Dr Emma Roberts - Programme Leader: BA (Hons) History of Art


Title: Programme Leader: BA (Hons) History of Art

Telephone: 0151 904 1173

Work address:

Liverpool School of Art & Design,
Liverpool John Moores University,
2 Duckinfield Street,
Liverpool. L3 5RD.

Email: e.e.roberts@ljmu.ac.uk

Dr. Emma Roberts is currently Programme Leader of BA (Hons) History of Art and a Principal Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.  She completed a Ph.D. entitled ‘Barbara Hepworth: the International Significance’ in 1997 at the University of Liverpool, and has since produced a series of publications on Hepworth and other topics- such as public sculpture, the interior design of Cunard liners, the Disney town of Celebration and the carving of ships’ figureheads. 

Emma has been employed at LJMU since 1996 and, as well as managing the History of Art course, at one point designed and managed the Faculty of Arts and Professional and Social Sciences Foundation Year for International Students.

In 2012 Emma was nominated for an ‘Outstanding Teacher’ award in the Liverpool Students’ Union ‘Amazing Teacher’ Awards.  Indeed, her driving ambition for the History of Art course is that all students are happy, fulfilled intellectually and feel part of the close-knit ‘LJMU History of Art family’.


As well as designing, managing and overseeing the quality of the BA (Hons) History of Art course, Emma teaches specifically the following modules:

4007HA  An Introduction to Art History
This is a ‘Survey’ module, meaning that students are introduced to a large chronological examination of Art and Design History. 

4009HA  Collaboration with Contemporary Art
We explore the world of contemporary artists, curators, dealers and historians in the North-West and includes visits to artists’ studios, exhibitions and talks within museums and galleries.

4010HA  Artists & Practices
Here we examine shifting notions of the artist from the Renaissance to the present day and study various artistic practices such as painting, drawing, photography, installation.

5016HA  Internship & Professional Development
This module will prepare the student for identifying and gaining future employment through securing a placement and by producing employment materials.  Placements can include the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice.

5014HA  Methods in Art History
In this module we examine the various ways of writing used by art historians over several centuries. These include: iconology, feminism, Marxism etc.

6006HA  Major Project
Students are supported in undertake their own in-depth project.  Typically, these can include a curated exhibition or an educational pack for a school, gallery or museum.


For the last fifteen years, Emma has been writing and researching the book The Public Sculpture of Cheshire & Merseyside with co-author, Edward Morris.  This was published in 2012 by Liverpool University Press and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association.  The process involved examining the history and physical condition of all important public sculptures in the region and the book acts to record the information behind the commissioning, designing, making, unveiling and critical reception of these historic sculptures in our environment.

Simultaneously, Emma has been working on other research projects.  Amongst several others, these include:
‘The Bicycle and Semiotics in the Disney Town of Celebration’.  The Florida town, Celebration, is noted for its town logo of a young girl on a bicycle.  This logo appears on town physical features such as street signs, its website and publications.  Research is ongoing into the meanings (nostalgia, innocence, freedom and safety) that are received by the viewer- perhaps unconsciously- when viewing this evocative image.  The research is being converted currently into a journal article.

‘The Superliner and Liminal Space’.  In 2013 this book chapter will be published in The Atlantic: Tourists' Experiences in the 20th Century by Lit-Verlag.  Using the University of Liverpool’s Cunard company archives, Emma has researched interior design and the experiences on board Cunard liners for passengers in the first half of the twentieth century.  Emma proposes that passengers on board these ‘superliners’ experience a ‘liminal space’- a world that is rather like a bubble- separated from ordinary experience.


Emma’s research and publications include:

Page last modified 21 February 2013.

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