HSS Banner

Gerard Corsane
Dean for International Business Development & Student Recruitment

  • Email: gerard.corsane@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6987
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 7001
  • Address: HaSS Faculty Office
    7th Floor, Daysh Building
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU

* NEWS -Currently, Gerard Corsane is working on developing a flexible and innovative suite of Postgraduate e-learning distance programmes in Heritage Management & Tourism.

The need for establishing such programmes comes as a response from his work experience in the heritage and tourism sector in South Africa and from what he has seen and heard in other countries around the world in recent years. His decade of working in the heritage and tourism sector in South Africa culminated in working for the newly established Robben Island Museum in the mid-1990s, which was soon to become a World Heritage Site. Since moving into academia, Gerard's professional, teaching and research interests have continued in the areas of cultural heritage resource management and heritage tourism.



Gerard Corsane is Dean for International Business Development & Student Recruitment in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

He is also a Senior Lecturer in Heritage, Museum & Gallery Studies in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, School of Arts and Cultures.

In addition, he is Academic Warden of Freemen's Hall, Castle Leazes Halls of Residence.


After completing his MA in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, Gerard Corsane returned to South Africa in 1989 and worked with heritage, museums, galleries for ten years. During this time, he participated in the exciting processes of transformation that occurred around the country's first democratic elections. He worked in the Albany Museums' History Division, in Grahamstown, for six years before becoming the first Robben Island Training Programme Co-ordinator. In this post he was involved in the facilitation and development of positive action training opportunities for black South Africans in the heritage, museums and galleries sector. In November 1999, he came over to the UK to take up a three-year lecturing contract in the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester.

In September 2002 he moved to the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies. He appreciates the interdisciplinary approaches to heritage, museum, galleries and tourism research and teaching in the Centre.

Covered in the overall theme of 'heritage management & tourism', his particular teaching and research interests are in cultural resources management, 'ecomuseums', integrated heritage management, sustainable development, the creative and cultural industries, and heritage tourism.

Roles and Responsibilities

Dean for International Business Development & Student Recruitment in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Senior Lecturer in Heritage, Museum & Gallery Studies in the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, School of Arts and Cultures.

Academic lead in the development of the new suite of Postgraduate e-learning distance programmes in Heritage Management & Tourism


BA in Ecclesiastical History and Systematic Theology
BA(Hons)in History
MA in Museum Studies

Previous Positions

(1999-2002) Lecturer, Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

(1996-99) Robben Island Training Programme Co-ordinator, South Africa

(1990-96) Head - History Division, Albany Museums' Complex of Heritage Sites, Museum and Galleries, South Africa

Research Interests

Gerard's research interests relate to his experiences in Africa and revolve around issues of identity construction and representation in colonial and postcolonial museum, heritage, public history and cultural tourism contexts. Linked to these, his research focuses on integrated heritage management, the value of intangible cultural heritage resources, stakeholder participatory processes, community benefits and sustainable development. He is particularly interested in the processes of management and interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources by indigenous peoples.

His specific research interests focus on 'ecomuseums' and similar democratic projects located in different countries around the world and how these projects relate to the above research areas. Currently, he is looking at the development of ecomuseums in provinces in the People’s Republic of China. He is also interested in work being done by the ‘Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development’, along with its stakeholders and shareholders, regarding heritage management and heritage tourism in Guyana, South America.

Research Fellowships

 Gerard holds international Research Fellowships with:

  • National Institute of Cultural Development, Beijing International Studies University
  • International Research Centre for Jingju Heritage, Jingju (Peking Opera) Theatre Company of Beijing

