Edinburgh Research Explorer
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Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Manchester
Master of Philosophy (MPhil), University of Glasgow
Bachelor of Arts, Fort Lewis College


Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, my educational background is in archaeology and anthropology.  I was a University Teacher at Glasgow University from 2003-8, and a Lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at Leeds University in 2007-8 before taking up my current post at ECA.

My primary research interests include examining how people engage with and construct meaning from the material world, and how the things and places we make and use are experienced, interpreted, ordered and displayed to construct narratives of historic and contemporary cultures in museums, galleries, landscape, bodily, contemporary art and cinematic contexts. I am also interested in ideas about the material culture of the recent and deep past, and their relationships to presents/futures, and the ethics surrounding museum display, contemporary art and ethnography.

Finally, I frequently write for art exhibitions and exhibition catalogues, I was previously a trustee for Rhubaba Gallery in Edinburgh, I am a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and have since 2015 been a member of the editorial collective of the peer reviewed journal Visual Culture in Britain.

Research students

Past students:

Crowther, Rebecca. PhD 2017. 'Wellbeing and Self-Transformation in Natural Landscapes'. (Published as monograph by Palgrave MacMillan, 2019)

Kompatsiaris, Panos. PhD 2015: 'Curating Resistances: Crisis and the Limits of the Political Turn in Contemporary Art Biennials'. (Published as monograph by Routledge, 2017)

Contier, Xavier. PhD 2015: 'Education, reform and symbolic projection in the early twenty-first century, at the National Galleries of Scotland'.

Collaborative Activity

Art + Anthropology Research and Teaching: Atelier: Making Research in the Arts and Social Sciences. With Dr Richard Baxstrom and Professor Neil Mulholland.

Art + Anthropology Practice: member of the collective Aeon of Isis, with artists Alexa Hare and Liz Adamson.

Landscape Research: With Drs Penny Travlou and Alessandro Froldi, I co-teach courses on critical methods for examining landscapes, as well as engaging in collaborative research on spatial politics and often presenting at conferences, symposia and in public discussion platforms.

Office Hours

Mondays 2-3, Thursdays 2-3.

Research outputs

  1. Local Populations and Global Heritage (2019)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

  2. Women of the Hill: Hanna Tuulikki in Conversation with Angela McClanahan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

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Research activities & awards

  1. PhD External Examiner

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examiner or Assessor

  2. Bloomsbury Academic (Publisher)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

  3. Ethics and Art Practice

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

View all (59) »

Research projects

  1. Atelier: Skye

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

  2. Atelier: NMS

    Project: University Awarded Project Funding

  3. Magic, Art, Games and Scams

    Project: Other (Non-Funded/Miscellaneous)

View all (5) »

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