Academic Dr Viv Golding

Museum Studies, Museums & Communities, Museum Education, Museums & Creative Engagement, Museums & Critical Pedagogies, World Art & Science, Affect, Feminism, Antiracism

Dr Viv GoldingSenior Lecturer, Programme Director of Learning and Visitor Studies

+44 (0) 116 252 3975

Career history

Viv joined the School of Museum Studies in January 2002 following a varied career in London: organising formal education provision at the Horniman Museum (1992-2002) and art and design courses for further education (1980-1992). Professional liaisons at Horniman included: 'Multi-cultural Musical Traditions' with Trinity College of Music; 'Emancipation day' and 'Re-writing the Museum' workshops with Goldsmiths College Caribbean Centre; 'My Africa, Your Africa' with artists; ‘Inspiration Africa’ with the Cloth of Gold arts organisation (DfEE) and 'Horniman Outreach'  for local school and community venues.

Viv gained her PhD in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester in 2000. Her thesis ‘New Voices and Visibilities at the Museum Frontiers’ brought together the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans Georg Gadamer with Black women writers including Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde to inform her own liberatory praxis in the ethnographic museum. She was elected President of the International Council of Museums of Ethnography (ICME) in 2013 and is widely funded to disseminate her research themes internationally.


As Programme Director for Learning and Visitor Studies, Viv is responsible for ensuring the quality and smooth operation of individual MA journeys as well as developing the wider MA community, including the organization of the annual Summer School and with RCMG the annual Winter School. Viv works with all of the staff here in the School and a range of international academics and museum professionals to ensure that our MA students are provided with diverse and stimulating learning opportunities.

Viv currently serves on the editorial boards of Curator: The Museum Journal, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc, the Horniman Museum Publications and the Best in Heritage ( She worked for the editorial committee of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage (2013-16). Viv is frequently used as a referee for journals in the fields of museum management, curatorship and museum studies.


As senior lecturer, Viv contributes sessions on museum communication, learning, text writing and evaluation to the campus-based core curriculum. She also contributes to the distance learning courses, notably Learning and Visitor Studies distance.

Supervised and Examined Projects

Viv is currently supervising eight PhD projects on themes broadly related to learning, multisensory engagement, diversity, communities, creativity, antisexism and anti-racism in museums.

PhD Completions

Donna McFarlene Representing Blackness in Museums (Jamaica) 2012

Afshan Heuer The Impact of Travelling Exhibitions (Switzerland) 2013

Mette Houlberg Adult Meaning Making in the Art Gallery (Denmark) 2014

Elee Kirk Is it Real? Young Childrens' experience of natural history in museums (UK) 2014

Laurel Brierly Empathy and Emotional Learning in Museums (USA)

PhD Supervision

Dana Almazrouel Museums and Communities: Art and Outreach (United Arab Emirates)

Aisha Almisnad Almohannadi Museums, Feminism and Difficult Histories (Qatarl)

Margarida Melo Museums and Adult Community Learning (Portugal)

Stephania Savva Developing Multiliteracies in Museums (Cyprus)

Anne Hsin-i Yang Museums and Musical Experiences (Taiwan)

Yu-Luen Tzeng Museums and Traumatic Memories: Representing Taiwanese 'Comfort' Women (Taiwan)

Åshild Brekke Museums and Social Engagement and Justice (Norway)

Naomi Terry Museums and Antiracsim (UK)


In addition Viv co-supervises six PhD projects on disability rights, challenging heteronormativity, and the themes above.

Visiting PhD Supervision

Viv has supervised two visiting PhD scholars: Patrizia Schettino from Italy and Lisbet Morgenson from Denmark

PhD Eternal examinations (selected):

Viv has examined seven PhD thesis for universities in the UK, Europe and Australia, including SOAS, UCL, UEA, Newcastle, Bergen and Sidney.

Bryony Onciel, ‘Unsettling Assumptions about Community Engagement. A New Persepctive on IndigenousBlackfoot Participation in Museums and Heritage Sites in Alberta Canada’, 2011, University of Newcastle

Heng Wu, ‘Museum and Change: Regional Museums in the People’s Republic of China’, 2011, University of Bergen

Yuuki Yoshiara, ‘Art Museums in a Diverse Society: A visitor study at the South African National Gallery’, 2007, SOAS.

Research Interests


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