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Durham University

Computer Science


Dr Leonardo Impett, M.Eng. M.A. Ph.D. MIET

Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science

(email at

I'm interested in the overlap between visual computing (especially machine vision) and visual studies (especially art history). My main work has to do with computer vision for the "distant reading" of art history (CS applied to the humanities), and Bildwissenschaft as a route to understanding computer vision (the humanities applied to CS). 

Before arriving at Durham, I worked with the Rainbow (Graphics & Interaction) Group at the Cambridge Computer Lab, the Image and Visual Representation Lab at EPFL, Villa I Tatti - the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History. 

If you're interested in doing a PhD or a 3rd/4th year project with me in the visual digital humanities, get in touch. 

Research Interests

  • Digital Art History
  • Digital Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary Machine Learning
  • Visual Studies
  • Computer Vision


Journal Article

Chapter in book

  • Impett, Leonardo (2020). Analyzing Gesture in Digital Art History. In The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History. Routledge. 386-407.
  • Gibson, Alex, Impett, Leonardo, Djurslev, Anders Thrue & Blackwell, Alan F. (2020). Waking the Monsters of Insomniac Rationality: Conspiracy Theory as Critical Technical Practice. In Monsters, Monstrosities, and the Monstrous in Culture and Society Series in Sociology Editors Diego Compagna, Stefanie Steinhart Publisher Vernon Press, 2020 ISBN 1622738934, 9781622738939 Length 426 pages Subjects Social Science › Sociology › General History / Social History Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social Social Science / Sociology / General Export Citation. Compagna, Diego & Steinhart, Stefanie Vernon Press.

Conference Paper

  • Impett, Leonardo Laurence, Bell, Peter, Seguin, Benoit & Ommer, Björn (2018), Beyond Image Search: Computer Vision in Western Art History, ADHO Digital Humanities Conference 2018. 73-75.
  • Impett, Leonardo & Süsstrunk, Sabine (2016), Pose and pathosformel in Aby Warburg’s bilderatlas, European Conference on Computer Vision Springer. 888-902.
  • Herman, Isak, Impett, Leonardo, Wollner, Patrick KA & Blackwell, Alan F (2015), Augmenting bioacoustic cognition with tangible user interfaces, International Conference on Augmented Cognition Springer. 437-448.
  • Impett, Leonardo, Herman, Isak, Wollner, Patrick KA & Blackwell, Alan F (2015), Musician Fantasies of Dialectical Interaction: Mixed-Initiative Interaction and the Open Work, International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction Springer. 184-195.
  • Impett, Leonardo, Robinson, Peter & Baltrusaitis, Tadas (2014), A facial affect mapping engine, Proceedings of the companion publication of the 19th international conference on Intelligent User Interfaces - IUI Companion '14. 33.
  • Impett, Jonathan & Impett, Leonardo (2013), The perception of potential: interference, dimensionality and knowledge, Advances in Artificial Life, ECAL 2013. 1126.