographs of Hans Saebens and their place in ‘Heimat’ Photography. in Art and Society. 1 edn, Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center.
Webster, CP 2013, The Volkskorper Photographs of Erich Retzlaff 1929-1945. in HISTART 13. HISTART 13, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.
Croft, P, Baldwin, AT, Boutasi, E, Carpenter, J, Creenaune, D, Desmet, A, Dyson, T, Ellis, E, Evans, S, Evans, RJ, Hanselaar, M, Ho, WG, Hounsome, J, James, SR, Jones, ML, Kennedy, H, Lamb, E, Lazkani, S, Noyce, R, Partridge, B, Poland, S, Polk, A, Polk, K, Vaden, C, Wade, G, Webster, CP, Williams, P, Macklin, JE & Garratt, P, Collaborations Aberystwyth Paper Press Print, 2013, Exhibition, Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth and touring to other venues to be confirmed.
Webster, CP 2013, The Volkskorper Photographs of Erich Retzlaff 1929-1945. in Politics, Identity, Ideology. 1 edn, Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center.
Webster, CP & Schögl, U (ed.) 2011, 'Erich Retzlaff: Volksfotograf' PhotoResearcher, vol 2011, no. 16, pp. 8 - 21.
Webster, CP 2011, 'Picturing the Volk: Colour Photography, National Socialist Ideology and the Myth of the Master Race'.
Webster, CP 2009, The Photographic Portrait: Esoteric Nazism and the Fetish of the Hitler icon in the 21st century, at the conference The Lure of Secrecy: Western Esotericism and the Arts. in Girton College, Cambridge University, conference of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Western Esotericism.
Webster, CP, Mythus - films: a film series: 2008-2012, 2008, Digital or Visual Products, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru | Arts Council of Wales, Various.
Weinstein, J, Wilson, EG, Gharavi, L, Warlick, ME, Constantini, G, Versluis, A, Schichard, MK, Young, GM, Fanger, C, Godwin, J, Magee, GA, Nelson, V, Webster, CP, Gutierrez, C, Granziera, P & Whedon, SW 2008, Dark Materials: The Chemical Wedding of Photography and the Occult' in 'Esotericicsm, Art, and Imagination'. in A Versluis, L Irwin, J Richards & M Weinstein (eds), Esotericism, Art, and Imagination. University of Michigan Press, East Lansing, Michigan, pp. 251-266.
Croft, PJ & Webster, CP, Stone, Plate, Grease, Water: International Contemporary Lithography, 2007, Exhibition, Touring exhibition. Venues included: Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran; MOMA Wales; Bankside Gallery, London; The Naughton Gallery, Queens University, Belfast.
Webster, C 2006, 'Cipher: Staging the Mind in the Photographic Construct' South African Journal of Photography, vol 1, no. 3, pp. 68-72.
Webster, C, Cipher, 2005, Exhibition, Aberystwyth.
Webster, C, Fragments, 2002, Exhibition.