Dr. John Scanlan

Research Fellow

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Samuel Lindow Building (Westlakes Campus), Room 110

+44 (0) 1772 89 2227


Subject Areas: Cultural History, Cultural Aesthetics, Cultural Sociology

John Scanlan is a Research Fellow in the School of Art, Design and Fashion and specializes in the study of the cultural forms of life and their relation to time and place.

John is research active in the area of Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice. He is a member of the In Certain Places group.

John's website

Full Profile

John Scanlan has worked as a research fellow with In Certain Places since 2017, and is based at UCLan’s Cumbria campus where he has been studying what makes West Cumbria such a unique place. John is an academic and researcher working in cultural history / cultural aesthetics, with specific interests in the socio-cultural dimensions of ‘waste’, cultural memory, and the relationship between creativity and place. He obtained his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2001, for a study of the role of chance in art, culture and everyday life.

He was previously a lecturer and researcher at the universities of Glasgow, St Andrews, Bristol, and Manchester Metropolitan University. John’s books include On Garbage (2004), Memory: Encounters with the Strange and the Familiar (2013), Easy Riders, Rolling Stones (2015), and West Cumbria: On the Edge (2019). He is also the founder and series editor of a book series titled ‘Reverb’, which publishes scholarly studies of the relationship between music and place which publishes studies of the relationship between music and place.


Scanlan, J. (2004) On Garbage (London: Reaktion). ISBN: 9781861892225

Scanlan, J. (2013) Memory: Encounters with the Strange and the Familiar (London: Reaktion) ISBN: 9781780231785

Scanlan, J. (2015) Easy Riders, Rolling Stones: On the Road in America, from Delta Blues to 70s Rock (London: Reaktion) ISBN: 9781780235295

Scanlan, J. (2016) 'Surf Life, ou l’excès à l’ère du numérique,' in Techniques & Culture, Vol. 65-66, pp. 494-501.

Previous appointments

  • Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, 2008-2015
  • Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Bristol, 2007-08
  • AHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of History, University of St Andrews, 2003-2007
  • Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Paisley, 2002-03
  • Research Fellow, Centre for Regulatory Studies, University of Glasgow, 2001-02


PhD, Sociology, University of Glasgow, 2001.

MPhil, Social Science Research, University of Glasgow, 1998.

MA (Hons.), Philosophy, University of Glasgow, 1994.


In Certain Places: West Cumbria. A three-year project funded by the Samuel Lindow Foundation, a West Cumbria educational charity.

External Activities

Series Editor, ‘Reverb’, published by Reaktion Books (UK) and University of Chicago Press (North America)


‘Places Change: Tactics for Cultural-led Place-making,’ a presentation and roundtable discussion event hosted by Policy Network, Westminster, London, December 2017 (with Charles Quick)