Dr Isobel Whitelegg

Director of Postgraduate Research (PGR)

icjw1 (at) le (dot) ac (dot) uk


Career History

I joined the School in September 2015 and I teach and supervise research within the area of Art Museum & Gallery Studies. At both MA and PhD level this field is defined expansively, in relation to diverse art institutional forms, and international contexts.

I previously occupied two positions that operated between academic and arts-institutional contexts: as LJMU Research Curator within the Tate Research Centre: Curatorial Practice & Museology (2014-15) and as Head of Nottingham Contemporary’s Public Programme (2011-14), a leading platform for the public debate of ideas and practices relevant to contemporary art and its institutions. Prior to this I was Course Director, MA Curating, Chelsea College of Art & Design (2009-11) and a Fellow of the TrAIN Research Centre, University of the Arts London (2008-11).

Responsibilities & Teaching

I am Director of the School of Museum Studies Postgraduate Research programmes (i.e. PhD). I also teach within our MA Art Museum & Gallery Studies (AMAGS) in three modules: Module 1: Locating the Art Institution, Module 2: Becoming Expert, and Module 6 Entering the Field - a practice-based module which encompasses a curatorial project in collaboration with the Arts Council Collection as well as our unique fully-funded International Field School in Copenhagen.

Topics available for PhD supervision

  • Non-collecting institutions of contemporary art (kunsthallen, centres, biennials..) and their histories
  • Art history and institutional history (Brazil, Latin America, Europe)
  • Historiography, archives, institutional memory
  • Transnational and situated approaches to the history of art
  • Exhibition history


Current PhD supervisees

Blanca Jové Alcalde, Creating a Politically active, Plural and Critical Public Sphere: discursive programmes at contemporary art institutions

Cher Zou, Locating the Alternative Art Institution in the Chinese Context

Yang Chen Jikken Kōbō and the Deterritorialisaton of the Institutional Exhibition

Eloisa Rodrigues, Mapping Brazilian Art in Public Collections Across the UK

Eleni Ganati, Defining the Museum of Contemporary Art Model Through Collection Policy

Laura Dudley,  From Re-Construction to Co-Production, the authorship of participatory art exhibitions past and present

External PhD Examination:

Dr Yazia Hernadez Velazquez, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, University of Kingston, 2017

Dr Isabella Maidment, Provisional realities: live art 1951-2015 UCL/Tate Research (CDP), 2016

Dr Jaime Vindel, 'Art & Politics: A Critical Genealogy of Conceptual Strategies in Argentinean Art', Universidade de Leon, Spain, 2010


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