School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Susannah Eckersley

Lecturer in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies



I have been in post as a permanent, part-time Lecturer in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies at Newcastle University since 2012. I am the Deputy Project Coordinator of the EU funded Horizon 2020 project: COHERE - Critical Heritages: representing and performing identities in Europe ( Within CoHERE I also lead the Dissemination Work Package and undertake research within Work Package 1 (led by Prof Chris Whitehead).

From 2011-2015, I was a researcher on the EU FP7 funded MeLA: European Museums in an Age of Migration project (

I originally joined Newcastle University as an associate member of teaching staff in 2008, after completing my PhD in Museum Studies at Newcastle University in 2007. I have an MA (Hons) in German and History of Art from Edinburgh University and an MA in Museum Studies from Newcastle University. My postgraduate studies were funded by the AHRC and the German Academic Exchange Council (DAAD). During my undergraduate degree I benefitted from an ERASMUS year at Leipzig University, Germany and a key part of my PhD research involved in depth research visits to the Institute for Museum Research in Berlin (funded by the DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service) and to major museums around Germany and the UK. My MA and PhD were both fully funded by the AHRC.

In addition to my academic work, I also have professional experience within the cultural heritage sector internationally. I have worked at:

  • the Alte and Neue Pinakothek - two major art museums in Munich, Germany
  • The Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), for the National Monuments Record Scotland - a national architectural and archaeological archive
  • the Palace of Holyroodhouse - a historic royal palace and major tourist attraction in Edinburgh
  • AKG Images - a commercial arts and history picture library with offices in London, Berlin and Paris


Cultural Significance of Place Research Group

Association of Critical Heritage Studies 

Museums Association

Museums & Galleries History Group



fluent German (I am a bilingual dual-national)
basic Dutch
rusty French


Research Interests

My research interests are interdisciplinary and span the full breadth of what is understood as 'heritage' and public culture.

Within this I have particular specialist knowledge and interests in: difficult histories (in particular in relation to German history); migration, diversity and representation; German art and architecture; cultural policy; museum architecture; museology; economic and social regeneration; built heritage. One commonality for me between these diverse interests is that they all encompass the wider issue of the relationship between heritage, culture and history and the state.

From September - December 2016 I held a Leibniz Research Alliance 'Historical Authenticity' Fellowship at the Zentrum fuer Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam, Germany: undertaking independent research on the topic: 'Affective authenticity? Museums, objects and memories of historical and contemporary migration'

Major research project work includes:

From 2016 - 2019 Deputy Project Coordinator, Dissemination Work Package Leader and Co-Investigator on CoHERE: Critical Heritages performing and representing identities in Europe ( Funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 with 2.4million Euro.

From 2011 - 2015 working as Research Associate on MeLA: European Museums in an Age of Migration ( Funded by the European Commission under FP7 with 2.6million Euro.

In 2008 assisting PI Aron Mazel on the 'Embedding Apartheid' research project examining the influence of the Afrikaner Broederbond secret society on museums, culture and public life during Apartheid-era South Africa. 


Current teaching:

Since 2015 I have been teaching on the following modules in Media, Culture, Heritage:

Bachelors level:

MCH 3073 - Research Dissertation: Media, Communication and Culture (formerly COM 3073) - Dissertation Supervisor

MCH 2078 - Shock and Awe: conflict, disaster and emotions in media and public culture - Module Leader, lecturer and seminar leader

MCH3068 - Identity and Belonging - Module leader, lecturer and seminar leader

Masters level:

MCH8501 - Understanding Challenges in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies

MCH8503 - Communicating and Learning in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies

MCH8504 - Caring for Collections in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies

MCH8532 - Understanding Academic and Applied Research in Museum, Gallery and Heritage Studies

MCH8599 - Research Dissertation in Museum, Gallery & Heritage Studies - dissertation supervisor

MCH8600 - Professional Practice and Research Project - supervisor

PhD Supervision 

I currently supervise the following research postgraduate students:

Alistair Robinson: Making present (art) history public / Making public (art) history present:  How museums of modern art construct the history of the visual art of our time

Muhammad Ilmam bin Tharazi: Faith in Displays: An Analysis on the changes in the representation of Islamic Art in Museums

Phil Deans: From a Museum on the World's last War, to a Museum on the Two World Wars: The Wartime Activities and Reinvention of the Imperial War Museum, 1939-1946

I would welcome proposals from potential PhD students in any of my areas of interest (see the 'profile' and 'research' tabs on this page. 

Previous teaching:


Between 2008 and 2015 I taught on the following modules in Fine Art:

FIN 1007 Preliminary Studies in Art History 1 - Seminar leader and lecturer

FIN 1008 Preliminary Studies in Art History 2 - Seminar leader and lecturer

FIN 3036 - Art & War - Lecturer

FIN 3029 - Exhibiting Art - Lecturer 

FIN 3097 - Art History Dissertation - Dissertation Supervisor


Between 2008 and 2016 I taught on the following Masters level modules:

ICS 8001 Issues & Ideas in Museum, Gallery & Heritage Studies - Module leader, Seminar leader and lecturer

ICS 8003 Communication & Interpretation in Museum, Gallery & Heritage Studies - Practicals leader

ICS 8012 History in Museums - Lecturer

ICS 8024 Heritage Management 1 - Lecturer 

ICS 8099 Dissertation in Museum, Gallery & Heritage Studies - Module leader and dissertation supervisor

Teaching Roles and Pastoral care

Since 2010 I have also acted as a personal tutor to UGT and PGT students

Between 2012 and 2016 I was the Erasmus & Study Abroad Co-ordinator for Media, Culture, Heritage