Professor Lisanne Gibson

Professor of Culture and Society; 
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Research

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


Dr Lisanne Gibson

Tel: +44 (0) 116 252 5719


Personal details

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

I have received substantial research funding for my work and am currently working on a monograph 'Understanding Everyday Participation' (Miles and Gibson, Palgrave, 2020) publishing research from the 6 year AHRC funded project Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Value (2012-2018). I am also co-editor of the book series Studies in Participation (Palgrave, Gibson and Miles)

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 in the cultural policy and heritage studies fields as well as for book series. I am a member of the AHRC 'Care for the Future' Steering Group and have been a member of a number of other research funding panels including for AHRC Creative Industries In China, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Programme, the British Council, Humanities in the European Research Area, Norwegian Research Council, Dutch Research Council, ESRC Follow-on Funding Scheme as well as being a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

I have been an external examiner for the Masters in Cultural Management at Northumbria University, the Masters in International Cultural Policy at the University of Warwick, and the Masters in Cultural Research at the University of Brighton.

Form 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 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.


See my Research and Publication pages for more detail


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

  • Cultural Policy Studies
  • Heritage Studies
  • Leisure Studies
  • Urban Heritage and or Culture-led or Cultural Regeneration
  • Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Cultural Policy, Programmes and Museum History (esp. UK, USA and Australia)
  • Cultural Tourism
  • Cultural Value
  • Cultural Participation
  • Foucault culture and society
  • Bourdieu culture and society

Current Primary supervisions:

  • Yeung Yeung Fok: 'Understanding Heritage Policy and Politics in Hong Kong from 1970 to 2018’
  • Sumi Kim: 'Curating Culture, Exhibiting Nation: South Korea’s Cultural Diplomacy and the Curatorial Relationship with ‘Universal’ Museums'
  • Louisa Kramer: 'Museum Management Supporting Sustainable Development in the German Art Museum'
  • Elena Settimini: 'The preservation of cultural landscape and the enablement of living heritage in the Vineyard Landscape of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato'
  • (Anthony) Chak Chung Chan: 'Museums, Identities and Discourses: The Cultural Production and Consumption of National Identities in Chinese Society (with Prof. Jason Hughes, Sociology)

Primary or Joint Supervisor for the following PhD successfully completed projects:

  • 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' (Joint-supervised with Prof Martin Phillips, Geography, awarded 2009)
  • I have been second supervisor for a further 9 awarded PhDs.

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
  • 7 PhD Exams conducted as Internal Examiner at the University of Leicester

Research Project Supervision:

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

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