Hajra Williams

Hajra Williams

Research Student, PhD


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My doctoral research focusses on the barriers to museum participation faced by the South Asian community in the UK, analysing the processes museums employed in exhibition design and development in order to reduce these barriers. The research draws on two museum exhibitions, ‘East comes West’, held at Cartwright Hall in Bradford, 1971 and ‘The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms’, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, 1999.


Scholarly biography

I have a first class BA honours degree in Design from Glasgow School of Art, an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester.

Prior to embarking on my PhD research, I was a museum education professional with a particular specialism in working with South Asian communities and in museum interpretation - this experience informs my research. I worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum over a seventeen year period. As the second South Asian Arts and Community Education Officer at the V&A, I developed initiatives to engage local and national South Asian community audiences. With a background in fine art and design, I was seconded to capital projects, specifically to work on the V&A’s Jewellery Gallery, opening in 2008. I led on the interpretation of the gallery, including the production of three films, two computer interactives and ensuring the gallery met the needs of audiences. Interpretation work on three further gallery development projects at the V&A followed, including the Gold, Silver and Mosaics Gallery, 2009 (previously the Gilbert Collection from Somerset House), Buddhist Sculpture Gallery, 2009, the Furniture Gallery, 2012. 

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Museum Studies

1 Sept 19991 Jun 2001

Award Date: 3 Sept 2001

Master, Fine Art, Royal College of Art

1 Sept 199131 Jul 1993

Award Date: 31 Aug 1993

Bachelor, Design, Glasgow School of Art

1 Sept 19871 Aug 1991

Award Date: 1 Jul 1991


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