Dr Rosie Spooner
- Lecturer in Heritage Practitioner Engagement (Information Studies)
Cross-disciplinary in nature, my work sits at the juncture of Museum Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Art and Design History. My research interests concern the visual and material culture of the British Empire from the eighteenth to the twentieth century and contemporary legacies of this past. In particular, I examine how museums, galleries and exhibitions functioned as tools of empire by facilitating the removal, collection, classification, display and interpretation of objects and images. Attentive to empire and its after-effects, I am also interested in how museums, other public institutions and civic spaces engage with so-called uncomfortable or hidden histories of the colonial past in the (post)colonial present and, closely tied to this, what constitutes progressive, anti-racist and decolonial museum practices.
Key research and teaching interests focus on:
- History of Museums and Exhibitions
- Critical Museology and Heritage Studies
- International Exhibitions and World's Fairs
- Material Culture Studies
- Politcs of Space, Display and Interpretation
- Co-Production and Collaboration
- Postcolonial Theory
- Critical Pedagogy
I am currently in the early stages of developing a new research project that explores how walking can be a tool for critically engaging with museums and other sites of civic heritage and commemoration. This emerged from designing and leading a guided walk through two much-loved public spaces in Glasgow: a large landscaped park in the city's West End and the purpose-built municipal museum that sits within it, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Supported by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights and developed specifically for Black History Month Scotland 2018, the walk is grounded in an understanding that much of Glasgow's urban fabric and public institutions reflect the city's deep involvement in colonial and imperial networks, whether economic, social and/or cultural in nature.
I am interested in supervising PhD projects that align with any of the areas of research listed above, and welcome proposals for Collaborative Doctoral Awards from organisational partners in the Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) sector.
Teaching and Scholarship
I teach primarily on the MSc in Museum Studies programme. Since joining the Information Studies subject area in September 2017 I have been Course Convenor for:
- Introduction to Museology
- Research and Professional Skills
- Museum Work Placement
- Museum Studies Dissertation
- Research and Development Placement
I teach on other courses offered by Information Studies and contribute lectures to courses offered by other subject areas in the College of Arts.
As Lecturer in Heritage Practitioner Engagmenent, I play an active role in building, developing and strengthening relationships with sector partners and cultural heritage professionals. As a subject area that specialises in training the next generation of cultural heritage and information profesionals -- our graduates go on to establish careers in museums, galleries, archive repositories, libraries, and heritage sites -- maintaining strong and sustainable ties with local, national and international sector partners is crucial to the teaching and research culture in Information Studies.
If you work in the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) and are interested in building links with the Museum Studies and/or Information Management & Preservation MSc programmes please get in touch. Both programmes include work placement options, feature guest speakers from the sector, and regularly host networking events for our students. The Information Studies subject area also hosts research seminars and public talks.
I joined the Information Studies subject area at the University of Glasgow in September 2017.
From 2016-2019, I was a Lecturer in Design History and Theory at the Glasgow School of Art. Other past teaching and research positions include being a Visting Lecturer in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow (2015-2017), Research Administrator for the Scottish Network on Digital Cultural Resources Evaluation (2015-2016), and a Teaching Assistant in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at OCAD University in Toronto (2011-2012).
I hold a PhD in History of Art from the University of Glasgow (2013-2016). Supervised by Dr Sabine Wieber and Dr Ian G. Anderson, my doctoral research focused on the history and legacy of International Exhibitions, a distinct exhibition paradigm that became a global phenomenon following the initial success of the Great Exhibition held in London in 1851. My thesis concentrated on the series of exhibitions held in Glasgow between the 1880s and 1930s, examining how these events constructed imperial and colonial identities in the Scottish and Canadian contexts, and faciliated the display of objects, the movement of people, and the dissemination of ideas across different spheres of empire.
I also have professional experience working in museums, art galleries and archives in the UK and Canada, and have held positions in collections research, programming and curation, education, events management and administration.
Grants and Awards
- Research Development Fund Award, Glasgow School of Art (2017)
- Vivien Hughes Prize, British Assocition for Canadian Studies (2015)
- Research Support Award, University of Glasgow (2014)
- Research Training and Support Grant, Arts and Humanities Research Council (2014)
- Graduate Scholar Award, Inclusive Museum Research Network (2013)
- Postgraduate Scholarship and Doctoral Award, Arts and Humanities Research Council (2013-2016)
Memberships and Professional Bodies
- Association for Art History, UK
- Royal Historical Society, UK
- Scottish Museums Federation, UK
- Scottish Society for Art History, UK
- Universities Art Association of Canada, Canada