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Faculty of Social Sciences

Staff Profile

Prof Gillian Rose

Prof Gillian Rose
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Professor of Cultural Geography



BA (Cambridge), PhD (London)

Course development and teaching

I chaired the production of Living in a globalised world (DD205) and am currently presentation chair of Understanding cities (DD304).

Research interests

My research interests lie broadly within the field of visual culture. I'm interested in visuality as a kind of practice, done by human subjects in collaboration with different kinds of objects and technologies.

One long-term project, which resulted in a book from Ashgate Press in 2010, looked at family photos. I approached family snaps by thinking of them as objects embedded in a wide range of practices. I interviewed women with young children about their photos, and also looked at the politics and ethics of family snaps moving into more public arenas of display when the people they picture are the victims of violence. The book explores the different 'politics of sentiment' in which family snaps participate in both their domestic spaces in the public space of the contemporary mass media.

Other work is extending my interest in subjectivities, space and visual practices by exploring experiences of designed urban spaces. I completed an ESRC-funded project on this theme with Dr Monica Degen at Brunel University in 2009 (ESRC grant number RES-062-23-0223), in which we compared how people experienced two rather different town centres: Milton Keynes and Bedford.

Monica Degen, Clare Melhuish and I started a new ESRC-funded project in the autumn of 2011 (RES-062-23-3305). 'Architectural atmospheres, branding and the social: the role of digital visualizing technologies in contemporary architectural practice' was a two-year ethnographic study of how digital visualizing technologies are being used by architects in a number of architects' studio in London.

I'm also interested in more innovative ways to produce social science research, especially using visual materials. I was involved in organising the ESRC Seminar Series 'Visual Dialogues: New Agendas in Inequalities Research' (2010-2012). Please visit the 'Visual Dialogues: New Agendas in Inequalities Research' for more details.

I'm a member of the OpenSpace Research Centre.

PhD supervision

I am prepared to supervise PhD students in the following areas: contemporary visual culture; domestic and other forms of photography; visual methodologies; urban visualities.

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Rose, G (2013) 'On the relation between "visual research methods" and contemporary visual culture', Sociological Review online.

Degen M and Rose G (2012), 'The sensory experiencing of urban design: the role of walking and perceptual memory', Urban Studies 49: 3269-3285.

Tolia-Kelly D and Rose G (eds) (2012) Visuality/Materiality: Images, Objects and Practices Ashgate Press.

Rose G (2012) 'The question of method: practice, reflexivity and critique in visual culture studies', in Heywood I and Sandywell B (eds) The Visual Culture Handbook, Berg, pp542-558.

Rose G (2012) Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Interpreting Visual Materials, third edition, Sage.

Rose, G, M Degen, and B Basdas (2010) 'More on 'big things': building events and feelings', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35: 334–349.

Rose, G (2010) Doing Family Photography: The Domestic, The Public and The Politics of Sentiment, Ashgate.

Rose, G (2009) 'Who cares for which dead and how: British newspaper reporting of the bombs in London, July 2005', Geoforum 40, 46–54.

Rose, G, B Basdas, and M Degen (2009) Using websites to disseminate research on urban spatialities Geography Compass 3, 2098–2108.

Last updated: 26 November 2013