A black and white image of a person looking sideways, wearing glasses and a plain jumper.

Job title:

Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Curating


Room O.48, Higgitt Gallery, Hunter Building


Before joining the University of Edinburgh I worked as a curator, commissioning artists, leading residency programmes and making exhibitions. I gained by PhD in contemporary art history in 2017 from The University of Edinburgh. I am currently a Research Fellow with the ‘Feminism, Art, Maintenance’ (2019 – ) project, funded by the Swedish Research Council, and the Academic Lead for the University’s Contemporary Art Research Collection.

Between 2019 and 2023 I was the Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities’ Discipline+Catalyst Lead for Cultural and Museum Studies. I have served on the Boards of Edinburgh Art Festival (2005-2008), Scottish Contemporary Art Network (2008-2012) and Market Gallery (2011-2015).

I designed and directed the MSc by Research in Collections and Curating Practices, led in partnership with National Galleries of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Fruitmarket and the National Library of Scotland. The programme is now directed by Dr Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

  • Contemporary Art History
  • Curatorial Studies


Kirsten is on research leave for the 2023/24 academic year and is not teaching over this period.

Art and Capitalist Life (Year 3 Hons)

Curating Contemporary Art: Histories, Theories and Practice (Year 4 Hons)

The Need to Document: Contemporary Art from Performance to Biopolitics (Postgraduate Taught)

Guided Research Placement





My research focuses on late 20th and 21st art and mediation, including lens-based practice, participatory work and realism. Recent publications include ‘Art, Life and Capitalist Social Reproduction: Curating Social Practice’ in the Journal of Curatorial Studies (2021). I am currently working on the next phase of the collaborative exhibition and research project Life Support: Forms of Care in Art and Activism with Glasgow Women’s Library and a book called Contemporary Art and Capitalist Life supported by Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

PhD Supervision Topics

  • Contemporary art history and mediation

Related programmes