Personal profile

Research interests

My work explores key themes – the representations of cultures and people within cultural spaces - notably exhibitions and museums and is concerned with the impact of such spaces and events on local and tourist audiences. Thus my research is framed at the meeting point between culture (s) and representation and tourism.  I specialize in ‘how objects reflect societies’ to examine the material culture of everyday and political life, and cultural events are framed within the present – often the political present. I additionally look at ‘festive spaces’ as the meeting point of cultures. Key current projects include a study ofPost-communist dissonance and discourse: exploring the relationship of tourists as visitors to museums and contemporary cultural spaces which carry political ideologies at both the local and/or national level within Central Europe (with colleague Jerzy Kociatkiewicz).

Additionally, other work is concerned with how art is used to (mis)represent and understand diasporic cultures within the Near East drawing on post-Saidian discourses and the exploration of Orientalism in contemporary society. My research agendas grew from my background in museums, initially as a curator, and latterly as Deputy Director of a museum service. I therefore came to academe from practice and my research remains concerned with the role of the insider/outsider and framing of individual and collective memory and cultural remembering and I draw on the oral history and visual methods which shaped my practice   and the relationship of theory to practice. At Glasgow Museums, I was fortunate to have been at the forefront of a number of major projects, from being a member of the core team devising the philosophical and curatorial aims, initiation, development and success of the £6 million award-winning St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art (1993), building conversions, as in the Gallery of Modern Art, (1996) and major redisplays as in the People’s Palace (1998).

Prior to moving to Northumbria University, I taught arts and heritage management at Sheffield University Management School and was Programme Director for an interdisciplinary and cross-faculty masters in Creative and Cultural Industries with partners across the Arts Faculty. I have successfully supervised PhD students to completion and welcome applications in the broad area of heritage and identity, museums, events and tourism management.

Education/Academic qualification

Other Courses, PhD

2 Jul 200931 Dec 2099

Award Date: 2 Jul 2009


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