Director of Graduate Studies
Tel: +44 (0)24 761 51112
Email: d dot wright dot 3 at warwick dot ac dot uk
I joined the University in 2008 and, following a year teaching in the Sociology department, joined the Centre in 2009. Before coming to Warwick I completed five years of post-doctoral research with the ESRC's centre for research into socio-cultural change, CRESC, based at the Open University in Milton Keynes. My PhD - a study of work in the UK retail book trade - was awarded by the University of Nottingham in 2004. I helped co-found and launch our MA programme in Global Media and Communication in 2010 and, since 2015, have taught on the MA in International Cultural Policy and Management. Since 2018, I've acted for the Faculty of Arts as one of Warwick's two site directors for the Midlands4Cities AHRC PhD Doctoral Training Consortium.
My book, published by Palgrave in July 2015, Understanding Cultural Taste was the culmination of longstanding research interests in taste and cultural consumption, developed in particular during my time as a member of a team of researchers that conducted an inquiry into British tastes, published as Culture, Class, Distinction in 2009. My current research focusses on three primary interests. First, my project on 'memorialising popular culture' concerns statues and monuments to comedians and musicians from the commercial cultures of the 20th and 21st century and contributes to the Centre's research theme on Memories, Histories and Futures. Second, I'm interested in how digital technologies are transforming the 'problem' of culture for cultural policymakers. Finally, with colleagues Chris Bilton and Heidi Ashton, I'm thinking about the future of creative work. This year I'm also involved in projects related to the City of Culture, contributing to one of its 'Case Study for Change' projects and co-editing a special issue of Art and the Market on Evaluating Cities of Culture.
Teaching and supervision
This year I'll be teaching Cultural Theory, a core module on the MA in International Cultural Policy and Management and coordinating the Research Design module, the core research training module for all our MA programmes.
As Director of Graduate Studies in the Centre I am responsible for coordinating activities with our PhD students, based around our Work-in-Progress seminars. I'm also currently supervising Centre research students studying socially engaged arts practice in Brazil and 'the aesthetic economy' in China, as well as co-supervising a Midlands4Cities collaborative doctoral award in partnership with the Royal Society of Sculptors on 'Contested Heritage: Memorialising a diverse society'. I'm also co-supervising two Sociology PhD projects, on the role of social media in the career-building strategies of 'creative' graduates and on the challenges Artificial Intelligence poses for UNESCO's conception of art.
I've supervised Centre PhDs on Live music and consumer experience in Korea, the working class audience for theatre, the creative industries in the Caribbean and digital platforms and public opinion in China and, in Sociology, on debates about GM foods in social media.
I'd be interested in supervising future research projects on cultural consumption, taste, popular culture and cultural work.
- Wright, D. (2019) 'Taste, sensation and skill in the sociology of consumption' in in I. Woodward and F. Wherry (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Consumption, Oxford University Press.
- Wright, D. (2018) '"Hopeful work" and the creative economy' in L. Martin & N. Wilson(eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work, Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp 311-325.
- Wright, D. (2018) 'Towards a computational cultural policy studies: examining infrastructures of taste and participation', International Journal of Cultural Policy, published online here.
- Wright, D. (2017) 'Sociology and Cultural Policy' in V. Durrer, T. Miller and D. O'Brien (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy, London: Routledge.
- Wright, D. (2016) 'Cultural consumption and cultural omnivorousness' in D.Inglis and A. Almila (eds) The Sage Handbook of Cultural Sociology, London: Sage, pp. 567-577.
- Wright, D. (2015) Understanding Cultural Taste: Sensation, skill and sensibility, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Wright, D. (2015) 'Imagining the cultural consumer: class, cool and connoisseurship', in K. Oakley and J. O'Connor (eds) The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries, Abingdon & New York: Routledge, pp. 347-356.
- Wright, D. (2014) 'Book Retail' in J. Smith Maguire and J. Matthews (eds) The Cultural Intermediaries Reader, London: Sage, pp. 180-191.
- Wright, D. and Purhonen, S. (2013) ‘Methodological issues in national-comparative research on cultural tastes : the case of cultural capital in the UK and Finland’, special issue of Cultural Sociology on ‘Field analysis, boundary-drawing and socio-cultural inequality’, 7 (2): 257-273. [article]
Wright, D., Purhonen, S. and Heikillä, R. (2013) ‘Comparing ‘cosmopolitanism’: Taste, nation and global culture in Finland and the UK’, Comparative Sociology, 12 (3): 330-360. [article]
Memorialising Popular Culture
My contribution to the Association of Art Historians conference session on 'Exploring Diversity in Public Art', organised by the Public Monuments & Sculptures Association, April 2021.
Faculty of Arts at Home: Consuming Culture under and after lockdown
My contribution to the Faculty of Arts at Home series, reflecting on Covid's impact on culture in the home.