Rosemary Shirley  

Rosmarie’s research explores the intersection between art and rural places. This includes the practice of making and curating art in and with rural communities. Rosmarie is also interested in the representation of rural places in landscape art, by heritage organisations and in forms of popular culture. She comes from an art school background and uses creative and interdisciplinary ways of working. She published widely on the idea of the rural including her monograph Rural Modernity Everyday Life and Visual Culture (Routledge 2015). She worked with Whitechapel Gallery and partners including Istanbul Biennial, Wysing Art Centre, Myvillages, and Aberystwyth University on the research project The Rural: Contemporary Art and Spaces of Connection, generating a programme of events and international conference and a publication. Rosmarie co-curated (with Verity Elson) Creating the Countryside a large scale exhibition at Compton Verney featuring the work of over 100 artists including Gainsborough, Turner, Ingrid Pollard and Delaine Le Bas. She also co-curated (with Joanne Lee) Everywhere: Life in a Littered World at Plymouth Art Institute, looking at artists' responses to environmental pollution. Rosmarie is currently working with Wysing Art Centre on activities funded by the British Art Network to create a critical space for rurally based arts organisations.  

Corinne Fowler  

Professor Corinne Fowler is Professor of Colonialism and Heritage. In 2020, Corinne co-authored the National Trust report on its properties’ many links to colonial histories. The report Colonialism and historic slavery report | National Trust was an audit of peer-reviewed historical research by projects such as the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership and the East India Company at Home. Corinne’s published work focuses mainly on British country estates, large-scale land-owners and colonial figures as well as colonized, enslaved, labouring and landless people in Britain and overseas. Corinne has also investigated the historical Black presence in the countryside and heritage sites. Corinne co-founded and directed the university’s Centre for New Writing. She regularly commissions creative writing for Museums and Heritage organisations. Her most recent book is Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural England’s Colonial Connections, Peepal Tree Press, 2020, which demonstrates how Black and Asian Britons have reshaped rural writing and perceptions of the countryside and addresses the topic of rural racism. Her next book is The Countryside: Ten Walks Through Colonial Britain (Penguin Allen Lane, 2023). Based on recent archival research, this book explores the unique colonial histories of ten local places in England, Wales and Scotland. Her companions on these walks were ten people with ancestral connections to empire, including Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland and Ingrid Pollard, shortlisted for the 2022 Turner Prize. 

Alice Tilche

Alice Tilche is a lecturer in Art, Anthropology and Museum Studies. Her research at the intersection of art and activism employs visual, collaborative and arts-based methods to research social transformations. Recent research projects include work on the cultural politics of indigeneity, migration, nationalism and most recently Covid-19. Alice’s book Adivasi Art and Activism: curation in a nationalist age was published with Washington University Press in 2022. Her collaborative film projects including Sundarana (2011), Broken Gods (2019) and Budhan-Stories (2021) have been selected for a number of international film festivals and awards. Alice's research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Economic and Social Science Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK. Her most recent project is a Research Partnership with Indigenous Researchers titled Indigenous Film Ecologies in India.  

Isobel Whitelegg 

Isobel Whitelegg is an art historian and curator specialising in the history and historiography of contemporary art and its institutions, with long-held expertise in contemporary art from Latin America (especially Brazil) and its histories. Current research focuses on the ‘institutional memory’ and dynamically formed legacies of non-collecting arts institutions (a category largely excluded from Museum Studies). A sustained focus of recent work has been collaborative research centring on the archives of São Paulo’s prominent international biennial and focusing on the Bienal de São Paulo’s artistic activities and organisational development during Brazil’s military regime (1964-1985). Exhibitions curated include Cinthia Marcelle, A Conjunction of Factors (MACBA 2022-23) and Signals, If you like I shall grow (Thomas Dane, London; kurimanzutto, New York; 2018). Before joining Museum Studies in 2015, Isobel occupied two roles that bridged the university and arts sectors: LJMU Research Curator, Tate Liverpool; Head of Public Programmes, Nottingham Contemporary.    

Stacy Boldrick

Stacy Boldrick conducts research into the long history of iconoclasm or image breaking (the deliberate defacing, dismantling or destruction of works of art and historic artefacts) and its significance for social groups and institutions. Her last monograph, Iconoclasm and the Museum (Routledge, 2020) explored the museum’s attitudes to iconoclasm in the stories it tells about its objects through public display, addressing a range of subjects including the toppling of royal and Confederate monuments, surviving fragments of religious sculptures defaced during the English Reformation, and the use of destruction and iconoclasm in contemporary art.  

Simon Knell

Simon is professor of contemporary museology. His research is concerned with understanding how museums and galleries shape our understanding of the world. He is currently studying debates around abstract art practices in twentieth-century England. His recent publications include: The Museum’s Borders: On the Challenge of Knowing and Remembering Well (2021) which looks at how art, history, archaeology and science museums manipulate our understanding of the world; ‘Modernisms: Curating art’s past in the global present’ (2019) discusses how museums and galleries might realise a more inclusive view of 'modern’ art; and National Galleries: The Art of Making Nations (2016), the first detailed dissection of a global phenomenon that is not typified by the so-called great national galleries of Europe. 

PhD Research

  • Dr Olatunde Barber completed a cultural study of national art and the national gallery in Nigeria.
  • Dr Brenda Cocotle completed a study of institutional territories looking at the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City.
  • Dr Yon Jai Kim completed an investigation of the dynamics, debates, agents and contexts of the development of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea.
  • Kuan-Yin Liu is exploring the cultural dynamics of contemporary art spaces in Taiwan.
  • Dr Sipei Lu completed as study looking at the opportunities, tensions and other dynamics brought by socially engaged art practices to curatorial models and structures of art institutions.
  • Dr Kate McPhail completed a study exploring the legacy of feminist art histories on art museums today by looking at its impact on women-only art spaces.
  • Sarah Plumb is interested in the contemporary art gallery as mediator in socially-engaged practices and in the ethics of collaborative making.
  • Laura Diaz Ramos examines the tensions between feminist curating and institutional ways of working in art museums and galleries.
  • Dr Martina Santillan completed a study of contemporary art museums and socially-engaged contemporary art practice in Mexico City.
  • Kristina Wright is examining the role of the arts in cross-cultural exchange between Asia and Africa, and particularly between South Korea and Kenya.


  • Dr Stephanie Bowry is interested in transhistorical studies of visual representation and cultural performance. She previously researched the relationships between the Early Modern garden and the emergence of the art gallery. She is a CRÍA Honorary Lecturer.
  • Dr Romina Delia, Internationalisation Associate at Arts Council Malta, explores the Baroque through contemporary, immersive and ritualistic art performances. She is interested in the promotion of unity in diversity through intercultural dialogue.
  • Dr Catharina Hendrick, Lecturer at University College London, Qatar, researches organisational culture and organisational structures within art institutions
  • Dr Mette Houlberg Rung, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen and Honorary Research Fellow, is concerned with personal and temporal meetings between the exhibition, the artwork and the user.
  • Dr Sophie Kazan, Honorary Research Fellow, recently completed a study of the effect of modernity and traditions on the development of contemporary art in the UAE. More broadly her interests concern artists working in the Arab world and their international connections.

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