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Dr David Wright

 Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies
Tel: +44 (0)24 761 51112
Email: d dot wright dot 3 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Faculty of Arts Building


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've contributed to modules across our MA programmes. I helped design, co-found and launch our MA programme in Global Media and Communication in 2010. From 2015 until 2023, I taught on the MA in International Cultural Policy and Management and this year I'm working on the MA in Creative and Media Enterprises as well as the BA in Media and Creative Industries.

Research interests

My research interests cut across all areas of cultural policy and the cultural/creative industries. Currently they focus on three areas. 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.

With my colleagues Vish Roy, Heidi Ashton and Jonathan Vickery I helped produce a Focus Study on Civic Cultural and Business Partnerships as part of the evaluation of Coventry UK City of Culture, 2021. I've also recently co-edited two special issues of the journal Arts and the Market on Evaluating Cities of Culture.

Recently I've been working with Professor Mel Jordan at Coventry University on exploring the rhetoric and reality of creative industry and cultural policy research, especially in relation to local and regional cultural ecologies. This culminated in our 'Getting Real about Creative Industries Research' event, funded by the Midlands4Cities Dialogue Day scheme and hosted by The Herbert Gallery, Coventry.

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.

Teaching and supervision

Teaching responsibilities

This year I'll be teaching, with my colleague Jamie Larkin, on Managing Intellectual Property a core module on the MA in Creative and Media Enterprises. I'll also be teaching the MA Option Working in the Cultural and Creative Industries and the BA option, The Mediated Self.

PhD supervision

As Director of Graduate Studies in the Centre I am responsible for coordinating activities with our PhD students, based around our regular Work-in-Progress seminars. I'm currently co-supervising two Midlands4Cities Collaborative Doctoral award projects. One, with the Royal Society of Sculptors exploring contested heritage through statues and one with Coventry Biennial exploring the legacy of the City of Culture. I co-supervise a third M4C project on heritage and memory in relation to the Winter Gardens, Great Yarmouth. I also co-supervise a Centre PhD project on digital technology and theatre audiences in Korea and 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 Museums and memory in Cyprus, the 'Carnivalesque' and mental health in Brazil, Live music and consumer experience in Korea, the working class audience for UK theatre, the creative industries in the Caribbean and digital platforms and public opinion in China. I've also supervised a project in Sociology, on debates about GM foods in social media.

Selected publications

  • Wright, D. (2023) '"One of our own": Statues of comedians, popular culture and nostalgia in English towns', European Journal of Cultural Studies, 26 (4). pp. 554-571, Open Access
  • Wright, D. (2022) 'How culture became digital: editor's introduction', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 28(7): 777-785, available on-line.
  • Wright, D. and C. Gray (2022) 'Culture is Digital and the shifting terrain of UK cultural policy', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 28 (7): 799-812, Open Access.
  • Wright, D. (2022) 'Cultures and consumption' in K. Murji, S, Neal and J. Solomos (eds) An Introduction to Sociology, London: Sage.
  • 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.

Further publications are accessible through my author page on Warwick's WRAP repository

Office hours

Autumn Term:

Thursdays 2pm-4pm


Postgraduate modules

Managing Intellectual Property (MA in Creative and Media Enterprises)

Working in the Cultural and Creative Industries (MA option module)

Undergraduate modules

The Mediated Self

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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.

Getting Real About Creative Industries & Cultural Policy Research in the Midlands

Reflections on our day of discussion at The Herbert Gallery, June, 2023