Research Interests

I have published research on a wide 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.

New and On-going Projects

I am currently working on a monograph (Miles and Gibson, Palgrave, 2020) from the 'Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Values'. This AHRC Connected Communities funded £1.5 million project 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) and the 'Studies in Cultural Participation' book series (Gibson and Miles, Palgrave).

Alongside Professor Eleonora Belfiore, I am co-led the histories part of this project. We co-hosted a Symposium in April 2015 on Histories of participation, values and governance, from which we are co-editing a book of the same name (Palgrave, 2019).

I have a number of trajectories of interest in UEP’s emergent findings, but am above all committed to the project’s focus on the everyday and seeking to understand what it is that people do and the values and effects that attach and follow these activities. One of these is an interest in exploring the relationships, attendant values, stakes and effects, as these are played out within individuals lives,  where they are involved in ‘facilitated participation’ (programmes which enable the participation in cultural activities of groups deemed to gain benefit from such access) and in relation to those same individuals’ ‘everyday participation’. See Gibson and Edwards, 2015, Valuing Participation: The cultural and everyday activities of young people in care and Gibson and Edwards 2016, Facilitated participation: cultural value, risk and the agency of young people in care.

I am also interested in adding location and place to the theorisation and analysis of the relationality of cultural consumption and cultural resources (cultural capital, cultural field and social group). Bennett, Savage, Silva, Warde, Gayo-Cal and Wright (2009) argued that recognising the intersection of age, gender and ethnicity with class is useful in understanding social relations in contemporary Britain, in UEP the mapping work, alongside the other methods, seeks to establish whether we can understand place as an important addition to this frame see Delrieu and Gibson, 2018, Understanding Everyday Participation: the effect of place and space on patterns of participation in libraries and leisure centres and Delrieu and Gibson, 2017, Libraries and the geography of use: How does geography and asset ‘attractiveness’ influence the local dimensions of cultural participation.

You can find out more about the project online.

Funded research projects (completed in the last 10 years)

  • 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, 2010-2013.
  • Co-I, (Andrew Miles- PI), 'Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Value', Development Project, AHRC, 2010, Universities of Manchester and Leicester.
  • 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

Share this page: