Academic Dr Viv Golding

Dr Viv GoldingEmeritus Associate Professor,




Personal details

  • Museum Studies
  • Museums and Communities
  • Museum Education
  • Museums and Creative Engagement
  • Museums and Critical Pedagogies
  • World Art and Science
  • Affect
  • Feminism
  • Antiracism

I 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

I gained my PhD in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester in 2000. My 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 a liberatory praxis in the ethnographic museum. I was elected President of the International Council of Museums of Ethnography (ICME) in 2013 and am widely funded to disseminate my research themes internationally.

I currently serve on the editorial boards of:

  • Curator: The Museum Journal, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • the Horniman Museum publications
  • Best in Heritage

I worked for the editorial committee of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage (2013-16). I am frequently used as a referee for journals in the fields of museum management, curatorship and museum studies.


As senior lecturer before retiring, I contributed sessions on museum communication, learning, text writing and evaluation to the campus-based core curriculum. I also contributed to the distance learning courses.



Golding, V. and Walklate, J. (eds) 2019, Museums and Communities in an Age of Migration: Diversity, Dialogue and Collaboration, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 385pages

Antos, Z. Fromm, A, and Golding, V. 2016, (eds) Museums and Innovations, Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle: 241pages

Fromm, A, Golding, V. and Rekdal, P. 2014, (eds) Museums and Truths, Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle: 221pages

Golding, V. and Modest, W. 2013, (eds) Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections, Collaboration, Berg, 290 pages

Golding, V. 2009, Learning at the Museum Frontiers: Identity, Race & Power, Ashgate, 231 pages.

Artivism project

Golding, V. 2018, ‘Respectfully re-humanising the museum’, in Condeiro, F. and Muorao, R. (eds) the Unofficial Guide to Carmo Museum’s Chancay Collection, at

Book chapters

Golding, V. 2019 (forthcoming), ‘Feminism and the Politics of Friendship in the Activist Museum’, in Janes, R. and Sandell, R. Museums and Activism, Routledge,  London

Golding, V. and Walklate, 2019, J. ‘Crossing the Frontier: Locating Museums and Communities in an Age of Migrations', in Museums and Communities in an Age of Migration: Diversity, Dialogue and Collaboration, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2-18

Golding, V. and Modest, W. 2018, ‘Thinking and working through difference: Remaking the ethnographic museum in the global contemporary’ in Curatopia: Museums and the Future of CuratorshipSchorch, P. and McCarthy. C. (eds), Manchester University Press, Manchester: 90-106

Golding, V. 2017, ‘Exploring Identities through Feminist Pedagogy’ in Wilson, R. and Grahn, W. (eds) Museums and Heritage, Routledge, London: 129-147

Golding. V. 2016, 'Developing Pedagogies of Human Rights and Social Justice in the Prison Museum' in Wilson J. Hodgkinson, S. Piché J. and Walby, K. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism, Palgrave Macmillan, London: 987-1008

Golding, V. 2016, ‘Introduction’ in Antos, Z. Fromm, A. and Golding, V. (eds) Museums and Innovations, Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle: 1-8

Golding, V. 2014, ‘Introduction’ in A. Fromm, Golding, V. and Rekdal, P. (eds) Museums and Truths, Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle: xiiv-xviii

Golding, V. 2014, ‘The Elephant in the Room’ in A. Fromm, Golding, V. and Rekdal, P. (eds) Museums and Truths, Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle: 3-20

Golding, V. and Modest, W. 2013, 'Introduction', in Golding, V. and Modest, W. (eds) Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections, Collaboration, Berg, Oxford: 1-9

Golding, V. 2013, 'Collaborative Museums: Curators, Communities, Collections', in Golding, V. and Modest, W. 2013, (eds) Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections, Collaboration, Berg, Oxford: 13-31

Golding, V. 2013, 'Creolizing the Museum: Art, Humour, Young Audiences', in Golding, V. and Modest, W. 2013, (eds) Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections, Collaboration, Berg, Oxford: 195-216

Golding, V. (2012) ‘Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!’, in Galanidou, N. and Dommasnes, L. Telling Children about the Past: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, [Greek Translation, from Ann Arbor, Michigan (2007)]: 318-342. Μιλώντας στα Παιδιά για το Παρελθόν. Μια Διεπιστημονική Προσέγγιση, Ν. Γαλανίδου & L.H. Dommasnes (eds.) 2012, Αθήνα: Καλειδοσκόπιο

Golding, V. 2010, ‘Dreams and Wishes: the multi-sensory museum space’, in Dudley, S (ed.) Museum Materialities, Routledge, London: 224-240

Golding, V. 2007, ‘Challenging Racism and Sexism at the Museum Forum’, in Anim-Addo, J and Scafe, S (eds), I Am Black, White and Yellow An Introduction to the Black Body in Europe, Mango Publishing, London: 148-166

Golding, V. 2007, 'Learning at the Museum Frontiers: Democracy, Identity and Difference' in Knell, S. MacLeod, S. and Watson, S. (ed.) Museum Revolutions, Routledge, London: 315-329

Golding, V. 2007, 'Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!', in Watson, S. (ed.) Museums and their Communities, Routledge, London: 358-378

Golding, V. 2007, 'Questions of cultural authority: drawing on diverse perspectives and interpretations', in Khan, N. (ed.) Museums, Communities and Cultural Connections. V&A Publications

Golding, V. 2006 'Carnival Connections: challenging racism as the unsaid at the museum/school frontiers with feminist-hermeneutics' in Inglilleri, M. (ed.) Swinging her Breasts at History, Mango Publishing, London: 290-309

Golding, V. 2005 'The Museum Clearing: A Metaphor for New Museum Practice' in Atkinson D., and Dash, P. (eds.) Social and Critical Practice in Art Education, Trentham Books, Staffordshire, UK: 51-66

Golding, V. 1999, 'Working with Multicultural Communities' in Moffatt, H., and V. Wollard, (eds.), A Manual of Good Practice in Museum Education, The Stationery Office, London: 56-68.

Golding, V. 1998, 'A Museum Worker's Diary,' in Anim-Addo, J. (ed.) Another Doorway. Visible in the Museum, Mango Publishing, London: 119-135

Golding, V. 1997, 'Meaning and truth in multicultural education', in Hooper-Greenhill, E. (ed.), 1997, Cultural Diversity. Developing Museum Audiences in Britain, Leicester University Press, p203-225.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Golding, V. and Lima, M. (2015) ‘Creolising Feminist Pedagogy at the Museum Frontiers’ in Synthesis (7.2015)
Perspectives from the Radical Other, Issue Editors: Joan Anim-Addo, Giovanna Covi and Lisa Marchi,;

Golding, V. and Fromm, A. (forthcoming 2016), ‘Introduction’, Ethnographic Museum Collections: New Approaches and New Audiences, Special Edition Museums and Society

Golding, V. 2013 (2), Vol 104 'Museums, Poetics, Affect',in Affects and Creolisation, Feminist Review, Issue Editors: Joan Anim-Addo and Suzanne Scafe, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire: 80-99

Golding, V. 2010, ‘Communication & Learning in the 21st Century Museum’ in The Problems of Museology (Voprosy museologii), 2010, Vol.1: 89-98

Golding, V. 2006 ‘Recollection and the UK Museum: Object, Image and Word’,

Golding, V. 2006 'Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!', in The International Journal of Intangible Heritage, Vol 1, Seoul, Korea: 83-93

Golding, V. 2005 'Challenging Fear and Loathing at the Museum Forum' in M Museos de Mexico y del Mundo, Mexico: 132-139

Golding, V. 2004 'Using tangible and intangible heritage to promote social inclusion for students with disabilities: 'Inspiration Africa!',

Golding, V. 2004, 'A field-site of creative collaboration: Inspiration Africa!' in Journal of Museum Ethnography 16: 19-36, Hants, UK.

Golding, V. 2000, Using feminist-hermeneutics to re-read and write a Benin Collection, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 12, 72-86.

Professional publications


Golding V. 1999, Cultural Journeys: Traditions from Africa, Waylaid


Golding, V. 2011 ‘Theory and Practice in 21st Century Museums: Uneasy Divide or Happy Marriage’ in Legget, J. (ed) Staff and Training in Regional Museums, ICOM-ICR Publication: 107-115

Golding, V. 2010, ‘Application of Museology Education’ paper in Museums for 21st Century Society, Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art and The National Taiwan University of Arts, Taiwan, Taiwan (for ICOFOM-SIB / CAM): 191-212

Golding, V. 2009, ‘Teaching Museum Studies at Leicester’ in Teaching Museum Studies, FUNDACIÓN COLECCIÓN THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA, Madrid, Spain: 431-443

Golding, V. 2007, 'Questions of cultural authority: drawing on diverse perspectives and interpretations', in Khan, N. (ed) Connections/Disconnections: Museums, cultural heritage and diverse communities , pp27-40

Golding, V. 2003, 'What is Learning in the Museum?' in Communicating Culture to Kids Ages 6-12 Years, Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, CD.

Golding, V. 1996, Using Museums. Video and Resource Pack, Fulcrum Production, Channel 4 Television.

Golding, V. 1996, 'Puppet on a string,' in Yorath, J. 1995, (ed.), Learning about science and technology in museums. South Eastern Museums


I am interested in the power of museum and community collaboration to affect multi-sensory engagement and learning from world art, which includes material culture and intangible heritage: language, storytelling, music and dance.

Issues of identity, memory and knowledge construction, anti-racism and anti-sexism are foregrounded in my recent research projects and publication.

Learning at the Museum Frontiers: Identity, Race and Power, first published by Ashgate in 2009, explores imaginative approaches to museum learning for economically disadvantaged people in London, Goteborg, and Cape Town. Considering the diverse ways museums might become more inclusive sites to engage a wider audience in respectful dialogue to promote understanding between and within diverse cultures, the book was voted one of the ‘top five’ publications on museum education by Museum Monitor readers in 2010.

The monograph themes are centered in universal human rights and responsibilities as these relate to citizens and citizenship issues at local contexts in a globalised world. I observe that while much of our globe is marked by colonialism and its lingering negative legacies such as racism, citizens can be empowered through museum collaboration to take positive action, raising diverse voices and visibilities, to protect those who are marginalised in nation states. I further consider these themes from a philosophical and political perspective in Collaborative Museums: Curators, Communities and Collections, which I co-edited with Dr Wayne Modest of Tropen Museum Amsterdam and in Feminist Review: Affects and Creolisation.

While my research is grounded in the new theoretical perspective of feminist-hermeneutics, it is closely linked with international museum practice and the profession. My ideas are largely developed in collaboration and I have a long-term involvement in several international research networks including the Black Body group based at Goldsmiths College London and the Creative Reminiscence network of Japan.

I was elected President of the International Council of Museums of Ethnography (ICOM-ICME) in 2013 and 2016. ICME addresses not only the colonial histories of ethnographic museums but also the contemporary challenges we face to engage audiences in critical thinking and social justice. 'Museums and Innovations', published in 2016, is ICME's latest volume outlining these conerns, which I co-edited with Dr Zvjezdana Antos and Dr Annette Fromml.

Within the School, I have worked within the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG), notably on a Museums Libraries and Archives (MLA) project Their Past Your Future 2, completed in 2010.

New and ongoing projects

  • International Council of Museums (ICOM), 'Accessioning Africa', ICME and ICOM Namibia, with Dr Jeremy Silvester, Namibia, (2014-16)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Bridge Award, ‘Museum and University Collaboration’, with Dr Yoshikazu Ogawa, Tokyo, Japan (December 2014 - January 2015)
  • ''Behind the Looking Glass: 'Other-Cultures-Within' Translating Cultures (AHRC Translating Cultures 2011-13) with Professor Joan Anim-Addo at Goldsmiths College London,
  • 'Museum and University Collaboration' with Dr Yoshikazu Ogawa at The National Museum of Nature and Science (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Visiting Fellow (2012-13).
  • 'Mapping Faith and Place in Leicester' with Dr Ruth Young from UoL's School of Archaeology (AHRC Care for the Future 2011-12)
  • 'Developing Museum Literacies in Japan and the UK' with Reiji Takayasu at The National Museum of Nature and Science, Professor Hiroshi Kurushima at The National Museum of Japanese History and Professor Makoto Suzuki Aoyama-Gakuin University (Daiwa 2010-12).

I joined the editorial boards of

I organise, chair and present papers at conferences internationally on my research themes.

Recent papers


Conference organisation and moderation
  • As President of the International Council of Museums of Ethnography (ICME), Museums and Cultural Landscapes: Curating and Engaging Peoples, Places and Entanglements in an Age ofMigrations. (3-9 July 2016), Milan, Italy
  • As Board Member of The Best of Heritage (22-24 September 2016), Dubrovnik, Croatia
Funded papers
  • ‘Working Collaboratively: Education and Engagement at the Creative Frontiers of the Art Museum’ at the 2016 Forum for Curators of Chinese Art (13-15 October 2016), the Palace Museum Beijing, China, and organised by the Bei Shan Tang Foundation


Conference organisation
  • As President of the International Council of Museums of Ethnography (ICME), with ICOM Vietnam, Museums and Communities: Diversity, Dialogue, Collaboration (25-26 October 2015), Hanoi
Keynote papers
  • ‘Memory and Forgetting: Learning and Creativity at the Museum Frontiers’, Japan Museum Management Academy (JMMA Kansai branch), National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku), (11 January), Osaka, Japan
  • ‘Museum Education With Communities: Using Feminist-Hermeneutic Practice to Challenge Prejudice and Stereotype’ at Contemporary Museum and Gallery Education Practices: Local Communities meet Global Narratives, Point Centre for Visual Arts, (22 May), Nicosia, Cyprus
Funded papers
  • ‘Affective Objects: Sensing Hidden Histories of Care and Cruelty’ at ‘Engaging diverse communities in museums’ Cultures of Sense: Approaches to the Sensuality of the Social World, (13 January), DEUTSCHE GESELLSCHAFT FÜR VOLKSKUNDE, (22 July 2015), Zurich, Switzerland


Keynote papers
Round Table discussion
  • 'Intangible Heritage’ Heritage Lottery Fund (28 March), London
Conference organisation
  • As President of the International Council of Museums of Ethnography (ICME), a University of Leicester collaboration and ICME with ICOM Croatia, Museums and Innovation, (14-16 October), Zagreb


  • ‘Memory and Forgetting: Learning and Creativity at the Museum Frontiers’ a keynote for ICOM-CECA (August 12) in Rio
  • ‘Museum and University Collaboration: Training the Profession in the UK’ a keynote for Intermuseum in Moscow (June 1)
  • ‘Guerilla Consultancies: Exploring Controversy, Stereotype and Humour in Museums’ for JMMA in Kyoto Japan (February 2)



  • Japan Museum Management conference in Osaka (April)
  • National Heritage Board (NHB) Academy in Singapore (November 4)
  • Australian Museums Association (AAM) Annual conference in Perth (November 14-17)
  • Museum 2011 in Taiwan (November 18)
  • The National Museum of Nature and Science, The National Museum of Japanese History and Aoyama-Gakuin University in Tokyo (November 25-27)


  • ‘Museums Imagining A Community of Communities Through Multisensory Engagement’ (May), chair and speaker of a diversity panel, with Lonnie Bunch (Smithsonian Institution), Joseph Gonzales (Fleischer Art Memorial) and Annette Fromm (Frost Art Museum and ICME President), at the AAM in Los Angeles
  • ‘The Elephant in the Room’ (November) at the triennial ICOM-ICME conference in Shanghai


  • Museums Curators and Communities: Embedded Approaches to Participation, Collaboration and Inclusion, 2 day conference with Wayne Modest at Horniman
  • I was also invited to present my ideas in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Italy in 2009 and in 2008 in Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic and Germany. Previous conference and research work on diversity, democracy and citizenship, for which I have won Daiwa and British Academy grants, includes: Japan, Korea, China, South Africa, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal and Egypt


I am currently supervising eight PhD projects on themes broadly related to:

  • learning
  • multisensory engagement
  • diversity
  • communities
  • creativity
  • antisexism
  • anti-racism

in museums. I am unable to accept new students for PhD supervision.

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), 2015

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, I co-supervise six PhD projects on disability rights, challenging heteronormativity and the themes above.

Visiting PhD supervision:

I have supervised two visiting PhD scholars: Patrizia Schettino from Italy and Lisbet Morgenson from Denmark.

PhD external examinations (selected):

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

  • Marl'ene Edwin, 'Orality in the Body of the Archive', 2016, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Bryony Onciul, ‘Unsettling Assumptions about Community Engagement. A New Persepctive on Indigenous Blackfoot 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.

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