Funding Awards for Research and Engagement

  • 2012– Researcher: AHRC-funded. Title = Research for Community Heritage: North East England
  • 2010 – PI: EC-funded €848,588.Title = ‘en-compass’, a 3-year research and engagement project, with partners in Hainan Province of China, Kenya and Guyana
  • 2008 – Supervision Team: AHRC Collaborate Doctoral Award. Title = Engaging with Heritage: Sense of Place and Ecomuseum Potential in the North Pennines. PhD Student was Stephanie Hawke and the partner was the North Pennines AONB as partners.
  • 2006 – Academic Advisor: Leader+ Programme. Titled = Sense of Place, an intensive one-year project with Northumberland, Durham and Cumbria to work with locally community-driven heritage management projects
  • 2004 – PI: Arts and Humanities Research Fund (AHRF), Newcastle University: £2,000 awarded for a study visit to Italy to Evaluate Criteria for Ecomuseum Projects in Piemonte, Italy
  • 2003 – PI: Arts and Humanities Research Fund (AHRF), Newcastle University: £2,000 awarded for a Study Trip to Visit Key Ecomuseums in France undertaken between 25 May and 8 June 2003.

Current Work

  • Gerard writes on how the ecomuseum principles can be used as an effective alternative to the more dominant Western traditional approaches to museum work and heritage management.
  • He is also interested in intangible cultural heritage and the impact of UNESCO's initiatives in this area.

Future Research

In the future, Gerard intends to continue his research into ecomuseums, integrated heritage management and community museology in other countries around the world.

Postgraduate Supervision

He is in the supervision team for the following current Newcastle University PhD Research Postgraduates.

  • Katharina Messing - 'From ‘Theme Park’ to ecomuseum: Could the use of ecomuseum principles in Hainan Province help to safeguard the intangible heritage of its ethnic minorities?' Principal Supervisor.
  • David Jared Bowers - 'Developing Sustainable Tourism through Ecomuseology: a Case Study in the Rupununi Region of Guyana'. Principal Supervisor.
  • Jean Price - 'Supporting Endangered Language Communities through Museums in the Island of Ireland and Canada: A Domain for Maintenance and Revitalization'. Co-supervisor.

He was in the Supervision team for the following Newcastle University PhD Research Postgraduate students, who have successfully completed their PhDs.

  • Justin Sikora - 'On-site Interpretation at Historic Battlefields: Heritage Construction and Presentation at non-built historic Sites. Principal Supervisor'.
  • Hamimi Omar – 'The Development of Sustainable Cultural Heritage Tourism in Malaysia: Implication for Planning and Management'. Second Supervisor.
  • Stephanie Hawke - 'Engaging with Heritage, Sense of Place and Ecomuseum Potential in the North Pennines'. Second Supervisor. AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award.
  • Bryony Onciul- 'Unsettling Assumptions about Community Engagement: A New Perspective on Indigenous Blackfoot Participation Sites in Alberta, Canada'. Second Supervisor. AHRC Award. .
  • Michelle Stefano - 'Outside Museum Walls: Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in North East England'. Principal Supervisor.
  • Suzie Thomas - 'Relationship between Archaeologists and Metal Detector Users in England and Wales'. Second Supervisor.
  • Shathan Abu-Khafajah - 'Meaning and Use of Cultural Heritage in Jordan: Towards a Sustainable Approach'. Second Supervisor.
  • Sarah Elliot - 'Rescuing Hasankeyf: Ecomuseological Responses to Large Dams in Southeast Turkey'. Second Supervisor.
  • Sharon Roberts - 'Childhood Material Culture and Museum Representations'. Second Supervisor.

He was, or is, providing external supervision for the following visiting PhD students, Postdoctoral students, academic and practitioner researchers.

  • Andrea Romano, 3rd year PhD Intercultural relations and processes - University of Molise (Italy), Department of Humanities, Social and Educational sciences - 'Local heritage and Mappa di Comunita - Inhabitants awareness raising for a good local development in small and marginal places: an explorative case study in three small mountain villages in Molise-Italy'.

 Gerard supervises 8-10 MA Research Dissertations for Taught Postgraduate students per year.

Esteem Indicators

In 2012, Gerard served on the Organising Committee and the Academic Scientific Committee of the Ecomuseums 2012: 1st International Conference on Ecomuseums, Community Museums and Living Communities. Held in Seixal, Portugal, the conference was co-hosted by the Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development and Newcastle University in September 2012.

