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Jenny Kidd  BA (English, Swansea) MA (Publishing, Oxford Brookes) PhD (Cardiff University)

Dr Jenny Kidd BA (English, Swansea) MA (Publishing, Oxford Brookes) PhD (Cardiff University)

Reader and Director of Postgraduate Research

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

+44 29208 74489
Two Central Square, Room 0.60A, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


Formerly a web editor and developer, I now research at the intersection of digital heritage and participatory cultures. Recent publications have explored; algorithmic systems and digital memory, crypto art and questions of value, social media communications, and varied uses of immersive media. My work is generally collaborative and has included partnership with (for example) Historic Royal Palaces, Imperial War Museums, Tate Britain, Amgueddfa Cymru, yello brick and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs. 

I am currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded Policy and Evidence Centre, and was Co-Investigator on the UKRI project ‘Impacts of Covid 19 on the Cultural Sector’. I have worked with partners on the creation of two immersive experiences: With New Eyes I See (AHRC-REACT) and Traces | Olion (ESRC). 

I am on the Steering Committee for the Impact Community of the EU’s Europeana project, have led a masterclass for the UK Government Digital Service, and have appeared in the media and trade press, as well as podcasts, to talk about my research. I am Co-Director of JOMEC's Digital Media and Society research group, Managing Editor of the open access Journal Museum and Society, Series Co-Editor of Bloomsbury Studies in Digital Cultures, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for De Gruyter's Museums and Narrative series. In 2016 I was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts.

My books are Critical Encounters with Immersive Storytelling [with Alke Gröppel-Wegener, 2019, Routledge], Representation: Key Ideas in Media and Cultural Studies [2015, Routledge] and Museums in the New Mediascape: Transmedia, Participation, Ethics [2014, Routledge]. Edited books include Challenging History in the Museum [2014, Routledge] and Performing Heritage [2011, Manchester University Press]. Reviews of Museums in the New Mediascape: Museum and Society, LSE Review of Books, International Journal of Heritage Studies and the Museums Journal




















Book sections







Overview of projects:

Co-Investigator on AHRC 'COVID-19: Impacts on the cultural industries and implications for policy' [15 months from Sept 2020]. Find out more in the final project report.

AHRC Policy and Evidence Centre: Co-Investigator on the AHRC Policy and Evidence centre for the Creative Industries, 'Arts, Culture and Public Service Broadcasting' workstrand [2018-2023]. Find out more about The Value of Arts and Culture

Immersive Media for Change: with Alison John, 2018 [supported by an ESRC grant]

Traces | Olion: In 2016 we began work on a ‘subtle mob’ for St Fagans National History Museum, Wales. The project, funded by the ESRC, was a partnership between Cardiff University, Amgueddfa Cymru and yello brick, a creative marketing and street gaming company based in Cardiff. ‘Traces’ (‘Olion’ in the Welsh language) is crafted for visitors to experience either on their own or in pairs. Olion is not an audio guide. Nor is it a tourist guide. It is a site specific storytelling audio app which takes participants on a physical journey around St Fagans, meandering between fact and fiction, past and present. It is an artistic narrative interpretation or ‘composition’ which challenges visitors to experience St Fagans in a new way. It is both playful and thoughtful. The partner experience takes users on two separate journeys that interweave in ways that are expressly performative, but invisible to other visitors they might encounter within the grounds. More on Traces.

Voices of War and Peace: Co-Investigator on Birmingham University’s Voices of War and Peace project, an WW1 Engagement Centre funded by the AHRC. This involved innovative collaboration between Cardiff University and a number of partner organisations in Wales on the theme of WW1 between 2014 and 2019. As leads on the Commemoration strand of the Centre's work, Dr. Joanne Sayner and I extensively studied the poppies installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.This work was a collaboration with the Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces and Imperial War Museums.

With New Eyes I See: With New Eyes I See was a collaborative research project with yello brick funded by AHRC-REACT. The project prototyped a site-specific history documentary using torches, projection and RFID to trigger content. An overview of this project and its findings has been published as an open access article in International Journal of Heritage Studies.

Visitor-Generated Content: 2012 – 2014 Co-Investigator on AHRC funded network ‘Visitor Generated Content’ with Leicester University Museums Studies Department. Project partners included the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, the Digital Engagement Network and Art of Memory. The project led to a research collaboration with Tate.

Challenging History Network: Challenging History investigated the representation of difficult and sensitive subject matters within heritage contexts, resulting in a number of reports, major recommendations to the cultural sector. In partnership with Historic Royal Palaces and Imperial War Musuems, we held a number of events and sector-facing seminars, including International Conferences at City University (2012), Cardiff University (2016), and a Philosophy Salon at the National Portrait Gallery (2011).

2010-2012 Joint recipient of a Grundtvig Award (from European Commission) to investigate Challenging History with the Lidice Memorial, Lidice, Czech Republic and the Forum of Contemporary History, Leipzig, Germany.

