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.


Colonising Visions: A Physiognomy of Face and Place in Erich Retzlaff’s Book ‘Länder und Völker an der Donau: Rumänien, Bulgarien, Ungarn, Kroatien’Webster, C. 2015 In : PhotoResearcher.No.23, p. 66 - 7711 p.
Beyond (20/09/2014 to 23/11/2014)Webster, C. 2014
An Esoteric Anthropometry: The ‘Volksköpfe’ Photographs of Hans Saebens and their place in ‘Heimat’ PhotographyWebster, C. 2014
An Esoteric Anthropometry: The ‘Volksköpfe’ Photographs of Hans Saebens and their place in ‘Heimat’ PhotographyWebster, C. 2014 Art and Society.1 ed.Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center, 7 p.
The Volkskorper Photographs of Erich Retzlaff 1929-1945Webster, C. P. 2013 HISTART 13.
Collaborations Aberystwyth Paper Press PrintCroft, P., Baldwin, A. T., Boutasi, E., Carpenter, J., Creenaune, D., Desmet, A., Dyson, T., Ellis, E., Evans, S., Evans, R. J., Hanselaar, M., Ho, W. G., Hounsome, J., James, S. R., Jones, M. L., Kennedy, H., Lamb, E., Lazkani, S., Noyce, R., Partridge, B., Poland, S., Polk, A., Polk, K., Vaden, C., Wade, G., Webster, C. P., Williams, P., Macklin, J. E. & Garratt, P. 2013
The Volkskorper Photographs of Erich Retzlaff 1929-1945Webster, C. P. 2013 Politics, Identity, Ideology.1 ed.Eastern Mediterranean Academic Research Center, 14 p.
Erich Retzlaff: VolksfotografWebster, C. P. & Schögl, U. (ed.) 2011 In : PhotoResearcher.2011, 16, p. 8 - 2114 p.
Picturing the Volk: Colour Photography, National Socialist Ideology and the Myth of the Master RaceWebster, C. P. 2011
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 ArtsWebster, C. P. 2009 Girton College, Cambridge University, conference of the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Western Esotericism.
Mythus - films: a film series: 2008-2012Webster, C. P. 2008
Dark Materials: The Chemical Wedding of Photography and the Occult' in 'Esotericicsm, Art, and Imagination'Weinstein, J., Wilson, E. G., Gharavi, L., Warlick, M. E., Constantini, G., Versluis, A., Schichard, M. K., Young, G. M., Fanger, C., Godwin, J., Magee, G. A., Nelson, V., Webster, C. P., Gutierrez, C., Granziera, P. & Whedon, S. W. 2008 Esotericism, Art, and Imagination. Versluis, A., Irwin, L., Richards, J. & Weinstein, M. (eds.). East Lansing, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, p. 251-26616 p.
Stone, Plate, Grease, Water: International Contemporary LithographyCroft, P. J. & Webster, C. P. 2007
Cipher: Staging the Mind in the Photographic ConstructWebster, C. 2006 In : South African Journal of Photography.1, 3, p. 68-725 p.
CipherWebster, C. 2005
FragmentsWebster, C. 2002