Job title: Senior Lecturer, Visual Culture

Role: Co-Director of Visual Culture, Co-Director of Research, School of Art


Office address: Main Building, Room E.05

Research outputs: Dr Angela McClanahan-Simmons on Edinburgh Research Explorer

Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, my educational background is in archaeology and anthropology.  I was a University Teacher at Glasgow University from 2003-8, and a Lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at Leeds University in 2007-8 before taking up my current post at ECA. 

I have taught visual and material culture at ECA for over a decade, with colleagues in the Schools of Art and Design, as well as co-teaching with colleagues in Social Anthropology.  My research has appeared in peer reviewed journals, international conferences and symposia, international heritage literature, edited volumes and artist publications.  

In addition to my teaching and research interests, I frequently write for art exhibitions and exhibition catalogues, I am a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and am a member of the editorial collective of the peer reviewed journal Visual Culture in Britain.​  

With colleagues in Art and Social and Political Studies, I co-coordinate the research network Atelier: Creative Arts and the Social Sciences, which stages workshops, conference panels and events that sit at the intersection of art and anthropology.

Angela is course organiser for Material Cultures (Stage 3); Exploring Cultural Landscapes I: Field Lab (MSc); and Things: New Materialisms (MA). 

She also contributes to Approaches to Visual Culture (Stage 1),  Critical and Cultural Theories of Art (Stage 2), Visual Culture Research Project (Stage 4), Cultural Turns (MA), Cultural Landscapes Colloquium (MSc), Cultural Landscapes Research Project (MSc), Art PhD Research Methods, as well as teaching on ethics in various capacities at ECA.

​​​​My primary research interests include examining how people engage with and construct meaning from the material world, and how the things and places we make and use are experienced, interpreted, ordered and displayed to construct narratives of historic and contemporary cultures in museums, galleries, landscape, bodily, contemporary art and cinematic contexts. I am also interested in ideas about the material culture of the recent and deep past, and their relationships to politics, displacement, presents and futures, and ethical practices in contemporary art and anthropology. 

Current PhD students

PhD Supervision Topics

Not accepting applications.

  • Material culture studies and New Materialisms
  • Deep time, recent pasts and futures
  • Contemporary archaeologies
  • Landscape, materials and representation
  • Critical heritage studies
  • Art, magic and value
  • Ethics and contemporary art
  • Ethics and museum display
  • Intersections between art + anthropology
  • Intersections bewtween art + archaeology