In 2012, he served on the Organising Committee and Academic Scientific Committee of the 3rd International Forum: Sustaining Creative Economies - East and West Perspectives in Creativity, Entrepreneurialism, Social Renewal and Trade. Held in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, the conference was co-hosted by the National Institute for Cultural Development of Beijing International Studies University and Newcastle University in June 2012.

In 2009, he was invited to serve on the International Science Committe of the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Guyana.

In 2008, he was invited to Hainan Island, a Province of the People's Republic of China, to advise on the establishment of urban and rural ecomuseums.

In 2007, he was invited to co-develop a Continuing Professional Development Programme on Heritage Interpretation that was run through the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome.

In 2006, he was invited to Guyana to plan a partnership with the 'Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development' to develop research, training and interpretation and communication programmes with stakeholders working to preserve the rainforests. Here he introduced stakeholders to the principles of ecomuseology.


Over recent years, Gerard Corsane has been invited, or accepted, to present the following conference and seminar papers:

Corsane, G. 2012. 'Safeguarding and Promoting Heritage Resources using Ecomuseological Approaches: the international ‘en-compass’ project as a model?' Paper presented at the Ecomuseums 2012: 1st International Conference on Ecomuseums, Community Museums and Living Communities. Held in Seixal, Portugal, 18-21 September.

Bowers D.J. & Corsane, G. 2012. 'Can ecomuseology be used to support sustainability, community-based tourism development in the Rupununi, Guyana'. Paper presented at the Ecomuseums 2012: 1st International Conference on Ecomuseums, Community Museums and Living Communities. Held in Seixal, Portugal, 18-21 September.

Gobin, D., Allicock, S. & Corsane, G. 2010. 'Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development'. Paper presented in the plenary Session 10 - People and Forests: Engaging Communities. 18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference, Edinburgh, 28 June-2 July.

Corsane, G. 2010. 'Ecomuseology in Guyana'. Paper presented in the session Sense of Place - interpretation, cityscape, landscape. Narrative Space Conference, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, 20-22 April.

Corsane, G. 2009. ‘Ecomuseology as a way forward for working with stakeholders to develop sustainable tourism and rainforest conservation: a case study from Guyana’. Paper presented in the Ecological/Environmental Anthropology Session; Humanity, Development and Cultural Diversity. The 16th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES 2009), Kunming, China, 27-31 July.

Stefano, M. & Corsane, G. 2009. ‘Looking beyond museum walls: a further exploration of using the ecomuseum ideal to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in North East England’. Paper presented at: Sharing Cultures 2009, International Conference on Intangible Heritage, Ilha do Pico, Azores Islands, 29 May - 1 June.

Corsane, G., Davis, P., Hawke, S. & Stefano, M. 2008. ‘Ecomuseology: a holistic model for safeguarding spirit of place in the North East of England’. Paper presented at: the conference on Finding the Spirit of Place, International Council of Monuments and Sites, Québec, Canada, 26 September - 4 October.

Corsane, G. 2008. ‘Iwokrama – the green heart of Guyana: working with indigenous communities in heritage management and tourism using the principles of ecomuseology’. Paper presented in: the Session 15.6 – Ownership of heritage and ownership of tourism, Theme 15 – Heritage tourism agendas, Sixth World Archaeological Conference, Dublin, 29 June – 4 July.

Stefano, M. & Corsane, G. 2008. ‘The applicability of the ecomuseum ideal in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in North East England’. World Heritage and Sustainable Development, Heritage 2008 International Conference, Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal, 7-9 May.

Corsane, G. 2008. 'Principles of ecomuseology, with the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, Guyana, as a case study'. Paper presented at the conference on Nurturing Culture, Conserving Nature: Heritage Governance and Local Participation in Kenya, South Africa and Sweden, CEFOS, University of Gothenburg, 7-8 February.

