Dr Kostas Arvanitis

Senior Lecturer

Full contact details
View graph of relations

Research interests

Kostas's 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 is particularly interested in the use of mobile and social media in museums for purposes of curation, interpretation and audience engagement. His other research interests include: archiving and interpretation of spontaneous memorials; 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.

His current research activity includes: 

  • Documentating and archiving spontaneous memorials and their use and impact on cultural policy and practice. This focuses on the case of the "Manchester Arena Archive" that includes tangible, intangible and digital material related to the spontaneous memorials after the Manchester Arena bombing on 22nd May 2017. This work explores 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.
  • Heritage activism and digital/social media in the case of the Amphipolis tomb, in particular, the role and impact of social media use 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.
  • Investigating the use of data in capturing cultural experiences and driving data driven decisions making in cultural organisations (Culture Metrics Project, funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts: Big Data strand).  

Key Research Projects

Conference Organisation

Latest Conference Panels

  • “The ‘Manchester Together’ Archive: co-producing a heritage of memory”, Memory Studies Association Conference, Madrid, 25-28 June 2019
  • "Theorising Digital Museum Objects", Colloquium, The Inclusive Museum Conference, Manchester 15-17 September 2017

Latest Talks

  • "The “Manchester Together” Archive: co-producing a heritage of memory". In Memory Studies Association Conference, Madrid, 25-28 June 2019
  • "Developing a digital archive of a spontaneous memorial: the case of the Manchester Together Archive”. In Curating contemporary digital data in museums, University of Graz, 11th February 2019 
  • “Archiving the spontaneous memorials of the Manchester Arena bombing” (with Amanda Wallace), DCDC, 21st November 2018
  • “Documenting and Archiving Spontaneous Memorials: the case of the Manchester Arena bombing”, Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) Conference 2018, Hangzhou, 1-6thSeptember 2018
  • “Collecting the public response to the Manchester Arena bombing”, In The ethics of collecting trauma: what is the role of museums in recording and displaying contemporary events, International Workshop, Doha, 7-9 May 2018
  • “Museum Avatars”, The Inclusive Museum Conference, Manchester 15-17 September 2017
  • Amphipolis 2.0 Authority, Archaeology and Social Media Activism’, Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference, Montreal, 6-10 June 2016
  • 'Data culture and organisational practice: Using big data sets to assess the quality of cultural work and experiences', Museums and the Web 2016, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 6-9 April 2016

Esteem Indicators

  • Managing Editor, Museum and Society Journal
  • Editorial Review Board Member, SAGE Open
  • Peer Reviewer for journals such as Journal of Material Culture, Museum and Society, Culture Unbound, Museology, Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies, Participation, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics
  • Visiting Lecturer at the Inter-University Postgraduate Programme in Museology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Visiting Lecturer at the MA Museum and Gallery Practice, University College London Qatar
  • Member of the Board of Trustees, Manchester Histories
  • Steering Group, Museum of Medicine and Health, University of Manchester
  • Founding Member of CHIMERA (Cultural Heritage, Identity and Memory Research Area) at the University of Manchester
  • Founding Member of the Association of Greek Museologists, Greece
  • International Network for Classical Archaeological University Collections


Research and projects