The Significance of the Centenary, 2013: Co-Investigator on The Significance of the Centenary (AHRC). The project used a range of methodologies to explore how a Centenary is given meaning. The project was a partnership with Birmingham University, Sheffield University, the Tower of London, Cultural Learning Alliance and the National Library of Wales.

Silence, Memory and Empathy Network, 2012-2014: Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded network Silence, Memory and Empathy in Museums and at Historic Sites. UK Project partners included: Buckfast Abbey, Historic Royal Palaces, the Cultural Learning Alliance,Imperial War Museums, National Maritime Museum, Oriel High School, the Hitchin Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland, Royal Armouries Leeds, The Highlanders Museum, Birmingham University and Cardiff University.

Performance, Learning and Heritage: The Performance, Learning and Heritage research project was an investigation into the uses and impact of performance as a medium of learning and interpretation in museums and at historic sites. Funded by a major research grant from the AHRC, the project ran for three and a half years from 2005 to 2008. I was the Research Associate on the project. PLH involved four major case studies working with the National Maritime Museum, London, Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Nelson, S.Wales, Triangle Theatre Company, Coventry and the Manchester Museum.

City of London Festival audience research: In 2009 I was commissioned as a consultant (funded by Knowledge Connect) to work with the City of London Festival team on an extensive audience study. 


Immersive Media (Undergraduate year 3 elective, with James Taylor)

Doing something immersive is increasingly seen as a way of maintaining relevance and securing visibility in a crowded and complex content landscape. Immersive media harness the convergence of technology and creativity to foster new experiences, actively engaging users' senses. This module introduces students to immersive media from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Students debate key issues raised by the increased uses of these platforms, and explore the practicalities of content creation within these emerging formats.

Digital Culture (Undergraduate year 2 core module)

Digital media have re-scripted the relationship between media organisations and their users. Notions of producer and consumer, authorship and authenticity are being re-evaluated and explored in ways that are creative, experimental and infinite. This not only opens up new avenues of opportunity for audience development, but simultaneously calls into question the many practices of cultural consumption and identity construction. This module is an exploration of the claims being made for so-called ‘new’ media in culture. It includes both theoretical and practical components, including the creation of online projects featuring digital stories, infographics and podcasts.

Digital Creativity (Postgraduate taught programme)

This module explores the practice and theory of digital creativity. It is situated at the intersection of the creative arts, design and digital technologies. It highlights how digital media can be used to diversity the stories we tell and how we tell them. Students will debate key ethical issues raised by increased interaction with (for example) VR and AR, smart environments and artificial intelligence within creative and cultural contexts, and explore the practicalities of content creation within these emerging formats.


2012 - present: Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Culture

2008 - 2012: City University London, Centre for Cultural Policy and Management

2005 - 2008: Research Associate, The University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Before studying for my PhD I was a web designer and developer for dktv (a different kind of television), Camden, London.


I am currently supervising two PhD students and have supervised a further 10 to completion. I have examined 22 PhDs within and beyond the UK.


One of the most energising aspects of my role is contributing to public understanding of my field, and to the development of policy and practice. I have been involved in many engagement initiatives, in particular as part of my work on the AHRC Voices of War and Peace Engagement Centre and with the AHRC Policy and Evidence Centre (see Research). I regularly work with partners in the creative economy, including in recent years on a number of high profile digital cultural heritage projects.

Much of this has involved collaboration with colleagues elsewhere in Cardiff University, at other institutions, with creative and cultural sector partners, and with members of the public. These projects help to support the University’s civic mission, not least in terms of Welsh language promotion, contribution to cultural affairs and work with schools.

I am on the Steering Committee for the Impact Community of the EU’s Europeana project, have led a masterclass for the UK Government Digital Service, and have appeared in the media and trade press, as well as podcasts, to talk about my research.

Some resources giving an insight into my engagement work:

Written reflection on 'Creativity in Lockdown', an overview of work with Creative Cardiff on the Our Creative Cardiff initiative, 2020.

PEC blog post on work with Historic Royal Palaces on their 2014-2018 installations to mark the centenary of World War One, 2019: 'The continuing significance of the centenary'.

PEC blog post on the Voices of War and Peace ‘Heritage, Community and Opportunity’ policy breakfast, 2019: 'A lesson in how to understand the value of culture'.

PEC report on 'immersive experiences in museums, galleries and heritage sites'and associated blog post on the ethical implications of immersive practice.

Work with Welsh Centre for International Affairs as external evaluator on the HLF Wales for Peace programme (2017/2019).

Work with yello brick on Traces Onion. In recognition of our collaboration on Traces I have been recognised as one of the University’s ‘innovators’, and the partnership was championed as an example of best practice in the GW4 Bridging the Gap research report and at the launch event in 2018.