Professor Lisanne Gibson

Dr Lisanne Gibson

Professor of Culture and Society

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Research

Tel: +44 (0) 116 252 5719


Twitter: @LisanneGibson


I am a specialist in the study of the relations between culture and 'the social'. I research, publish and teach across the fields of heritage and museum studies, cultural and cultural policy studies, cultural geography, and sociology. My interest in the politics of culture and society focuses on:

- cultural participation and stratification

- cultural values

- cultural planning and development

- nineteenth and early twentieth century histories of cultural programmes

I was awarded my PhD from Griffith University in Australia in 1999 - ‘Art and Citizenship: Governmental Intersections’ - in this and the subsequent monograph The Uses of Art I developed a Foucauldian analysis of the discursive relations between culture and government from the early nineteenth century to the present day, focusing on the history of museums and State funded cultural programs.

Since then, I have held Research Fellowships as Principal Investigator at:

  • The Center for Arts and Cultural Policy, Princeton University
  • The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne
  • The Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Griffith University
  • American Studies, New York University

Since 2005, I have been a member of the editorial committee of the International Journal of Cultural Policy and am frequently used as a referee for other journals and book series in the cultural policy and heritage studies fields. I am c-editor of the Palgrave 'Studies in Cultural Participation' book series (Gibson and Miles). I have been a member of Steering Groups and Funding Panels for a range of research funders including the AHRC, British Council, HERA, Norwegian and Dutch Research Councils.

I have been an external examiner for Masters in Cultural Management and Cultural Policy at Northumbria University, and the Universities of Warwick and Brighton as well as for PhD examinations at universities in Australia and the UK.

From 2016 to 2019 I was the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Dean of Research. I am currently the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research for the University.


I have authored high impact publications and won substantial funding for my research on a range of cultural policy issues including gallery and museum histories, monuments and public art, cultural heritage, creative industries, cultural development, culture-led urban development and cultural values. The overarching argument in my work generally is that cultural ‘pump-priming’ of any kind must be clear-eyed not only about its economic and cultural effects but more importantly its social and political effects.

I am currently working on a monograph (Miles and Gibson, Palgrave, 2021) from the 'Understanding Everyday Participation- Culture, Place and Inequality'. This discusses the findings of the AHRC funded £1.5 million project 'Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Value' which ran from 2012 to 2018. In addition to this monograph I co-edited the two 'Understanding Everyday Participation' special issues of the journal Cultural Trends (Miles and Gibson, 2016 and 17). Alongside Professor Eleonora Belfiore, I co-led the histories part of this project published as 'Histories of Participation, values and governance' (Palgrave, 2019).

You can find out more about the project online.

Funded research projects (selected)

  • University of Leicester PI (£565,000) 'Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Values', AHRC Connected Communities funded £1.5 million project, 2012-2018 (PI Prof Andrew Miles, University of Manchester).
  • PI, 'Museums and the Politics of Urban Development in Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong', British Academy, 2010-201
  • PI, (John Pendlebury- Co-I), 'Valuing Historic Environments: Concepts, Instrumentalisations and Effects', EPSRC, Universities of Leicester and Newcastle, 2006-7.
  • PI, ‘Culture Circuits: An Examination of the International Movements and Influence of Ideas and Personnel Shaping Contemporary Cultural Policy’, Princeton University, 2004- 5
  • Co-I (Tom O'Regan-PI), ‘Cultural Policy and “The Independents” in Australia and Britain’, Australian Research Council, 2002- 2004
  • PI, ‘Tropical Creative Cities’, University of Melbourne, 2003
  • PI, ‘Public Art and Heritage - History, Practice, Policy’, Australian Research Council, 2001- 2003
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, The Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, 1999-2000
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 'The Privatisation of Culture Project', New York University, 1998

Link to full research grants list

Publications (recent)

Miles, A. and Gibson, L. 2021, forthcoming, Understanding Everyday Participation:  Culture, Place and Inequality, Palgrave.

Belfiore, E. and Gibson, L., eds., 2019, Histories of cultural participation, value and governance, Palgrave.

Miles, A. and Gibson, L., 2017, 'Everyday Participation and Cultural Value in Place', Cultural Trends, March, 1, 1-3, (55% Miles; 45% Gibson). Special Edited Journal Issue.

