Dr Kostas Arvanitis

Senior Lecturer

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Kostas is Senior Lecturer in Museology at the University of Manchester. Also, he is currently (till June 2023) Research Curator at the Manchester Art Gallery.

Kostas has a MA and PhD in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and a first degree in History and Archaeology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

His research interests cross the fields of museology, archaeology, cultural heritage, and digital media. His expertise lies in the area of Digital Heritage that includes the theory and practice of digital technology in museums, galleries and heritage sites. He’s particularly interested in the museology of technology, that is the critical analysis of the use of digital, social and mobile media in museums for purposes of curation, interpretation, evaluation and audience engagement.

Since 2017 Kostas has been working with the Manchester Art Gallery and Archives+ in archiving and researching the material recovered from the spontaneous memorials after the Manchester Arena bombing on 22nd May 2017. This work explores explore conceptual, practical and ethical challenges in archiving spontaneous memorials, including the preparedness of cultural authorities to respond to the timeframe and public expectations of these memorials; issues of public participation; and the expansion of the spontaneous memorialisation on digital and social media. Kostas is also working on the formation of an international community of practice and support network on rapid response, emergency documentation and long-term archiving and use of spontaneous memorials. 

Kostas is, also, investigating the viability of the use of collection and visitor data and AI-generated 3D scans of museums and galleries to offer museum staff and audiences opportunities to interact with eXtended Reality (XR) museum spaces, multi-layered content, and avatars of visitors.

He’s also interested in the intersection of heritage activism and digital/social media and, in particular, the role and impact of social media in: the co-production and crowd-sourcing of interpretations of the past; how these interact with notions of authority in cultural professionalism; and the formation and maintenance of (online) communities and networks of interest in cultural heritage. His other research interests include: how museums have collected, interpreted and exhibited everyday life; professionalism in museums and galleries; and the interpretation and communication of archaeological collections and built heritage.

Social responsibility

Social Responsibility and Cultural Engagement Grants and Projects

  • 2021. Documenting the Cultural Heritage of Trauma, SALC SR and Cultural Engagement Funds 2021-22. £4,975
  • 2020. Use of 3D scan in teaching and learning, SALC Cultural Engagement Funds 2020-21. £4,000
  • 2019. Humanities Innovation in Teaching, 30 August 2019; £4,988
  • 2019. Faculty Engaging with our communities fund. £1,000
  • 2019. SALC Social Responsibility Funding. £2,000
  • 2019. Faculty SR in the Curriculum fund. £2,000
  • 2018. “Trees of Hope: Hybrid ecologies of remembering the Manchester Arena bombing”, SALC Environmental Sustainability; May. £1,050
  • 2018. ‘Medical Collection and Exhibibition’, Faculty SR in the curriculum application 2018-19. £2,000
  • 2017. ‘Developing Archiving and Cultural Practices of Spontaneous Memorials’, SALC Social Responsibility and Cultural Engagement funding schemes. £2,000
  • 2017. VR Game on Sustainability. Faculty SR in the Curriculum. £2,000
  • 2017. ‘Medical Collection Development’, Faculty SR in the curriculum application. £2,000
  • 2017. Faculty of Humanities, Engaging with our communities funding call 2017-18. £1,500
  • 2016. ‘Refugee Crisis’ student project, Faculty of Humanities, ‘Engaging with our communities’. £1,500
  • 2016. ‘Refugee Crisis’ student project (exhibition and event), SALC External Relations. £3,000
  • 2016. ‘Curating Medical Objects’, Faculty SR in the curriculum application 2016-17. £2,000
  • 2016. 'Co-producing a Virtual Reality Immersive Game with university students and museum audiences’, University of Manchester, Learning Enrichment Fund. £4,990
  • 2016. 'Art, Digital Culture and Pokemon: Engaging young audiences with animal survival and extinction’, University of Manchester, Environmental Sustainability. £2,000
  • 2016. Faculty SR Fund, towards the Professional Practice Project module’s exhibition and event in Chetham’s Library. £800
  • 2016. SALC Cultural Engagement Fund, towards the Professional Practice Project module’s exhibition and event in Chetham’s Library. £950
  • 2015. Developing the Museum of Medicine and Health into a Platform for Public Engagement. Wellcome Trust. £4,995
  • 2014. Social Responsibility in the Curriculum. Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester. £2,000.

Social Responsibility Awards

  • 2021. Social Responsibility Commended Award
  • 2018. Making a Difference Commended Award
  • 2015. Making a Difference Certificate

Areas of expertise

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2006 - Doctor of Philosophy, Everyday media for everyday meanings: interpreting archaeological monuments in the streets of a Greek city, University of Leicester
  • 2000 - Master of Arts University of Leicester
  • 1996 - Bachelor of Arts Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Related information


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Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

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