Miss Nuala Morse
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
2010-2013: PhD Geography, Durham University (ESRC funded CASE studentship with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums)
2008-2009: MA Cultural Heritage Management, University of York
2005-2008: BA (Hons) Geography, University of Nottingham
Title (provisional): Museums and Community Engagement: Investigating understandings and practices of engagement across a complex museum organisation.
This PhD research is an ESRC CASE studentship in parnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.
The main aim of the research is to examine how the concept of communtiy engagement is managed across a museum's institutional culture. In particular, it seeks to understand how notions of engagement/participation, and audience/community are constructed within different museum departments (Outreach, Learning, Management, Marketing, etc.) and how these intepretations mediate the forms and processes of community engagement practice on the ground.
There are four key objectives to this research. First, to examine the organisational development of TWAM and its practice of community engagement, and how this development might reveal changing ideaological understandings of the social role and responsibilities of museums. This will be examined in relation to recent cultural policy (social inclusion, and more recently localism and Big Society). Second, working closely with staff, to examine how professionals across different museum departments interpret the terminology of communtity engagement and how they carry out that meaning in their practice. Third, to assess the forms of engagement attempted, and the strategies, processes and decision making involved. The research uses a participatory methodology to ensure that this knowledge is co-produced with (and not 'on') museum staff.The final objective of the research responds to the wider political, financial and policy context to explore how museums can develop resilient cultures and strategies of engagement in a time of change.