Dr Arran J Rees
I am currently working as a PDRA on the AHRC-funded Towards a National Collection project, Congruence Engine. I co-facilitate the action research in the project alongside Helen Graham.
Previously I worked as a PDRA at Loughborough University on the Unlocking our Digital Past project, and have worked in curatorial and collections management roles in a number of museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Cardiff and the Royal Mint Museum.
My research intersects with digital cultural heritage, queer heritage, museum studies, collections management and online remix cultures. I am interested in action-focused, collaborative and autoethnographic research methodologies and exploring the use of humour in academic form.
I am a board member of ICOM UK (International Council of Museums, UK branch), and a member of the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage, Association of Critical Heritage Studies, Museums Association, Contemporary Collecting Network and Meme Studies Research Network.
My current research activities are focused on the Congruence Engine project with the Science Museum Group. Here, I am interested in the potential of action research in large multidisciplinary projects, as well as in the application of computational methods to museum and heritage data. I am also conducting research into queer museum cataloguing processes.
My PhD research (available here) focused on approaches to collecting social media in museums. The research focused on the idea of remixing museological collecting practices to be more adaptive to new and emerging forms of object. The research also explored the role of humour and social relations in approaches to organisational change. Throughout this work, I collaborated with the Collecting Social Photo project and the National Science and Media Museum.
I continue to be interested in born-digital cultural heritage, collecting and collections management processes, social media practices, digital ethics, informal, social and humourous engagement and writing practices, and participatory action research methods.
I try to publish and talk about my work through a variety of ways outside of academic publishing. Below are a few examples:
- Memes should be archived in museums. BBC News
- Are memes worth preserving? ACMI Online
- Top tips for ethical digital collecting in Contemporary Collecting: an ethical toolkit for museum practitioners. London Transport Museum and Arts Council England
- What does it meme? When social media becomes part of the museum collection. Museum ID
- PhD in Museum Studies
- MA in Museum Studies
- BA in History
- ICOM UK
- Museums Association
- Association of Critical Heritage Studies
- The Alan Turing Institute's AI & Arts group