Doctoral Student Profiles

ICCHS has a diverse research student community. Several of our current PhD projects are featured below:

Niki Black

Niki Black profile imageTitle: Making Connections: The contribution of Community Cultural Festivals to the social sustainability of their host communities? A case study approach in Northumberland.

The research focuses on investigating the impact which small-scale, community-originated cultural festivals may have upon their host communities through exploration of three main themes of potential connectivity: festivals and, respectively, people, place and cultural heritage.

Supervisors: Dr Aron Mazel and Dr Myra Giesen



David Jared BowersDavid Jared Bowers

Title: Developing Sustainable Tourism Through Ecomuseology: A Case Study in the Rupununi Region of Guyana

My research evaluates the potential of using the principles of ecomuseology to support sustainable tourism development in the Rupununi. In particular, it examines how ecomuseum philosophy can be utilised to safeguard local heritage resources while enhancing the local economy.

Supervisors: Mr Gerard Corsane and Prof. Peter Davis



Emma CoffieldEmma Coffield

Title: Artist-Run Initiatives and the Production of Culture[s]

My research considers artist-run initiatives (anything run by and for artists) as structures through which artists create meaning, and my principle areas of interest include identity formation and position taking, social understandings of 'learning' and the construction of 'communities'.

Supervisors: Prof. Chris Whitehead, Dr Aron Mazel and Dr Rhiannon Mason



Bronwen ColquhounBronwen Colquhoun

Title: How does Flickr The Commons support community engagement and what are the implications for the development and understanding of the photographic collections?

My research analyses the extent to which image-sharing website Flickr The Commons supports community engagement and the effect this has not only on the featured photographic collections, but also on the wider practices of the participating cultural institutions."

Supervisors: Dr Areti Galani and Prof. Chris Whitehead



Rebecca Farley

Title: Looking beyond ‘The Angel’: Framing and interpreting a public art collection in Newcastle-Gateshead.

This project investigates Newcastle-Gateshead as a case study for exploring the interpretational potentials of a ‘public art collection’. Can a reframing of the city’s 200+ contemporary public artworks as a ‘collection’ offer new interpretational opportunities for curators, commissioners and audiences?

Supervisors: Prof. Chris Whitehead, Dr Areti Galani and Dr Venda Polock



Carolyn Gibbeson profile imageCarolyn Gibbeson

Title: Haunted Hospitals: An examination of the role of place attachment in the reuse of Victorian asylums.

This research asks: "Is place attachment a barrier to the redevelopment and re-use of historic buildings" focusing on the re-use of Victorian asylums. It examines resistance to heritage redevelopment, communication between stakeholders and the how people feel about redeveloped asylums.

Supervisors: Dr Aron Mazel and Prof. Chris Whitehead



Adam Goldwater

Title: Museums and Schools: Partners in Learning?

This research explores a disconnect between the practice of school teachers and museum educators, highlighting weak forms of multi-agency collaboration. Under what circumstances are strong forms of collaborative agency created, and how is this embedded in their own institutions?

Supervisors: Mr Andrew Newman and Prof. Peter Stone



Michael Haynes profile imageMike Haynes

Title: Designing and implementing successful donor funded tourism projects in developing countries: How do projects successfully engage with host country stakeholders to maximise target community benefits? An analysis of rural projects in Cambodia and Vietnam contrasted with emerging tourism strategy in Myanmar.

Donor funded tourism projects have been widely implemented across South East Asia with a variety of results. My research analyses stakeholder engagement in such projects in Cambodia and Vietnam, contrasting them with emerging tourism strategy and project development in Myanmar.

Supervisors: Prof. Peter Stone and Mr Gerard Corsane


Jennifer Lock

Title: The political and institutional dynamics of the production of interpretation in museums of art

Jennifer’s research seeks to investigate the dynamics behind the production of interpretation in museums of art. Her research focuses on shifting institutional practices and how these affect the way art is represented, understood and experienced.

Supervisors: Prof. Chris Whitehead, Dr Areti Galani and Dr Rhiannon Mason



Katharina Massing profile imageKatharina Massing

Title: Finding an ecomuseum ideal for Hainan Province: Encouraging community participation in heritage protection and sustainable tourism development in a rural setting in China

My research analyses the current ecomuseum development in Hainan Province, China. It examines how the use of ecomuseum principles could help safeguard the intangible and natural heritage of the island and encourage a stronger community participation in heritage protection.

Supervisors: Mr Gerard Corsane and Dr Aron Mazel



Bethany Rex profile imageBethany Rex

Title: Community participation and museums: In what way do current participatory initiatives in the museum sector respond to the localism agenda?

My doctoral research is concerned with how localism translates from policy document and legislation to everyday practice and experience. Specifically, it is interested in exploring the practices and meanings of participation, and their connections with localism, as they emerge through projects taking place in various museum services in England.

Supervisors: Mr Andrew Newman and Dr Areti Galani



Alistair Robinson profile imageAlistair Robinson

Title: How do museums of modern art in North-West Europe construct the public history of ‘contemporary art’ through their collecting activities?

My research examines how museums of modern art have adapted their collecting activity to adequately account for developments in ‘contemporary art’, in response to globalised markets,
challenges to the canon, and diversification of artists’ media and modes of production.

Supervisors: Prof. Chris Whitehead and Dr Susannah Eckersley

Zhao Yong

Title: Enhancing Cultural Heritage Visitors’ Experience through Interpretation. A Case Study in the Tourist-Historic City of Xi’an, China

I intend to explore the relationship between the interpretation of cultural heritage and cultural visitor’s experience and try to develop strategies to improve cultural heritage visitors’ experience through interpretation in the tourist-historic city of Xi’an, China.

Supervisors: Prof. Peter Stone and Dr Aron Mazel