Corsane, G. 2006. ‘Sustainable future scenario for people, environments and landscapes – the ecomuseum and issues related to its use?’. Paper presented at the Sustainable Uplands: Future Scenarios for People, Environment and Landscape, The International Centre for the Uplands – Cumbria, Kendal, 30 May – 1 June.

Corsane, G, 2006. ‘Finding alternatives to ‘imposed tourism’; the ecomuseum ideal, sustainable development and responsible tourism’. Paper presented during the Responsible Tourism session at the 2006 Annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Chicago, Illinois, 10 March.

Corsane, G. 2005. ‘Integrated museum action and social responsibility – shifting from “outreach” to “inreach” using a process model based on the priciples of ecomuseology’. Paper presented at the ICOM-Canada session entitled From Ideas to Ecomuseums: International Views of Social Responsibility during the 2005 Canadian Museums Association 58th Annual Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 8-11 June 2005.

Corsane, G. 2005. ‘From “outreach” to “inreach”: how ecomuseum principles encourage community participation in museum processes’. Paper presented at the 2005 Guizhou International Forum of Ecomuseums on Communication and Exploration, Guiyang, Guizhou, Peoples Republic of China, 1-6 June 2005.

Corsane, G. & Davis, P. 2004. ‘Working with intangible and tangible cultural heritage: the potential of using the principles of the ecomuseum ideal’. Keynote paper presented at the 34th CIOFF (International Council of Organisations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art) World Congress, entitled The Convention of the safeguarding of intangible heritage culture. Stockton on Tees, 17 October 2004.

Corsane, G., Davis, P. & Elliott, S. 2004. ‘Liberating museum action and heritage management through ‘inreach’: Could a democratic curating process model based on ecomuseology be implemented in Turkey?’ Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of Ecomuseums and Community Museums and the 10th International Workshop of MINOM. Rio de Janeiro, 13-17 September 2004.

Corsane, G. 2004. ‘Robben Island Museum: challenging the practice of curating in the new South Africa’. Paper presented during the Sites of History/Sites of Conflict panel session at the Design History Society Annual Conference entitled Politics of Design. University of Ulster at Belfast, 9-11 September 2004.

Corsane, G. 2004. ‘Creating and curating the Robben Island Museum, South Africa’. Paper presented during the parallel session on Curating Captivity: Imprisonment and the Museum, at the Renaissance Imprisonment conference. Sponsored by the Society for Renaissance Studies. Tower of London, 3 September 2004.

Corsane, G. 2004. ‘Supporting international postgraduate students’. Paper presented at the Teaching and Learning Conference: Excellence in Internationalisation and Assessment. University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 6 July 2004.

Corsane, G. 2003. ‘Intangible cultural heritage’. Paper presented at the Round Table on Culture, during the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) 33rd Annual Conference and 8th Research Conference entitled The European Union: The First Ten Years, The Next Ten Years? University of Newcastle, 2-4 September 2003.

Corsane, G. 2003. ‘Should museums in a postcolonial world be concerned with curating intangible heritage? A consideration of some global projects and some local South African initiatives’. Paper presented at the Commonwealth Association of Museums General Meeting on the Museum in the Commonwealth: global vision, local mission, National Museums Liverpool, 15-18 July 2003.

Corsane, G. 2003. ‘Transforming Heritage and Museums in Post-Apartheid South Africa: the impact of processes of policy formulation and new legislation’. Paper presented at the ASA Decennial Conference on Anthropology and Science in the panel session on museums in the post-colonial era, Manchester University, 14-18 July 2003.

Corsane, G. 2003. ‘Embracing diversity through heritage: some examples from South Africa'. Paper presented at the Heritage Seminar Series on the theme of Embracing diversity through heritage’ at the Academy for Irish Heritages, University of Ulster, 7 March,2003.

Corsane, G. 2003. ‘Bringing together African initiatives and plans of the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies in Newcastle’. Paper presented at the session on The Future of Heritage Training at the South African National Cultural Heritage Training & Technology Program Colloquium, Durban, South Africa,4-7 February 2003.

