Dr Suzanne MacLeod

Suzanne MacLeodDirector and Head of School

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3759

Email: sm100@le.ac.uk

Personal details

As Director and Head of School I manage the strategic direction of the School, working with colleagues to further develop the quality of teaching and research. In addition to these management responsibilities, I teach across the School’s Masters and PhD programmes and undertake collaborative and individual research.

At University level, I sit on the College Leadership Team and the University Executive Board. In 2015, I was appointed as a member of the University Council for three years.

I joined the School of Museum Studies in 1997 after undertaking a BA in History of Art and Architecture and an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, both at the University of Manchester. Before that, I trained and worked for seven years as a graphic designer. On arrival in the School in 1997, I worked as a Research Assistant on the development of what was then the new Distance Learning MA in Museum Studies before being appointed to a Lectureship in 1999.

Since then, I have undertaken a number of roles including Distance Learning Academic Manager, Deputy Head and, since January 2013, Head of School. In 2012, I completed my PhD with the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Beyond the University, I am:

  • Chair of the Board of the online peer reviewed journal Museum and Society
  • an Assessor for the Australian Research Council

In 2014, I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Teaching

In terms of teaching, I contribute sessions and supervise on:

  • museum architecture
  • museum history
  • exhibitions
  • museum design
  • interpretation

I make regular contributions to the teaching materials across our distance learning programmes and have recently worked to establish a teaching partnership with Hong Kong University.

Publications

MacLeod, S., Hale, J., Austin, T. and Ho, O. (eds.) The Future of Museum and Gallery Design (London: Routledge, 2017). In preparation.

MacLeod S., ‘An Ethical Future for Museum and Gallery Design: design as a force for good in a diverse cultural sector’, in MacLeod, S., Hale, J., Austin, T. and Ho, O. (eds.) The Future of Museum and Gallery Design (London: Routledge, 2017). In preparation.

MacLeod, S. ‘Image and Life: museum architecture, social sustainability and design for creative lives’ in S. Greub (ed.) New Museums: Intentions, Expectations, Challenges, Hirmer Verlag, Munich (in press, forthcoming).

Jones, P. and MacLeod, S. ‘Museum Architecture Matters’, Museum & Society, 14 (1), 2016, 207-219.

MacLeod, S., Dodd, J., and Duncan, T., ‘New museum design cultures: harnessing the potential of design and ‘design thinking’ in museums’, Museum Management and Curatorship, 2015.

MacLeod, S., Sandell, R., Dodd, J., Duncan, T., Jones, C. and Gaffikin, A., Prisoners, Punishment and Torture: Developing new approaches to interpretation at the Tower of London, RCMG/HRP, 2014.

MacLeod, S., Dodd, J. and Duncan, T., Developing IWM North, RCMG/IWM, 2014.

MacLeod, S. and Dodd, J., Establishing a Vision: New Walk Museum and the Story of Leicester, RCMG/LAMS, 2013.

MacLeod, S. Museum Architecture: A New Biography, London and New York: Routledge, 2013.

MacLeod, S., Hanks, L., and Hale, J. (eds.), Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions, London and New York: Routledge, 2012.

MacLeod, S., ‘This Magical Place: the making of Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the politics of landscape, art and narrative’, in MacLeod, S., Hanks, L., and Hale, J. (eds.), Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions, London and New York: Routledge, 2012, pp. 48-62.

Chang, Y. and MacLeod, S., (eds.) Building Identity: The Making of National Museums and Identity Politics, Taipei: National Museum of History, 2012.

MacLeod, S., 'Significant Lives: telling stories of museum architecture', in Hill, K. (ed.) Museums and Biographies, Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer Ltd, 2011.

MacLeod, S., 'Out of Time and Place: The recent history and curious double life of the Sultanganj Buddha', in Marshall, C. (ed.) Sculpture and the Museum, Aldershot: Ashgate/Henry Moore Institute, 2011.

MacLeod, S., 'Towards an Ethics of Museum Architecture', in Marstine J. (ed.) Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First Century Museum, London and New York: Routledge, 2011.

Knell, S., MacLeod, S. and Watson, S. (eds.), Museum Revolutions, London: Routledge, 2007.

MacLeod, S., 'Occupying the architecture of the gallery: spatial, social and professional change at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1877-1933', in Knell, S., MacLeod, S. and Watson, S. (eds.) Museum Revolutions, London: Routledge, 2007.

MacLeod, S., 'Civil disobedience and political agitation: the art museum as a site of protest in the early twentieth century', Museum and Society, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 44-57, 2007.

MacLeod, S. (ed.), Reshaping Museum Space: architecture, design, exhibitions, London: Routledge, 2005.

MacLeod, S., 'Rethinking museum architecture: towards a site-specific history of production and use', in MacLeod, S. (ed.) Reshaping Museum Space: architecture, design, exhibitions, London: Routledge, 2005.

MacLeod, S., 'Making museum studies: training, education, research and practice', Museum Management and Curatorship, Vol. 19, No. 1., pp. 51-61, 2001.

Research

My research formed part of the Museum Studies submission to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise which was rated as having the highest proportion of world-leading research of any subject in any UK university and is focused around museum architecture and design, historical and contemporary.

I am particularly interested in the ways in which museums and galleries are produced and recently published a monograph exploring the continual remaking of one museum over a period of just over a hundred years (see recent publications).

In all of my work - teaching and research - I collaborate closely with colleagues in museums and galleries as well as in design and architecture.

Interests

My research interests relate to museum architecture and exhibition design with a focus on historical research, contemporary design, and the connections between them.

As well as developing in depth historical research into the processes of making museums, I have developed a series of events and publications which explore contemporary museum design, with a particular focus on design methodologies and the acknowledgement of the interpretive potential of design.

As well as undertaking my own individual research, I work closely with colleagues in the commercial and museum sectors who are exploring similar ideas through their architectural and exhibition design practice and with academic colleagues in the field of architecture and architectural history to develop projects at the boundaries of architecture and museum studies.

Projects include:

Supervision

I supervise PhD students investigating the following topics:

  • New Approaches to Exhibition Making in Archives - Peter Lester
  • The Legacy of Feminist Art History - Kate McPhail
  • Museum Master Planning: towards the spatial, strategic and narrative requirements of the museum environment – Tom Duncan
  • The evolution of museum space at the Pushkin Museum, Moscow - Anna Mikhailova
  • The design, production and use of museum architecture in Taiwan – Cy Shih
  • The use of suspense in exhibition narratives – Ariane Karbe
  • World Heritage Sites, collections and the 1972 Convention ‘Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage’ – Samantha Fabry
  • Victor D’Amico, education and the shaping of Modernism at the Museum of Modern Art, New York – Briley Rasmussen (completed)
  • Contemporary art museums and the global art market – Jennifer Jankauskas (completed)
  • The University art museum and interdisciplinary collaboration- Barbara Rothermel (completed)

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Museum Studies
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Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3963
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