Dr Kiff Bamford, Reader

Dr Kiff Bamford


Dr Kiff Bamford is Reader in Contemporary Art, with research interests in Performance art and Continental Philosophy. He has published widely on the work of French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard with a focus on the inter-relationship between Art and Philosophy.

Monographs include: 'Jean-François Lyotard: Critical Lives' (Reaktion, 2017) and  'Lyotard and the figural in Performance, Art and Writing' (Continuum, 2012). Bamford edited and introduced the collection 'Jean-François Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates' (Bloomsbury, 2020). In press is a translation of Lyotard’s 1991 work ‘Lectures d’enfance’, which Bamford has co-edited with Prof. Robert Harvey (Stony Brook, New York) under the title 'Readings In Infancy’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).

A current project, which aims to debate and demonstrate Lyotard’s continued relevance to the arts and humanities, is the collection ‘Lyotard and Critical Practice’ (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). Co-edited with Margret Grebowicz (University of Silesia, Katowice) this volume will include the work of thirteen scholars, writers and artists together with translations of essays and an interview by Lyotard.

Current Teaching

  • B.A. Fine Art, level 5
  • B.A. Graphic Design, level 5
  • Supervision of traditional and practice-based PhD students

Director of Studies

  • NaoKo TakaHashi (PhD P/T)
    ‘From Text to Sound: Textuality of Spoken Word and Participatory Authorship in Contemporary Art’
  • Simon Ringe (PhD P/T)
    ‘Ma - The Space In-Between’
  • Tom Rogers (PhD P/T)
    ‘Without Pictures: Finding Personal Significance in Communities of Practice’
  • Harry Meadley (PhD P/T)
    ‘How can the role of the artist be utilised in the reclamation of civic and public space?’


  • Kate Langrish-Smith (PhD P/T)
    ‘Fashioning Forms: A Dialogue in Sculpting Bodies’
  • Darren Neave (PhD P/T)
    ‘Trompe-le-nez: Sensorial Re-purposing as Method – A Way of Making Art for a Cluttered Planet?’
  • Dr Helen Clarke (2022)
    In collaboration with The Heritage Consortium
    ‘Streetwalker: The Flâneuse and the Electronic Flâneur’
  • Dr Julia McKinlay (2022)
    In collaboration with Yorkshire Sculpture International
    ‘Acid-Soaked Molluscs: a Xenophoric Approach to Practising Sculpture and Print’
  • Dr Vicky Sharples (2021)
    ‘Imperceptible Performance in Lieu of the Art Object: a Practice-Led, Environmental, Research Project’
  • Dr Katie Crabtree (2021)
    Leeds Trinity University / University of Leeds; co-supervised 2017-2020 
    ‘Studenthood: A Lyotardian Rewriting of Liberal University Education’
  • Dr Harold Offeh (2020)
    ‘Covers: Activating Black Album Covers Through Photography, Video and Live Performance’
  • Aiden Winterburn (MPhil, 2019)
    ‘The Film-Essay: a multi-modal form that thinks’
  • Dr Ian Truelove (2018)
    ‘Collapsing Skin: Expanding Painting Through New Digital Technologies’
  • Dr Patricia Azevedo (2017)
    External advisor, Universidade Federale De Minas Gerais, Brazil.
    ‘Jogos de distancia e proximidade: A construção do espaço dialógico na arte performativa'

Research Interests

Kiff's current research continues to disseminate Lyotard’s work and provocations through publication projects and collaborations.

A British Academy grant supported the preparation of an edited collection of interviews and debates with J-F Lyotard, including many new translations, published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2020. This project follows on from research which resulted in the first book to consider Lyotard’s work in the context of his life and times. Published in the series ‘Critical Lives’ by Reaktion books it includes new research from interviews, archives and lesser known works, taking an interdisciplinary approach to Lyotard’s involvement in philosophy, art, literature, politics, teaching and writing. The hesitation which dominates the tone of the book, an uncertainty with regard to the genre of biography, was echoed in two symposia which Kiff Bamford programmed together with Leeds Beckett colleague and performance artist, Harold Offeh. Held at the Tetley, Leeds and ICA, London, the symposia were titled ‘Performance and Uncertainty’ and brought together international artists and writers to question the role of re-performance, to confront collective assumptions about authenticity and the changing role of the artist’s body, through presentations, discussions and performances.

Dr Kiff Bamford, Reader

Ask Me About

  1. Art
  2. Performing Arts

Selected Outputs

  • Bamford K (2022) Uncertain? For Sure. Limping? Certainly: Limp Thoughts on Performance Practice, Kiff Bamford. In: Bamford K; Grebowicz M ed. Lyotard and Critical Practice. London & New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 205-215.

  • Bamford K (2018) 'Lyotard' entry to Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory. In: Di Leo J ed. Bloomsbury Handbook to Literary and Cultural Theory. Bloomsbury,

  • Bamford K (2017) Give Me a Sign: An anxious Exploration of Performance on Film, Under Lyotard's Shadow. In: Acinemas: Lyotard's Philosophy of Film. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 150-162.

  • Bamford K (2016) No Place for Complacency: The Resistance of Gesture. In: Gaillard J; Nouvet C; Stoholski M ed. Traversals of Affect: On Jean-François Lyotard. London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 99-112.

  • Bamford K (2014) How can ‘I’ become ‘Je’ and should I even try? Gina Pane’s ‘minor’ action. In: RE: Histoires de quelques expositions et performances originales destinées à servir d'armes nouvelles pour sʼorienter vers une histoire mineure des performances et expositions. Paris: It: Editions,

  • Bamford K; Bosson O (2014) ‘REC: Une formation du spectateur’. (trans. Jef Caro). In: Pinaroli F ed. RE: Histoires de quelques expositions et performances originales destinées à servir d'armes nouvelles pour sʼorienter vers une histoire mineure des performances et expositions. Paris: It: Editions,

  • Bamford K (2014) Comment devenir Je et cela en vaut-il la peine? Une action “mineure” de Gina Pane. .

