James is an Art and Design History specialist, and studied BA (Joint Hons) History of Art and French at the University of Sussex, and M.Sc. ARCH History of Modern Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, for which he wrote his dissertation on Le Corbusier’s post-War architecture and its influence on British architecture in the 1950s and 1960s. Other areas of specialism include the history and theory of Photography and Fashion.

Upon completion of his masters, he lectured at the University of Westminster and South Essex College, before spending three years in Australia where he taught Art History at Newcastle Art School, as well as on the practical arts programme for the New South Wales Prison Service.

James has taught at Leeds Arts University for the past ten years, where he has worked on the majority of degree programmes, and is currently the resident history and theory specialist on BA (Hons) Printed Textiles & Surface Pattern Design, and BA (Hons) Fashion Design.

His current research and practice attempts to place photography within the same artistic and literary tradition as northern European Romanticism, extending into abstract expressionism, and considers photography’s capacity to convey the same values of spirituality, luminosity and the sublime that are inherent to these movements.