Corsane, G. 2002. ‘Museum documentation of intangible heritage – new museum curatorial initiatives in the Western Cape, South Africa’. Seminar paper presented at the Connections and Disconnections: relationships between museums, their collections and culturally diverse communities, Seminar Programme, V&A Museum, London, 22 June 2002.

Corsane, G. 2002. ‘The principles of the ecomuseum ideal and their potential for transforming museum action in postcolonial contexts’. Seminar paper presented at the 'The Meanings of the Museum in the Postcolonial Era seminar workshop, Manchester Museum, 12 June 2002.

Corsane, G. 2002. ‘Modelle regionaler vernetzung. Nachhaltige entwicklung, überlieferung, nachbarschaftsmuseen am beispiel Südafrikas. Paper presented at the Museen in der regionalen Vernetzung – Perspektiven musealer Vermittlungsarbeit conference, University of Applied Sciences/Arbeitskreis Museumspädagogik Ostdeutschland e. V., Merseburg, 7 June 2002.

Corsane, G. 2002. ‘Official, unofficial and ‘new’ official histories: museums as sites for the curation of contested public histories in the Western Cape, South Africa'. Workshop paper presented at the Ruskin Public History Group, Third Public History Conference: ‘Unofficial and Official History’, Ruskin College, Oxford, 11 May 2002.

Corsane, G. 2002. ‘Robben Island Museum: challenging and shifting boundaries for museum curatorial practices in society today’. Seminar paper presented at the launch of the BSA Museums & Society Seminar Series, International Centre for Cultural & Heritage Studies, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, 1 March 2002.

Corsane, G. 2002. ‘Robben Island Museum as a site for the construction and curation of public histories’. Seminar paper presented in the Public History study group seminar series, Ruskin College, Oxford, 19 January 2002.


new museology
community museology
integrated heritage management
intangible cultural heritage


Postgraduate Teaching

Currently, Gerard is co-leading with Iain Wheeldon, and is the Academic Co-ordinator for a project to develop a suite of modules and programmes in Heritage Management & Tourism to be offered from September 2013 through e-learning and blended learning. 

Gerard teaches across the three campus-based MA programmes areas offered by the Centre. These are in 'Heritage Studies', 'Museum Studies', and, 'Art Museum and Gallery Studies'.

Since starting with the Centre, he has held the following portfolio of positions:

Degree Programme Director - for the five ICCHS taught postgraduate programmes

Chair of Board of Studies

Chair Board of Examiners

Chair Staff/Student Committee

Admissions Tutor - Postgraduate Taught & Postgraduate Research Students

Programme Leader - Heritage Education & Interpretation

Module Leader - Issues & Ideas (1 year relief replacement)

Module Leader - Communication & Interpretation

Module Leader - History Curatorship

Module Leader - Interpretation & Exhibitions

Module Leader - Heritage & Media

Module Leader - Heritage & Tourism

Module Leader - Heritage/Museum/Gallery Education

Module Leader - Research Dissertations

International Students Tutor


Gerard was the university Team Leader for the 'Students Overseas: Promoting learning opportunities abroad for UK students and engaging more effectively with incoming students' project in the 'Evidence-informed Quality Improvement Programme (EQUIP)' of The Higher Education Academy.

Gerard was involved in developing three successful bids to the University of Newcastle's Teaching and Learning Committee (UTLC) Innovation Fund. These were:

* M. Grimwood & G. Corsane (2010) for the creation of 'A university-wide network for internationalisation in transnational and e-learning (UNITE)';

* G. Corsane and C. Whitehead for the ‘Creation of a hands-on postgraduate module (20 credits) in exhibition design and implementation’; and,

* J. Broderick, G. Corsane and R. Bevan for the ‘Embedding of the virtual field trip in university teaching’.

Gerard is part of the team that developed an MSc in Bioderversity, Conservation and Ecotourism that is run jointly with the Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand.

Currently, 50% of his time is dedicated to his work as Dean for International Business Development & Student Recruitment in the HaSS Faculty. This means that he travels a lot and is out of ICCHS for periods.