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Cultural display, heritage, museums, visitability

This research area stems from my doctoral work[1]., which examined the transformation of a Welsh coalmine into a heritage museum, and the social and cultural trauma that accompanied this. This study was subsequently written up in the book Heritage, Place and Community (University of Wales Press, 2000). It is an area that closely connects to my research interests in urban regeneration. My interest in heritage has since broadened out into a wider concern with the terms under which culture is displayed for the public, resulting in the book Cultural Display: the production of contemporary visitability (Open University Press 2004).

More recently, this interest in display has focused in on the communication of science in interactive discovery centres, and I have become interested in interactivity as a contemporary form of cultural communication.

Funded Research Projects

Coffey, A., Dicks, B., Renold, E. and Williams, M. ‘Ethnography for the Digital Age’, ESRC H333250056. Start date 1.10.02. End date: 31.01.05. £175,000

This project examined the communication of science in a science discovery centre, as the substantive case-study for a methodological project on digital qualitative research.

Selected Publications

  • Dicks, B. (2011) ‘Closing the Gap: A reflection on Late 20th Century Visitability’, in Snape, R. (ed) Recording Leisure Lives: Holidays and Tourism in 20th Century Britain, Eastbourne: Leisure Studies Association, pp. 135-152
  • Dicks, B. (2004) Culture on Display: The production of contemporary visitability. Maidenhead, Berks: Open University Press
  • Dicks, B. (2000) Heritage, Place and Community, Cardiff: University of Wales Press
  • Dicks, B. (2002) Heritage, governance and ownership: A case-study from Wales. Museums and Society. Vol. 1 (1).
  • Dicks, B. (2002) The View from the Hill, Interpretation Journal 7, (2) 19-23. 
  • Dicks, B. (2000) 'Encoding and decoding the people: circuits of communication at a local heritage museum', European Journal of Communication, 15 (1) pp 61-78.
  • Dicks, B. (1999) 'The View of our Town from the Hill: Communities on Display as Local Heritage', International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2 (3), pp 349-368.
  • Dicks, B. and Van Loon, J. (1999) 'Territoriality and Heritage in South Wales: Space, Time and Imagined Communities’, in Fevre, R. and Thompson, A. (eds.) Nation, Identity and Social Theory, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Dicks, B. (1997) 'The life and times of community: spectacles of collective identity at the Rhondda Heritage Park, Time and Society Vol. 6 no. 2/3, pp 195-212.
  • Dicks, B. (1997) 'Representation versus Regeneration in the Rhondda: the Origins and Development of the Rhondda Heritage Park’, Contemporary Wales, Vol. 9, pp. 56-73

[1] Dicks, B. (1997) The view of our town from the hill: an enquiry into the representation of community at the Rhondda Heritage Park, unpublished PhD thesis, University of Wales.