Professor Kerstin Mey

University of Westminster

YouthGuides capacity building and cooperation for visual artists through digital place making with young people


Dean of Faculty of Media, Arts and Design

External Link: click here

Contact details:
+44 (0)20 7911 5958
University of Westminster
Watford Road Harrow Middx HA1 3TP



I studied Art, and German language and literature at Humboldt University to MA level. There, I also gained a PhD in Art Theory/Aesthetics. I was appointed to a lecturership at Humboldt University in 1990. In 1992 I took on a position as DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) Lektor at Warwick University. In my time there, I studied for a PGDip in European Cultural Policy and Administration. In 1996 I was offered a lecturing position in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee University, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer there in 2000. In 2004 I moved to the University of Ulster where I was appointed Professor of Fine Art and formed part of a team of three to set up a major new initiative: Interface – Centre for Research in Art, Technologies and Design. While heading up its research strand 'Art and its Locations' I also took on the Directorship of the Research Institute Art and Design.I also acted as Chair and Interim CEO of Ormeau Baths Gallery during its transition phase. In 2009 I took up responsibilities as Director of Research and Enterprise at the University for the Creative Arts. While at UCA, I took on the Directorship of CREST, the GuildHE Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training. I have served on a number of Advisory Groups and Boards including Cathedral Art Quarter Steering Group, Belfast Healthy Cities, and UCA Board of Governors.


Over my two decades within academia, I have revised, developed and implemented a number of taught programmes. I started off with teaching theory of art at Humboldt University. I then developed and taught a range of language focused and cultural studies informed courses for UG students in German as a Foreign language and for the Language Centre at the University of Warwick. Having arrived at the University of Dundee, I was tasked with completely revising the History of Art and Design programme for first year UG students, which I moved from a chronological approach to a thematic one. At Dundee I also co-developed and implemented the innovative BA Art, Philosophy and Contemporary practices course in addition to teaching art history and theory across all UG years, and to contributing to the Masters of Fine Art Programme by focusing on models of contemporary art practice and on applied aesthetics.

I was also part of a cross-disciplinary development and delivery team for the MLitt (Masters) Women, Culture and Society, where I taught on women in the creative arts. At the University of Ulster, I set up an innovative MA Art in Public in 2005 and also developed an metrix MRES stretching across the Arts and Humanities, which later formed the basis for the MA programme provision in the School of Art and Design there. In addition I played a proactive part in shaping the PhD in Art and Design programme and skills provision there.

My attention at UCA was directed at contributing to the development of the PhD programme in the Creative Arts, which was underpinned by two AHRC awards gained in collaboration with Norwich University of the Arts. This included a research skills grant for ‘Design as human interface in the digital age and for the creative economy’.

In the international context, I am part of an advisory team for a set of programme in New Media Arts, incorporating BA, MA and PhD levels at the University of Liepaja, Latvia, which has now been fully implemented and to which I contribute.


My text-based and curatorial research is concerned with the situatedness of art and models of contemporary creative practices, their underlying value hierarchies and, related, the documentation of art, the actualisation of its material repositories and, underpinning all of the above: public pedagogies. I am also interested in how emerging digital literacies in/form individual and collective identities; as well as the 'making' of knowledge at the interface of art research, technological and scientific advances, and embodied experience. I am part of CREAM, the Centre for Research and Education and Art and Media at the University of Westminster.

Building on sustained research interests research projects concern the relationship between image, collective imagination and digital literacies include an inquiry on the concept of abjection in contemporary visual art and a chapter on censorship issues in art past and present.

Recent grants include:

  • AHRC Skills Development ‘Design as human interface in the digital age and for the creative economy’ with Norwich University College of the Creative Arts, (£60k) 2012–2014
  • JISC e-content capital award: Zandra Rhodes Digital Studies Collection (database and OER) (£110k), 2011–2013
  • AHRC Block Grant Partnership Capacity Building scheme with Norwich University College of the Creative Arts, (£86k), 2011–2013
  • Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, project grant (£2k), May 2009

Doctoral researchers supervised to completion since 2009:

  • Richard Couzins, Inside Out: The Under-theorised Object and Material Voice, University for the Creative Arts (2013)
  • Susan Ryland, Resisting Metaphors: a metonymic approach to the study of creativity and cognition in art analysis and practice, University for the Creative Arts (2011)
  • Josephine Briggs, Visual Art Practices and Digital Literacies and the Construction of Identities in Northern Ireland, University of Ulster (2010)
  • Allen Hughes, Screening The Voice: synchronisation, authority and objet petit a, University of Ulster (2010)
  • Loraine Leeson, The Art of Social Change, University of Ulster (2009)
  • Ruth Pelzer-Montada, Poetics of Repetition, University of Dundee (2009)
  • Anthony Haughey, PhD by publication, University of Ulster (2009)
  • Mick O’Kelly, The Production of Space as an Ethical Encounter, University of Ulster, 2009.

I am a member of the international advisory board for the New Media Art programmes at the University of Liepaja, Latvia. Other consultative roles include the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Innovation series of conferences, research reviews for the Austrian Science Foundation, the German Science Foundation and other inter/national research funders. In 2012 I was appointed to the Austrian Science Board.

I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College as well as serving on the UK HE International Unit’s Community of Practice for European Research and Higher Education (Europe CoP).