Robert Belton

Dr. Robert Belton
Associate Professor, Art History
Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
CCS 168, 1148 Research Road
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7

T: 250-807-9342
F: 250-807-8543

Credentials: PhD, U of Toronto; BFA, U of Western Ontario


Art theory, criticism, and historiography; modern and contemporary European and North American art and architecture; cognitive science and art; film and cultural studies; experimental music.

FCCS Research:   Cultural Literacies and Practices, Media and Digital Cultures

Dr. Robert Belton served as the first Dean of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies from July 1, 2005 until June 30, 2010. Dr. Belton had earlier served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Okanagan University College, as well as the first Provost of its College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to these administrative roles, Dr. Belton taught courses in art history and theory at Western, and Queens, where he received the Alma Mater Society Frank Knox Award for Teaching Excellence and the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Belton's research has focused on Surrealist art and film, Canadian art and architecture, and issues of art theory. In addition to numerous articles in journals and anthologies, he has published The Beribboned Bomb: The Image of Woman in Male Surrealist Art; Sights of Resistance: Approaches to Canadian Visual Culture; The Theatre of the Self: The Life and Art of William Ronald; and Art: The World of Art, from Aboriginal to American Pop, Renaissance Masters to Postmodernism.

Dr. Belton has served on numerous boards and community organizations. Most recently, he was a member of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, for whom he also chaired the subcommittees that offer awards for First Nations Art and applied art and design in B.C.

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Courses Taught

  •    19th Century Art
  •     20th Century Art
  •     Aspects of the Art of the Americas
  •     Art Theory and Criticism
  •     Canadian Art
  •      Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock
  •     Contemporary Art
  •     Contemporary Canadian Art
  •      Critical Viewer
  •      Critical Viewing, Advanced Studies
  •     Design History, Theory, Criticism
  •     Eighteenth Century French Art
  •     European Baroque Art in the Seventeenth Century
  •     Experimental Music and Sound Art
  •     Film Studies
  •     Global Surrealism
  •     Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
  •     Latin American Art and Visual Culture Since 1521   
  •     Marxism and Impressionis
  •     Methodological Alternatives to the Study of Michelangelo 
  •    Modern Architecture
  •    Popular Music and Visual Culture
  •    Popular Visual Culture
  •    Renaissance Europe in a Global Context
  •    Romanticism and Realism
  •    Postmodern Architecture
  •    Seventeenth-Centure European Art in a Global Context
  •    Surrealism in Visual Arts, Film and Literature

Current Research Interests

Surrealist film; Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo; Man Ray's film L'Etoile de mer; popular music and visual culture.

 Cultural Literacies and Practices, Media and Digital Cultures

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Recent Publications

  • 'Polycythemia,' or Surrealist Intertextuality in the Light of Cinematic 'Anemia'  Journal of Surrealism and the Americas 9.1 (2016): 1-13.

  • “The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh.” University of Toronto Quarterly 85.3 (Summer 2016): forthcoming.

  • “Our Kind of Movie: The Films of Andy Warhol.” The European Legacy (2016): forthcoming.

  • “Ruins: Documents in Contemporary Art.” The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms 21.2 (2016): 210–212. DOI:10.1080/10848770.2015.1126471.

  • “Expressionism’s Paralanguage.” Living Building Thinking: Art and Expressionism. Hamilton: McMaster University Museum of Art, August 2016.

  • “The Art of Sorel Etrog and His Romanian Background.” Finnish Journal for Romanian Studies 1 (2015): 11–22.

  • “Critical Cyborgs? Hitchcock and the Hermeneutic Spiral.” Yearbook of Moving Image Studies 1.1 (Darmstadt: Büchner-Verlag, 2015), 202-224.

  • “Louise Bourgeois, Structures of Existence: The Cells.” Woman’s Art Journal 36.2 (Fall/Winter 2015–16): 66–68.

  • “The Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics; The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture; Representation in Western Music.” Popular Music and Society (24 July 2014). DOI: 10.1080/03007766.2014.939456.

  • “Please Touch: Dada and Surrealist Objects after the Readymade.” The European Legacy: Towards New Paradigms17:6 (2013): 1-3. DOI: 10.1080/10848770.2012.729204.

  • “Of What One Cannot Speak: Doris Salcedo’s Political Art.” Woman’s Art Journal 33.1 (Spring/Summer 2012): 46–48.

  • “How Do Pictures Make Sense? Davis’s General Theory of Visual Culture.” PsycCRITIQUES, 57.22 (2012): Digital Object Identifier: 1554-0138.

  • “Thinking Higher Thoughts: A Review of Lance J. Rips’ Lines of Thought: Central Concepts in Cognitive Psychology.” PsycCRITIQUES 56.24 (2011): Digital Object Identifier: 10.1037/a0023830.

  • “Why Duchamp Matters.” In Ihor Holubizky, et al. Christos Dikeakos: Patisserie Duchamp/Puis-je fumer. McMaster Museum of Art, 27 January–26 March 2011, unpaginated.

  • Belton, Robert, and Bernd Kersten (Universität Bern). “Vision and Visions in Piero della Francesca's Legend of the True Cross.” Glimpse: The Art and Science of Seeing 6 (Summer 2010): 36–50.

  • “William Ronald: The Fisherman.” Canadian Post-War and Contemporary Art. Vancouver: Heffel Fine Art Auction House, 25 November 2010, 30–31.

  • “William Ronald: Untitled.” Canadian Post-War and Contemporary Art. Vancouver: Heffel Fine Art Auction House, 26 May 2010, 42–43.

  • “William Ronald: Venus.” Canadian Post-War and Contemporary Art. Vancouver: Heffel Fine Art Auction House, 26 May 2010, 44–45.

Recent Presentations

  • 2015-05-28: “Can an Album Cover Be a Narrative? Can a Video Be a Picture?” International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Ottawa.
  • 2015-02-12: “‘Polycythemia,’ or Surrealist Intertextuality in the Light of Cinematic ‘Anemia’.” College Art Association, New York. 12 February 2015.
  • 2014-14-10: “How Automatism Works.” Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, BC
  • 2013-11-08: “Sex, Revolution and the Liberty Bell: Man Ray’s L’Etoile de mer (1928). Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association. Atlantic City.
  • 2013-10-18: “Aesthetic Judgment Processing Meets Ordinal Theory.” Universities Art Association of Canada. Banff.
  • 2013-05-13: “Flipping Hitchcock: A Report on a Flipped Classroom in a Film History Class.” Teaching Development Day, North Island College, Comox
  • 2012-11-2: “A Botanical Allusion in Man Ray’s L’Etoile de mer.” Universities Art Association Conference, Montreal.


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Last reviewed shim11/15/2017 1:43:51 PM


On This Page


RobertJ. Belton, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and the Hermeneutic Spiral.New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.



From University of Calgary Press
Calgary, AB

Belton - Beribboned

Belton - Theatre of Self

Belton - Sights

FromFlametree Publishing
London, UK

Belton - Art Book

Belton - Worlds Greatest