Delrieu, V. and Gibson, L., 2017, 'Libraries and the geography of use: How does geography and asset ‘attractiveness’ influence the local dimensions of cultural participation', Cultural Trends, March, 1, 1-16, (50% Delrieu; 50% Gibson). FWCI 3.85 (top 5%)

Edwards, D. and Gibson, L., 2017, 'Counting the pennies: the cultural economy of charity shopping', Cultural Trends, March, 1, 70-79, (60% Edwards; 40% Gibson). FWCI 1.54 (top 18%)

Miles, A. and Gibson, L., 2016, 'Everyday Participation and Cultural Value', Cultural Trends, Sept., 1, 151-157, (55% Miles; 45% Gibson). Special Edited Journal Issue. FWCI 53.57 (top 1%); Altmetrics top 5%

Gibson L. and Edwards, D., 2016, ‘Facilitated Participation: Cultural value, risk and the agency of young people in care’, Cultural Trends, September, 3, 194-204, (70% Gibson; 30% Edwards). FWCI 2.52 (top 8%)

Link to full Publications list


I am available to supervise PhD projects in fields related to my interests and expertise:

  • Approaches: Cultural Policy Studies (inc. histories of), Heritage Studies, Leisure Studies, Sociology
  • Subjects: Urban Heritage, Culture-led Regeneration, Cultural Tourism, Cultural Value, Cultural Participation, Foucault culture and society, Bourdieu culture and society

Current Primary Research supervisions:

  • Daniel Turetsky: Living religion, lifeless Judaica: decoding the relationship between curator, narrative and ritual objects at Israel’s faith-based heritage exhibitions (submit 2021)

  • (Anthony) Chak Chung Chan: 'Museums, Identities and Discourses: The Cultural Production and Consumption of National Identities in Chinese Society (with Prof. Jason Hughes, Sociology) (submit

Primary Supervisor completed PhD projects:

  • Sumi Kim: 'Curating Culture, Exhibiting Nation: The Development of South Korea’s Cultural Diplomacy and Korean Exhibitions in ‘Universal’ Museums' (awarded 2020)
  • Louisa Kramer: 'Museum Management Supporting Sustainable Development in the German Art Museum' (awarded 2020)
  • Yeung Yeung Fok:(awarded 2020) 'Understanding Heritage Policy and Politics in Hong Kong from 1970 to 2018’
  • Elena Settimini: (awarded 2020) 'The preservation of cultural landscape and the enablement of living heritage in the Vineyard Landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato'
  • Katy Bunning: (awarded 2019) 'Addressing Race at the Smithsonian: Exploring the implications of the new 'culturally specific' museums'
  • Ruth Webber (AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with Glasgow Life): 'Picturing Home: exploring the everyday home-making practices of migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women in Glasgow' (awarded 2018)
  • Sarah Hughes (AHRC funded studentship in the 'Understanding Everyday Participation' project): 'Understanding Cultural Participation and Value in Barnsley' (awarded 2018)
  • Geuntae Park, 'The Role of Cultural Institutions in Urban Rebranding: Newcastle-Gateshead in the UK and Gwangju in Korea' (awarded 2015)
  • Anna Woodham, 'Museums and the Geography of School Visits' (ESRC funded studentship Joint-supervised with Prof Martin Phillips, Geography, awarded 2009)

External PhD Examinations:

  • Kershaw, Anne 2017, 'Coproduction in museums: a study of museum work with culturally diverse communities', Department of Marketing, Deakin University.
  • Rimi Khan, 2011, 'Reconstructing Community-Based Arts: Cultural Value and the Neoliberal Citizen', School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne
  • Chi-Jung Chu, 2010, ‘The changing relationship between the state and museums: a case study of Taiwan (1908-2008)’, Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics
  • Nicole Porter, 2009, 'The promotion and production of contemporary landscape', Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne
  • Janine Sager, 2008, ‘The contemporary visual art audience: space, time and a sideways glance’, Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Western Sydney
  • Belinda Jane Nemec, 2006, 'The Grainger Museum in its Museological and Historical Contexts', Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.
  • Tania Cleary, 2006, ‘The new museum function, form and politics’, Faculty of Arts, Griffith University

Research Project Supervision:

  • Clore Fellowship, Sarah Stannage, ‘21st Century Society: Exploring community, leadership and connectivity in small museums in local settings’, 2010-13


I teach on the School's campus based Masters in Museum Studies on cultural politics and policy and the special option on Heritage. I have written Units on cultural theory and heritage for the Masters in Heritage and Interpretation and on museums and (non-)participation for the Masters in Socially Engaged Practice.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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