Dr Sarina Wakefield

Lecturer School of Museum Studies

School/Department: Museum Studies, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5524



Dr Sarina Wakefield is a Lecturer in Museum Studies at the School of Museum Studies University of Leicester. I joined the School in January 2020. Prior to Leicester I lectured at Zayed University Dubai Campus in the United Arab Emirates where I taught art history research methods and heritage focused courses. Prior to this I was a Guest Lecturer at UCL Qatar where I contributed teaching to the MA Museum and Gallery Practice. My primary research focuses on critical museums and heritage studies in the Arabian Peninsula. More broadly I am interested in the politics of transnational museologies.


I am an interdisciplinary scholar specialising in critical museums and heritage studies. My research has examined the cultural heritage and museologies of the Arabian Peninsula. My forthcoming monograph Heritage Transnational Narratives and Museum Franchising in Abu Dhabi explores the processes of cultural franchising in non-western contexts. My research interests and regions of specialisation can be broadly summarised as follows: Critical museology and heritage studies Arabian Peninsula museology and heritage Non-western and post-colonial museologies Transnational cultural formations and processes Politics of museums and heritage particularly soft power and diplomacy Ethno-Spatial politics and identity


Wakefield, S. (2020). Cultural Heritage, Transnational Narratives and Museum Franchising in Abu Dhabi. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Wakefield, S. (2020). Museums of the Arabian Peninsula: Historical Developments and Contemporary Discourses. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.

Exell, K. and Wakefield, S. (Eds.) (2014). Museums in Arabia: Transnational Practices and Regional Processes. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-1472464620.

Book Chapters

Wakefield, S. (2018). Contemporary Art and Migrant Identity Construction in the UAE. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978-0-8153-5079-8

Wakefield, S. (2017). Transnational Heritage in Abu Dhabi: Power, Politics and Identity. In Stephenson, M. and Al-Hamarneh, A. Eds. International Tourism and the GCC States: Developments, Challenges and Opportunities. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Pp. 235-244.

Wakefield, S. (2017). The Super Rich: Contemporary Art and Museology. In Forrest, R.; Wissink, B. and Koh, S.Y. Cities and the Super-Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices and Urban Political Economies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Pp. 167-185.

Wakefield, S. (2014). Heritage, Cosmopolitanism and Identity in Abu Dhabi. In Exell, K. and Rico, T. Eds. Cultural Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Debates, Discourses and Practices. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate. Pp. 99-116.

Wakefield, S. (2013). Hybrid Heritage and Cosmopolitanism in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. In Erskine-Loftus, P. Ed. Reimagining Museums: Practice in the Arabian Peninsula. Edinburgh: Museums Etc. Pp. 98-129.

Journal Articles

Wakefield, S. (2017). Contemporary Art and Migrant Identity Construction in the UAE and Qatar. Journal of Arabian Studies Arabia, the Gulf, and the Red Sea. Volume 7, 2017 - Issue sup1: CIRS Special Issue. Pp.99-111.

Wakefield, S. (2012). Falconry as Heritage in the United Arab Emirates. World Archaeology. Themed Volume. Schofield, J. Ed. The Archaeology of Sport and Pastimes. 44(2) Pp. 280-290.


I welcome PhD enquiries that connect with global museologies and critical heritage studies and in particular those that connect with the non-western world. I am particularly interested in supporting students in the following areas: Middle East and Arabian Peninsula Museologies and Heritage Globalization and Transnationalism Critical Heritage Studies Politics and Power Partnerships and Collaborative Practice Marketing Fundraising and Business Development


I teach across the programmes in the school and I convene the campus based and distance learning Research Module. I also teach on the Heritage Specialism. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Press and media

Gulf Museum Development


Founding editor of the Routledge Book Series Cultural Heritage Art and Museums in the Middle East. Fellow Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI)


Workshop Paper (Invited Speaker) Questioning Urban Diversities in the Gulf and Beyond (Workshop 1 March 2018) Princeton University Princeton United States. Presentation (Invited Speaker) ‘Out|side: Scholarly Approaches to Art’ The Jamjar Gallery (13 October 2016) Dubai United Arab Emirates. Workshop Paper (Invited Speaker) ‘Creativity and Art in the Absence of Oil Fortunes: The Case of Bahrain’ Art and Cultural Production in the GCC Working Group (20-31 August 2015) Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar Doha Qatar. Session Chair (Invited Chair) Session: Rethinking Heritage in the Arabian Peninsula: Intangible and Tangible Cultural Heritage Reconsidered Cambridge in Sharjah: Perspectives on Middle Eastern Studies Symposium (10-11 March 2013) American University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates. 


Founder and Director Museums in Arabia Conference Series The Museums in Arabia conference series that serves as an international collaborative network for the study of museums cultural heritage and art in the Arabian Peninsula. Established in 2012 the conference series has developed successful events at host institutions including Conferences Organised • Conference Director and Co-organiser Museums in Arabia (26-28 June 2019) King’s College London. • Conference Director and Co-organiser Museums in Arabia (11-13 October 2017) Bahrain National Museum Manama Kingdom of Bahrain. • Conference Director and Co-organiser Museums in Arabia (13-16 June 2014) Museum of Islamic Art Doha Qatar. • Conference Founder and Co-organiser Museums in Arabia (13-15 July 2012) The British Museum London. 
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