  • Bamford K (2013) A late performance: Intimate distance (Yingmei Duan). In: Rereading Jean-François Lyotard: Essays on His Later Works. pp. 81-95.

  • Bamford K (2013) A Late Performance: Intimate Distance (Yingmei Duan). In: Bickis H; Shields R ed. Rereading Jean-Francois Lyotard. Ashgate Publishing,

    View Repository Record

  • Bamford C (2011) ‘Arrive-t-il?’ ‘Is it happening?’: Questions of Duration and the Ephemeral in Acconci, Abramović and Lyotard. In: Hearn M; Hao S ed. Notes on a Return. Artists, Anne Bean ... [Et Al.]. Arts Edition North,

  • Bamford K (2019) 'Publish or perish!’: the ironic rallying cry of Jean-François Lyotard. In: SLSA 2019 'Experimental Engagements': 33RD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY FOR LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND THE ARTS, 7 November 2019 - 9 November 2019, University of California, Irvine, USA.

  • Bamford K; Harvey R (2018) 'Get my Drift?' A conversation on Lyotard's Legacy with a consideration of 'J-F Lyotard: Critical Lives' by Kiff Bamford; Robert Harvey (Distinguished Professor, Stony Brook University) and Kiff Bamford (Leeds Beckett University, UK). Harriman Hall, Philosophy Department, Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York.

  • Bamford K (2018) “‘No phrase is the first.’§184.”. In: Unaccountable Differences: Symposium on Jean-François Lyotard's The Differend, 13 April 2018 - 14 April 2018, Centre for Theoretical Inquiry, University of Indiana, Bloomington IN, USA.

  • Bamford K (2017) Powerlessness and the Word: Lyotard’s Breathless Hesitation. 17 October 2017.

  • Bamford K (2017) Symposia Introduction and the performance talk Opening Uncertainty. In: Performance and Uncertainty, 4 March 2017, Institute of Contemporary Art, London.

  • Bamford K (2017) Performance and Uncertainty. In: Performance and Uncertainty, 4 February 2017 - 4 March 2017, The Tetley, Leeds & ICA, London.

  • Bamford K (2015) Unwelcome Performativity: Playing with Lyotard (provocation). In: Brewing Performance Symposium, 24 June 2015, Tetley, Leeds.

  • Bamford K (2015) Lyotard's Lips. Quivering as I go to speak. In: Women, Visibility and Playful Acts 2, 26 February 2015, Leeds Library and Art Gallery.

  • Bamford, K (2014) Freezing the Flow: Performance Art in the Museum Panel: Sensing Topologies : Embodied Process, Continuous Mutation, and the Figural in Contemporary Media, Dance, and Performance Art. In: SLSA 2014 Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, 9 October 2014 - 12 October 2014, Dallas, Texas.


  • Bamford K (2014) 'Give me a sign: an anxious exploration of performance on film, under Lyotard's shadow'. In: Acinemas: Philosophy and Film in the work of Jean-François Lyotard, 7 May 2014 - 8 May 2014, University of Dundee.

  • Bamford C (2013) 'No place for complacency:the resistance of gesture'. In: International Conference Traversées d'affect/Traversals of Affect…on Jean-François Lyotard, 21 March 2013 - 23 March 2013, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

  • Bamford C (2012) How can ‘I’ become ‘Je’ and should I even try? Gina Pane’s minor action. In: RE: Minor Histories of Exhibitions and Performances, 5 September 2012 - 6 September 2012, Raven Row Gallery, London. and Slade School of Art, UCL, London.

  • Bamford C (2011) Performing Lyotard. In: Human Sciences Seminar, 17 November 2011, Manchester Metropolitan University.

  • Bamford C (2011) A Late Performance. In: Rewriting Lyotard: International Conference, 11 February 2011 - 13 February 2011, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


  • Bamford C (2010) The Other as Host: Gina Pane's 'Je'. In: Tansmission: Hospitality, 1 July 2010 - 3 July 2010, Sheffield Hallam University.


  • Bamford C (2010) Wildly Attentive. Session: Reading to Attention. In: Association Of Art Historians Annual Conference,, 15 April 2010 - 17 May 2010, University of Glasgow.

  • Bamford C (2008) Finding the Figural in Lyotard and Deleuze. In: Lines of Flight: The Deeuzian Text, English Research Institute (AHRC funded event).

  • Bamford C (2008) 'Arrive-t-il?' 'Is it happening?': Questions of duration and the ephermeral in Acconci, Abramovic and Lyotard. In: Postgraduate Symposium, Art History and Visual Cultures.

  • Lyotard J-F eds. Bamford K; Harvey R (2023) Readings in Infancy. Bloomsbury Academic.

  • Bamford K eds. Bamford K; Grebowicz M (2022) Lyotard and Critical Practice. London: Bloomsbury.

  • Lyotard J-F; Bamford K eds. Bamford K (2020) Jean-Francois Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates. Edited and with Introduction by Kiff Bamford. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

  • Bamford K (2017) Jean-François Lyotard (Critical Lives). London: Reaktion Books.

  • Bamford K (2017) Jean-François Lyotard - Critical Lives. Reaktion Books.

  • Bamford K (2012) Lyotard and the 'figural' in Performance, Art and Writing. London & New York: Continuum.

News & Blog Posts


California Researchin'

  • 03 Dec 2019
Palm trees in California