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Personal details

Professor Justin O'Connor
Discipline *
Cultural Studies, Communication and Media Studies
+61 402 395 008
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Ph.D (University of Sussex)

Professional memberships
and associations

Editorial Board

  • Art and the Public Sphere
  • Culture Unbound
  • Review of Marxist Aesthetics (Shanghai)
  • Chinese Academy of Social Science annual publication on ‘The Creative Economy: International and Chinese Perspectives’

Chinese studies, Creative Industries, Cultural History, Cultural Industries, Popular Cultures, Popular Music, Urban Cultures, Urban Geography

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Research interests

  •     Contemporary urban cultures
  •     Cultural and creative industries
  •     Cultural policy
  •     Urban regeneration
  •     Chinese and East Asian Cultures

BackgroundJustin O’Connor is Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and visiting Chair, Department of Humanities, Shanghai Jiaotong University.Justin was recently appointed as a UNESCO expert on their program: “Strengthening the Governance of Culture in Developing Countries”.Until September 2008 he was Professor of Cultural Industries at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, where he led an MA in Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Between 1995 and 2006 he was Director of Manchester Institute for Popular Culture at Manchester Metropolitan University. There he led a joint MA (Polis – European Urban Cultures) between the Free University of Brussels, University of Tilburg and Helsinki School of Art and Design.Whilst in Manchester he led two ESRC projects on the music industry in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, and on cultural entrepreneurs in Manchester. He co-organized the first national conference on the Night-Time Economy in Manchester in 1995, and led a cultural strategy for the city’s Northern Quarter.
He was commissioned to conduct an extensive quantitative and qualitative study of the Cultural Production Sector in Manchester, research which led to the establishment of Manchester’s Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS), the UK’s first dedicated local economic development agency for the creative industries, of which he was chair. CIDS also established a number of industry-led network organisations for SMEs in the different sub-sectors of creative industries.Between 2001-3 Justin was lead academic advisor to Manchester’s Urbis museum of the contemporary city.Justin also led a partnership project between Manchester, Helsinki and St Petersburg to develop a creative industries strategy for the Russian city. His interest in the developing agenda for the creative industries outside Europe has seen him speak in China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. In 2006 he co-organised a conference in Shanghai on Creative Economies, Creative Cities, which came out as a book in 2009.He completed a literature review on the cultural and creative industries for Creative Partnerships and has just completed a report on the relationship between art and creative industries for the Australia Council. He edited a special edition of the International Journal of Cultural Policy on ‘Creative Industries: Ten years After’ and is preparing a special issue of Culture Unbound on ‘Shanghai Moderne’. He is currently finishing a book – After the Creative Industries: New Urban Cultures.Justin is leading an ARC linkage project, Creative Clusters, Soft Infrastructure and New Media: Developing Capacity in China and Australia, partnered with Shanghai Jiaotong University, the ‘Creative 100’ cluster (Qingdao) and Arup (Sydney). This is a systematic investigation into the evolving uses of creative clusters in China and Australia, with special reference to the role of social media and urban informatics in urban creative ecosystems. It aims to develop state of the art strategic design and policy guidelines to be used in Shanghai, Qingdao and elsewhere in China.

This information has been contributed by Professor Justin O'Connor.


Externally Funded Research and Policy Development ProjectsAcademic2009-12    Australian Research Council Linkage Grant: Soft Infrastructure, New Media and Creative Clusters: Developing Capacity in China and Australia 2009    Australia Council commissioned research and literature review: The relationship between Arts and Creative Industries in Australia2007    Commissioned by Creative Partnerships (Arts Council, England) to produce a Critical Bibliography on the Cultural and Creative Industries 2006    British Academy, Asia-Europe Foundation and Shanghai Academy of Social Science funding for conference in Shanghai, Creative Cities, Creative Industries 2005    Commissioned report on Creative Industries and Urban Regeneration, by RENEW agency with NWDA 2003-6:      Three year postgraduate studentship on creative industries and local economic development, financed by North West Development Agency and Creative Industries Development Service, Manchester2003-5:     Manchester partner in ESRC/ AHRB research seminar series on Creative Industries 2000-3:     Lead Academic Advisor: Urbis –The Museum of the Modern City, Manchester City Council 1998-     Director ESRC funded study on Cities: Competitiveness and Cohesion 2000    Programme, ‘Cultural Industries and the City: Innovation, Creativity and Competitiveness’ 1996-8:     Co-director ESRC funded study: ‘Music Industry and Local Economic Development’ 1993-4:     Named lead researcher: ESRC funded study: ‘Consumption and the Postmodern City’Policy2009    Creative Industries in Moreton Bay, for Moreton Bay Regional Council 2007    Commissioned ‘think piece’ for ‘Yorkshire Cities Group on Cities and Culture 2005-6    Commissioned research for National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA): Creating Growth: How can the UK Develop World Class Creative Businesses, with Burns Owens Partnership 2004    Member of Consultation team for establishment of North West Cultural Observatory 2002-04     Manchester team leader: EU Tacis Institution Building Programme, Manchester – St. Petersburg Creative Industry Partnership. 2000-02     Manchester Team Leader: EU Tacis Cross Border Co-operation project, Manchester –Helsinki –St Petersburg Creative Industries research and development Project 1997-9     Statistical and strategic mapping of the Creative industries sector in Manchester, Manchester City Council Economic Development (The Cultural Production Sector in Manchester) 1997-9     Project Leader: ‘Information for Cultural Industries Support Services’, European Social Fund (Adapt). Research into creative industry policies at local, national and International levels.1995-7     Project leader: ‘Networking for Business Advantage’, European Social Fund (Adapt). ICT and network development for cultural industries in the Northern Quarter, Manchester. 1995-7     Project leader: ‘Multimedia for Women in the Cultural Industries’, European Social Fund (Now). Research and course development involving ICT and female cultural entrepreneurs. 1993:     Cultural Strategy for Northern Quarter, Manchester City Council

This information has been contributed by Professor Justin O'Connor.


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