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Rex Butler


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Personal profile


Dr Rex Butler is an art historian, writer and Professor (Art History & Theory).

His research interests include Australian art and art criticism, Post-War American art and Critical Theory. Rex Butler has recently completed a book, Outside In:10 Essays on UnAustralian Art, with ADS Donaldson and edited a selection of Bernard Smith's writings, Antipodean Perspective, with Sheridan Palmer. He is currently writing a book on Stanley Cavell and the Arts.

He is the author or editor of eleven books, including What is Appropriation?(1996), Jean Baudrillard: The Defence of the Real (1999), A Secret History of Australian Art (2002), Slavoj Zizek: Live Theory (2005), Borges' Short Stories: A Reader's Guide (2010) and Deleuze and Guattari's What is Philosophy?: A Reader's Guide (2015).


  • Art History
  • Art Criticism
  • Art Theory

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2019

Memo Review

Butler, R. W.


Project: Research

Research Output 2009 2018

A Chain of Ponds: On German and Australian Artistic Interactions

Butler, R. & Donaldson, A. D. S., 2018, German-Australian Encounters and Cultural Transfers: Global Dynamics in Transnational Lands. Nickl, B., Herrschner, I. & Gozdziak, E. (eds.). Singapore: Springer, p. 193-208 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Antipodean Perspective: Selected Writings of Bernard Smith

Butler, R. (ed.) & Palmer, S. (ed.), 2018, Clayton, Vic, Australia: Monash University Publishing. 401 p.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited BookOtherpeer-review

Henry James: To Love is to Double

Butler, R., 2018, In : Continental Thought & Theory. 2, 3, p. 91-107 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Imaginary, Symbolic, Real: A Short History of Performance

Butler, R., 2018, What is Performance Art?: Australian Perspectives. Geczy, A. & Kelly, M. (eds.). Sydney, NSW, Australia: Power Publications, p. 15-32 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Butler, R. & Palmer, S., 2018, Antipodean Perspective: Selected Writings of Bernard Smith. Butler, R. & Palmer, S. (eds.). Clayton, Vic, Australia: Monash University Publishing, p. ix-xxiv 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword / PostscriptResearchpeer-review

Activities 2018 2018

  • 1 Public lecture/debate/seminar

Public lecture: 'Various Responses - Mutlu Çerkez: 1988–2065'

Helen Hughes (Contributor), Rex Butler (Contributor)
14 Apr 2018

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Press / Media

THE AUSTRALIAN: 'Review: Scholar was creative in exploring history'

Rex William Butler & Sheridan Palmer


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Article/Feature