I joined the University in July 2002. Prior to this, I worked as a museum curator, a lecturer in Art History and sometime languages teacher, translator and interpreter in the UK, in Italy and in the US.
- Member of the Great North Museum Board
- Member of the University Cultural Affairs Steering Group
- Member of the Hatton Gallery Steering Group and Capital Development Group
In the past I have been Director of ICCHS, Director of Research for the School of Arts and Cultures and was the first head of Media, Culture, Heritage
- BA in Art History (University of Leicester), 1993
- MA in Museum Studies (University of Leicester), 1994
- PhD in Art History and Theory (Perfezionamento in Storia della Critica d'Arte) (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), 1999
- Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Newcastle University), 2003
Fluent Italian; improving Turkish; reading skills in French and Spanish.
I trained and worked as an art historian and art curator, but my research activities today are much broader, encompassing museums of different types (especially history museums) and heritage, with particular emphases on the cultural politics of memory, display, knowledge construction and interpretation. I am currently working on political uses of the past, time and place and contested histories and heritages, especially where these relate to contemporary social tensions and conflict. I have interests in social constructionism, theories of representation, cultural cartography, art theory, epistemology and Turkish, Italian and (more recently) Scandinavian museum and heritage politics.
I co-ordinate two large projects:
1. The EU-funded CoHERE project, a €2.5million Horizon 2020 study into European Heritages and Identities, working with 11 other organisations across Europe.
2. The Katip-Celebi Newton fund project Plural Heritages of Istanbul: the case of the Land Walls.
Before this I managed the Newcastle University work package of the EU FP7 'MELA' project: European Museums and Libraries in/of the Age of Migrations - a €2.7million award working with 8 other institutions across Europe, led by the Politecnico di Milano. Publications can be accessed here. I am currently building on the results of this project in the form of a website - http://thinkingthroughmigration.com - with free resources for museums interested in dealing with migration.
Alongside these activities I maintain research interests in the general areas covered in my monographs on the 19th Century Art Museum (Ashgate 2005), Museums and the Construction of Disciplines (Bloomsbury 2009) and Interpreting Art in Museums and Galleries (Routledge 2012). My most recent book is the edited volume Museums, Migration and Identity in Europe (Ashgate 2015).
With my colleague Dr Emma Coffield I run the Newcastle University interdisciplinary research group on the Cultural Significance of Place. Please contact me or Emma (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to be added to the mailing list.
I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College (Academic) and a series editor (with Professor Peter Stone and Professor Peter Davis) of the Heritage Matters book series published by Boydell and Brewer. I am on the editorial Boards of Museum and Society, Museum History Journal, the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy and Curator: the Museum Journal.
I am currently supervising the following doctoral research projects:
I have supervised Claire Pike, Susannah Eckersley, Gabriella Petkova, Pamela Erskine-Loftus, Alex Elwick, Yun-ju Chen, Bronwen Colquhoun, Emma Coffield and Gabriella Arrigoni, all of whom have successfully completed their PhDs.
I can take on new students as and when my current students submit and complete. On that proviso, I am interested in supervising doctoral students with a fundamental interest in cultural politics and an openness to theory who wish to work on (in no particular order of preference):
Please contact me if you would like to enquire about studying for a research degree under my supervision.
All of my scholarly work is in some way intended to benefit the sector and cultural policy makers, including the provision of recommendations for practice, training and building reflexive awareness of key issues (both past and present) for museums, galleries, heritage and society. I have also co-produced exhibitions, such as the permanent display 'Northern Spirit' at the Laing Art Gallery, and have provided advice for museums such as the Natural History Museum, the Manchester Museum, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and the National Gallery in London. I am an active contributor to international and European ICOM workshops.
heritage; museums; memory; cultural and social theory and politics; art curatorship; art theory; epistemology; display; art interpretation; museum history; social constructionism; disciplinarity; place; time; migration; EU; difficult history; uses of the past; cultural politics; identity; representation.
I have interrupted my normal teaching duties to concentrate on research projects. I continue to teach on the HASS Postgraduate Research Training Programme on the HS8004 module on Qualitative Methods and Critical Analysis, in particular within the 'museums, galleries and heritage' and 'thinking theories' strands.