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Personal profile

Research interests

Within the broad context of space, place and culture I am fascinated by the embodied and performative dynamics of human experience and behaviour.  Underpinned by a longstanding interest and intellectual engagement with the ‘architecture’ of space, my focus encompasses the material, virtual and simulated spaces associated with everyday life. For example, the sea and the coast, cruise ships, popular film, photography, art, tourism and leisure.  I am interested in how people engage with, imagine and adapt to such landscapes and spaces.  

My continuing interest in cruise ships as bounded and transient spaces for work and leisure, framed by maritime heritage (film, dress, rituals of the sea, architecture), dates back to my past experience of living and working at sea. The intellectual and practical experience of cruise ships directly influenced my PhD research exploring the constructed discourses of cruise travel through an analysis of popular film (Ship of Fools, Carry on Cruising, Titanic).   In so doing it acknowledged the multisensory nature of film and how the liminal realm of film space is experienced in and through the imagination, memory and emotion.

My interests in maritime heritage and histories of the sea / coastal cultures also encompasses how the visual and material world create new narratives of meaning that help to shape individual and collective identities alongside particular experiences and encounters with the ocean and liminal environments where land and water meet. I continue to be interested in the power of discourse generally, and specifically the critical discourse highlighting the consequential socio-cultural impacts of cruise ships and their associated activities on coastal regions and destinations.


Core areas of activity, including the areas for PhD supervision are:


The visual and visuality

Embodiment and the senses

Architecture and materiality

The coast / sea / seascapes

Heritage / Maritime heritage

Cruise ships and cruise liners


Dive into the research topics where Jo-Anne Lester is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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