M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Victoria McMillan

Cultural and Museum Studies, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Place Matters: The potential of the Ecomuseum in the UK to connect communities to their landscape and help foster sustainable futures

My research will explore the potential of the ecomuseum in the UK as a mechanism and process through which to promote a more holistic ecological approach to understanding place and asks how this might help combat ‘cultural severance’, (re)connecting communities with their landscapes in a way that fosters empowerment, inclusivity, resilience and sustainability. It will provide a new understanding of ecomuseum practice in the UK and how it might be used as a framework for the stewardship of integral dynamic social-ecological systems that is place-based, community focused, polyvocal and collaborative. Explicitly transdisciplinary and intersectional in approach, my research will explore current discourse in heritage, geography, place and landscape studies and ecology. The study will synthesise concepts of biocultural landscapes , social-ecological systems  and the ‘earthlife’ nexus with emerging practice of human-centred design, activism and polyvocality in the museum/heritage sector. Sharing many of these ideals, ecomuseums, unlike traditional museums, aim to safeguard heritage within its own landscape and through community leadership therefore present a powerful and democratic conduit through which to promote a holistic approach.

Research Area

  • Cultural and Museum Studies


  • Alison Arnold & Victoria McMillan (2004) The Development of Newark-on-Trent 1100–1750, as Demonstrated Through its Tree-Ring Dates, Vernacular Architecture, 35:1, 50-62, DOI: 10.1179/vea.2004.35.1.50
  • Katharina Massing & Victoria McMillan (2019) Discovering Southwell Project Consultation Report of Findings, http://www.discoveringsouthwell.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Discovering-Southwell-Consultation-Report-2019-web-version.pdf


  •  Favourite Places, Special Sites; Mapping a Landscape with a Community  - Heritage, Memory and Identity: Community Participation in Ecomuseums, (International), July 15th 2020, Architecture and Urbanism Research Group,  University of Leeds

Public Engagement & Impact

Conferences/Workshops Attended

  • The Future of Mueseums Webinar NTU 25/09/20
  • Lost Spells: Launch Event and conversation with Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris 06/10/20
  • Developing an Impact Mindset for Research Webinar 08/10/20
  • Roundtable: Creating and Curating in a Time of Mass Extinction. Two Conversations on art, museums and the Sixth Mass Extinction. University of Leeds (Part of AHRC funded 'Thinking Through Mass Extinction' project & EU funded 'Extinction as Cultural Heritage' project   16/10/20
  • Museums Association 2020 Annual Conference:World Turned Upside Down: Exploring the Futures of Museums 2 - 6/11/20
  • NTU UN75 Conference 24 - 26/11/20
  • Landscape research Group Annual Symposium: Landscape and Goodness 5 - 10/12/20
  • Sustainable Futures Conference 2020 NTU Research Peak 16/12/20

Other Research Interests

  • Community Heritage
  • Biocultural Heritage
  • Landscape Studies


  • Museum Association
  • Landscape Research Group