Scott East


PhD (Culture and Society), BCA / BSc Hons. 

Dr Scott East is a Lecturer at Art & Design committed to engaged research with the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) and broader cultural sectors having presented his research in policy, academic and industry settings. 

Scott completed his PhD at the University of Western Sydney based on an ARC-Linkage Grant investigating the roles of museums in discussions of climate change. Scott’s broad interest in is how cultural and educational institutions figure in broader social networks of rapid change. 

Previously he has held leadership roles in the Faculty including Director, Student Experience and Director of Global Engagement at Art & Design. He has also worked as an Educational Developer providing professional development to academic staff as well as an Educational Officer focused on Science Communication. He has also worked for local government and policy organisations.  

Current projects include a gallery visitor study utilising eye-tracking (with Dr Michael Garbutt-awarded a Faculty Research Grant 2018), a community arts project with a disability arts group and a project investigating the construction of creativity in international cultural policy. 

Research interests include museums and institutions, culture, gender, sexuality, disability studies, queer theory, transnational feminisms, practice-led research, cultural policy and critical and creative pedagogies. 

At UNSW Art & Design, Scott teaches Museum Studies: Exhibitions, Collections and Material Culture (SAHT3213 DART2341); Arts & Cultural Policy (SAHT9124); Exhibiting Cultures (SAHT9310); Contexts for Art (SAHT1221 / DART1340) & Art & the Body: Identities and Orientations (SAHT2642 / DART2320). 

I supervise postgraduate projects, including both practice-led and thesis-only candidates.

Current Students include: 

Vicente Estrada Gonzalez, ‘Eye Tracking, Aesthetics, and the Cultural Innovation‘ (Scientia PhD Scholarship, Career Mentor Supervisor with Prof Branka Spehar Psychology & Michael Garbutt Design)

Luise Guest ‘(In)visible Ink: Gender and National Identity in the Work of Four Contemporary Chinese Artists’ (PhD, Jointly supervised with Prof Paul Gladston)

Nikita Holcombe, 'Curating Trauma: Legacies of colonialism in Australian contemporary art exhibitions' (PhD jointly supervised with A/Prof Kim Snepvangers)

Diogo Machado, 'International Cultural Heritage Law in Times of Insecurity' (Scientia PhD Scholarship, supervised with A/Prof Lucas Lixinski & Prof Sarah Williams UNSW Law)

Wendy Osmond, ‘Is it Oil?: from live performance to exhibition’  (PhD, jointly supervised with Dr Michael Garbutt)

Recently completed:

Isabella Cornell, Reparative Curating: Towards an ethics and politics of queer listening, (2019, Art Theory Hons)

Alia Parker, Affective Materiality: A practice-based collaboration with fungi, (2019 MPhil jointly supervised with Prof Stephen Loo)

Carol Hudson, Intertidal Project, (2019 MFA jointly supervised with Peter Sharp)

Dr Allison O’Sullivan, Claude Cahun’s objects of resistance (2018 with Dr Michael Garbutt)

Nicole McTaggart (Bachelor of Art Theory Honours) Re-arranged Skins: Contemporaty Australian Taxidermy art as critique (2017)

Alexandra Mitchell, Conspiring with the flowers of Asquith (BFA Hons 2015)


Journal articles
Estrada-Gonzalez V; East S; Garbutt M; Spehar B, 2020, 'Viewing Art in Different Contexts', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 11,
Garbutt M; East S; Spehar B; Estrada-Gonzalez V; Carson-Ewart B; Touma J, 2020, 'The Embodied Gaze: Exploring Applications for Mobile Eye Tracking in the Art Museum', Visitor Studies, vol. 23, pp. 82 - 100,
Hightower B; East S; Hunt S, 2019, 'Pranks in Contentious Politics', Contention, vol. 7, pp. 81 - 100,
Hightower B; East S, 2019, 'More than Luck: Australian Protest in a Social Movement Society', Contention, vol. 7, pp. 1 - 12,
East S; Hightower B, 2018, 'Protest in Progress/Progress in Protest', M/C Journal, vol. 21,
White Bull F; Hightower B; East S, 2018, 'Floris White Bull Responds to the Editors on Protest and the Film AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock', M/C Journal, vol. 21,
Creative Written Works
East S, 2019, Dream States: A Cast of Thousands, Kriss K, (ed.), Bega Valley Regional Gallery
East S, 2017, Michael Kempson's Child's Play: A Master of Exactitude, Michael Kempson: Work and Play, Beijing Song Ya Feng Culture Media Company, China.
Conference Presentations
Kriss K; East S, 2018, 'Nobody knows what a body can do: un/making the mediated body', presented at 4S SYDNEY TRANSnational STS, 29 August 2018 - 01 September 2018,
East SA, 2016, 'Exhibiting the self: participatory culture and #museumselfie', presented at The Selfie and Social Activism: a Digital Methods Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 12 December 2016 - 12 December 2016
East SA; Hightower B, 2016, 'Investing in culture: Art and Social Justice', presented at Crossroads – International Association of Cultural Studies Conference, Sydney, 14 December 2016 - 17 December 2016,
East SA, 2015, 'Surviving Curiosity: Museums and science in the Anthropocene', presented at Association of Art Historians, UK, Norwich, UK, 09 April 2015 - 11 April 2015,
East SA; Mendelssohn J, 2015, 'Community Engagement and the Curatorium', presented at Museums Australia, Sydney, Australia, 21 May 2015 - 24 May 2015,
Conference Papers
Kriss K; East S, 2018, 'Nobody knows what a body can do: un/making the mediated body', in Nobody knows what a body can do: un/making the mediated body, TRANSnational STS, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Sydney Australia, presented at TRANSnational STS, Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Sydney Australia, 29 August 2018 - 01 September 2018
Book Chapters
East SA, 2014, 'Figuring Change: Visual Communication in Museums', in Rees V; Rourke A (ed.), Researching the Visual: Demystifying ‘the Picture That’s Worth a Thousand words’, Common Ground Publishing Pty, Limited
East SA, 2014, 'Museum Affect: Crocheted Coral, Children’s Stories and Possibilities in Queer Time', in Climate Change and Museum Futures, edn. 1, Routledge, New York and Oxon, pp. 219 - 236,
East SA, 2013, 'Tracing the Future: Child’s play and the Free Fall of Imagination', in Shanghai Expo: An International Forum on the Future of Cities, edn. Culture, Economy and the Social, Routledge, London, pp. 170 - 186,