Dr Tiffany Jenkins is a cultural sociologist, writer and commentator, who splits her time between London and Edinburgh. A frequent broadcaster on the arts and social issues, she has a weekly column in The Scotsman newspaper. Other writing credits include: BBC Culture, the Independent, Spectator, and Guardian. She is the presenter of the Radio 4 programme Beauty and the Brain, which examines what brain science can tell us about art.
Her academic research examines contested authority in the cultural and heritage sector, analysing concepts of cultural value, cultural policy, cultural diplomacy and cultural property issues, in particular: the repatriation of human remains and objects. She is interested in how culture is given causal properties to ‘do stuff’ like raise self-esteem, regenerate community and contribute to the economy, even nation buildings, at the same time as western society is less and less clear on what culture is. She currently researching Norwegian cultural policy, as a comparative study to that in England, focusing in particular on the cultural rucksack scheme.
Her next book is the edited collection: Political Culture, Soft Interventions and National Building, published this Autumn 2014 by Routledge. She is writing – Keeping Their Marbles – It charts how museums acquired their objects – at times with highly questionable methods and means – exploring who owns culture and why. Her first book – Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections: The Crisis of Cultural Authority – looks at the influences at play on the controversy over human remains in museum collections.
She is the Culture Section co-editor, of Sociology Compass, a peer-reviewed journal that presents review articles surveying topics of interest within sociology.
A committee member of the Battle of Ideas and curates the arts related discussions. Previously, she was the Director of the Arts and Society Programme at the Institute of Ideas.
Previously, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, in the Department of Law, where she continues to be involved in establishing a research hub on cultural property, cultural diplomacy, art law and heritage issues.
She has been a co-convener of the British Sociological Association study group, Sociologists Outside Academia, which aims to raise the status of sociological work undertaken beyond an academic context, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.
You can contact her at jenkins[dot]tiffany[at]gmail[dot]com