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The Australian National University

Dr Derek Allan

M. A., Ph. D.
Visiting Fellow, School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Aesthetics 220301
  • Art Theory 190103
  • Literature In French 200511
  • Literary Theory 200525

Research interests

Literature, visual art and the general theory of art. Special interest in French literature.


Derek Allan has published widely on aspects of André Malraux's works and the theory of art and literature. He holds a Ph D in Philosophy, a Masters in French Language and Literature, and is a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Humanities and the Arts at the Australian National University. He maintains a website entitled 'Malraux, Literature and Art'.

Derek's publications include two books:

Art and Time (Cambridge Scholars:February 2013). Comments in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy:

"Derek Allan’s accomplished and insightful book tackles a philosophical problem that has been neglected in contemporary aesthetics: the relationship between art and time… One admirable feature of Allan’s book is that it is well versed in art history and the history of aesthetics… Art and Time is a well-researched, elegantly written, and lucidly argued book. It explores a problem that has been neglected within contemporary aesthetics, offering a suggestive theoretical response to the problem of art’s relationship to time... A welcome contribution to broadening the often parochial, ahistorical character of contemporary aesthetic debates."

Art and the Human Adventure: André Malraux's Theory of Art  (Rodopi: 2009). Comments in Revue/Malraux/Review:

  • 'Cogently argued, elegantly written and painstakingly researched...'.
  • 'a brillant example of what could be described as critique engagée'.
  • 'The author's main objective is to retrieve Malraux's philosophy from generations of critics and academics who ... are often content to substitute invective for reasoned debate'.
  • 'should spark a radical reassessment of Malraux’s stature as a theorist of art'.
  • An 'outstanding book'.

The Burlington Magazine (June 2011): "A commendable analysis of Malraux's texts ...  a thorough and illuminating exposition of the thought of this unjustly neglected figure".

Researcher's projects

 In preparation or accepted:

  • An article in French entitled "Malraux, l’art et le temps: Un défi à l’esthétique traditionnelle" for a book on Malraux to be published by Garnier (Paris). 
  • A book in French on Malraux's theory of art.
  • An article entitled “Creation Ex Nihilo: André Malraux and the Concept of Artistic Creation”.

For a complete list of my publications and conferences papers, with a number of links, see the publications page of my website.


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Updated:  23 November 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers