The VMC Research Group at Northumbria provides a dynamic hub for researchers and students engaged with the historical and theoretical analysis of art, culture, design, museums and architecture. The group acts as a forum to bring together researchers across the university and offers an annual programme of events relating to current issues in visual and material culture research
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Susan Ashley

Susan Ashley is Associate Professor in the Arts MA programme Creative and Cultural Industries Management. She is a cultural studies scholar interested in the democratisation of public culture, with a focus on black and minority ethnic activism in culture and heritage. She is currently PI for the AHRC project “(Multi)Cultural Organisational Archives” (2020-21), and the National Archives Testbed project “A Black or (Multi)Cultural Archive for Northumbria?”. She is also past AHRC Leadership Fellow for “(Multi)Cultural Heritage: New Perspectives on Public Culture, Identity and Citizenship” (2017-2019). See the website at  https://research.northumbria.ac.uk/multiCulturalheritage/   

Dr Ashley holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York University, Toronto. Her research on heritage and its relation to subjectivity, representation and citizenship has been published in books by Routledge and Ashgate, and in peer-reviewed journals such as Organization, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Museum & Society and International Journal of Heritage Studies. Her monograph “A Museum in Public: Revisioning Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum” was published by Routledge in 2019. She also edited “Diverse Spaces: Identity, Heritage and Community in Canadian Public Culture” (2013).  Her latest book, co-edited with Degna Stone, is “Whose Heritage? Challenging Race and Identity in Stuart Hall’s Post-nation Britain” to be published by Routledge in 2022. 

Dr. Ashley also has 20 years of consultancy and government work coordinating projects for culture and heritage sites across Canada. This work included policy, planning and developments related to heritage commemorations, disabled access, and diverse events, media and programs. She also has a background in journalism editing, writing and production for several community newspapers in Canada.