Dr Liz Stainforth

Dr Liz Stainforth


I completed my undergraduate degree in English Literature and Philosophy in 2008, before commencing study in the School in 2010. The topic of my doctoral research (2012–2016) was informed by my interest in digital heritage collections, and cultures of memory and technology.

From 2007–2017, I worked at Leeds University Library and Galleries, alongside my studies, where I was involved in projects with Special Collections, the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery and the Digital Content Team.

I became a Lecturer in the School in 2017. Since then, I have held Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh) and the Digital Studio/eScholarship Research Centre (University of Melbourne). I also worked as a Research Associate on the collaborative place development projects My Future York and My Castle Gateway.


  • School Lead for PRiA (Pedagogic Research in the Arts)

Research interests

My research interests include digital heritage and memory cultures, critical studies of history and heritage and theories of utopia. My first monograph, Geopolitics of Digital Heritage (CUP, 2024), is co-authored with Dr Natalia Grincheva. I have secondary research interests in literary studies and science fiction

I am a co-investigator on the research project Affect, Algorithms and Archives: Reclaiming Emotions and Relationality in Digital Spaces, funded by Leeds Arts & Humanities Research Institute. 

I am a co-organiser of Serious Play, a research network that explores the potential of role-playing games for developing new methods of research and teaching practice.

Previous Research Roles

  • 2018 – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Digital Studio/eScholarship Research Centre (University of Melbourne, Endeavour-funded Fellowship): project focusing on Trove, a digital heritage aggregator hosted by the National Library of Australia, and the negotiation of public space, collections preservation and cultural engagement in the digital environment.
  • 2018 – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh): project exploring the landscape of UK digital culture and heritage in relation to the future shape and extent of national heritage cultures.
  • 2017–2018 – Research Associate, My Castle Gateway: collaborative consultation project about the development of the Castle Gateway area in York, linking creative and ongoing public engagement with the formal planning process (led by Helen Graham).
  • 2016–2017 – Research Associate, My Future York: collaborative inquiry project exploring alternative futures in relation to practices of community heritage and local democracy in the city of York. Funded as part of the AHRC’s Connected Communities Festival (led by Helen Graham).
  • 2015–2018 – Associate Editor of parallax, a journal of cultural studies, critical theory and philosophy.
  • 2013–2014 – Principal Investigator, AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Project: workshop funding on the theme of ‘Co-producing Cultural Policy’ (Co-Investigators Alice Borchi and Leila Jancovich).
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Media and Heritage Studies
  • MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies
  • BA English Literature and Philosophy

Professional memberships

  • Association of Critical Heritage Studies
  • Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy)

Student education

I teach on the MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies and several undergraduate modules within the School. I supervise doctoral research in the fields of media studies, visual arts, museology and critical heritage studies.

With Dr Chrys Papaioannou, I co-created the pedagogical zine, Defending Otherwise: Reclaiming the PhD Viva, which is aimed at doctoral students, supervisors and thesis examiners.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage
  • Centre for Cultural Policy

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>