In her research, Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes focuses on word and image studies, particularly the visual legacies of writers such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, W.G. Sebald and Oscar Wilde. Her past research, for example, examined the effects of Joyce on Joseph Beuys, one of the most influential German sculptors of the post-World War II era. In addition to exploring performance art, the historiography of art (Warburg, Giedion-Welcker) and curation, Lerm Hayes also has a keen interest in (public) sculpture, social practices and post-World War II art histories.
Lerm Hayes previously worked as professor of Iconology at the University of Ulster, Belfast (Northern Ireland). From 2007 to 2011, she was head of the university’s Research Graduate School in the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment. Lerm Hayes studied at the universities of Heidelberg, London, Bonn and Cologne, where she gained her PhD in 2000. Her PhD, researched with a James Joyce Foundation Scholarship (Zurich), was followed by a fellowship from the Irish Research Council to conduct post-doctoral research at University College Dublin. In 2012, she was a visiting researcher at the University of Cologne.
Lerm Hayes’ publications include the books Post-War Germany and ‘Objective Chance’: W.G. Sebald, Joseph Beuys and Tacita Dean (Steidl 2008, 2011), James Joyce als Inspirationsquelle für Joseph Beuys (Olms 2001), and Joyce in Art: Visual Art Inspired by James Joyce (Lilliput 2004). This book accompanied her large, international curated exhibition on the theme for the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. She has curated exhibitions of contemporary art for institutions such as: Goethe Institut, Dublin; Tolstoy Estate National Museum, Russia; Museum of Art at Seoul National University, Korea; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick; and Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.