In search of academic legitimacy: The current state of scholarship on graffiti and street art

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Much has changed since the 1960s when the first scholarship on contemporary graffiti appeared. The current paper is an attempt to outline and contextualize a number of recurrent challenges facing researchers of graffiti and street art, as well as developments that have taken place in this scholarly field. The aim of creating this outline is to assist in increasing the amount, and improving the quality, of future scholarship on graffiti and street art. We recognize, however, that although many of the challenges have at one time seemed insurmountable, over time they have lessened as graffiti and street art have grown as art movements, and because a small cadre of tenacious scholars focusing on graffiti and street art has published and taught in this area. An increasing, though limited, number of academic venues focused on graffiti and street art scholarship has slowly emerged. We also recognize that with increased scholarship that has laid the foundation, new avenues to explore graffiti and street art have become apparent.


  • Jeffrey Ian Ross
  • Peter Bengtsen
  • John F. Lennon
  • Susan Phillips
  • Jacqueline Z. Wilson
External organisations
  • Ruhr-University Bochum
  • University of South Florida
  • Federation University Australia
  • Pitzer College
  • University of Baltimore
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Visual Arts


  • Graffiti, Scholarly legitimacy, Street art, Vandalism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-419
JournalSocial Science Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Peter Bengtsen, 2016 May 30, Inchiesta.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperSpecialist publication article

Peter Bengtsen, 2014, Almendros de Granada Press. 243 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

View all (3)

Related projects

Peter Bengtsen


Project: Dissertation

View all (1)