Staff Directory

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01522 83 5152
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
United Kingdom

About Ian Waites

I studied History of Art and Design at Leicester Polytechnic, and I have taught at the School of Art and Design in Lincoln since 1995. I currently teach across a number of modules for MA programmes in English Studies, Historical Studies, and C19 Studies, as well as critical and cultural studies for the BA (Hons) Graphic Design programme. I have supervised four postgraduate students to completion (1 MPhil and 3 PhD). The subjects of these were: The life and work of Lincoln-born artist, William Logsdail (1859-1944) The life and work of German Enlightenment figure, Jacob Christian Schaffer (1718-1790) The representation of the Scottish highland habitat in the paintings of Edwin Landseer The life and work of the artist, William Hilton RA (1786-1839) I would welcome hearing from students who are considering MPhil and PhD studies in the areas of: - English landscape art and rural society c.1700-2000 - Any aspect of British Art c.1700-2000 - Council housing in Britain 1945-1980 - British Popular Culture and Social History 1945-1980. My research interests centre on landscape, sense of place and memory. Currently, I am researching the history of a post-WW2 council estate where I grew up. I am examining the original design and planning of the estate in relation to the more phenomenological concerns of spatiality, sense of place and everyday life. The research is particularly defined by my childhood and teenage memories of the estate during the 1960s and 70s, in an attempt to regain a sense of what it ‘felt like’ to live there. I keep a blog, ‘Instances of a changed society’ that chronicles this research, and which you can read here from the link ( listed to the left of this page. My other research interests involve trying to understand life in the equatorial time vortex of Christopher Priest’s novel ‘The Dream Archipelago’ (2009), reflecting on the nature and meaning of the fictional twenty-first century in Stingray and Thunderbirds in relation to our grim reality today, and wanting to rewrite Geeta Dayal’s book on my favourite album, Brian Eno’s ‘Another Green World’ (1975).

Department Responsibilities

Module Leader and Tutor: MA Nineteenth-Century Studies - ‘The Natural World’ Module Tutor: MA Nineteenth-Century Studies - ‘Interdisciplinary Approaches To Tennyson’ and ‘The Nineteenth-Century City’ Module Tutor: MA English Studies - ‘Romantic Legacies’ Module Leader: BA (Hons) Graphic Design - ‘Contextualising Visual Practice 3: Dissertation’ Module Leader: BA (Hons) Graphic Design - ‘Contextualising Visual Practice 2’ Module Leader: BA (Hons) Graphic Design - ‘Contextualising Visual Practice 1’ Staff Research Lead for Design

Subject Specialism

History of Art, Architecture and Design


  • PhD Unbounded Freedom: The Art and Aesthetics of the Common Field Landscape, c.1700-1850 — 2007
  • BA (Hons) History of Art and Design in the Modern Period. — 1992


I am a co-investigator in an AHRC funded project entitled ‘(Re-)Creating Middlefield’s Utopia: past, present and future’. In collaboration with Professor Carenza Lewis (principal investigator) and the housing association ACIS, I helped to co-ordinate the first-ever archaeological dig of a postwar council estate at the Middlefield Lane estate in Gainsborough, which took place in May 2016. Up to 80 estate residents and local schoolchidren dug 20 one-metre square test pits in their gardens and in the communal areas on the estate. We found a lot of early modern (ie. 17th century) pottery; lots of old clay pipes; building materials from when the estate was built in 1963-64, and - especially - much evidence of children playing on the estate over its 50-year history (marbles, plastic soldiers, Matchbox car wheels) and so on. We also worked with filmmaker Steve Pool, who made a film of the dig for us, and which can be seen via the youtube link to the left of this page. From 2015 until 2017, I was a co-investigator in an Arts Council England funded project entitled ‘Taking the Lead – research through action’, which aimed to dissolve the boundaries between research, practice, education and outreach. I worked with lead-investigators ‘The Poly-Technic’, and partners (LOV young peoples project and the Trinity Arts Centre Gainsborough) on a series of events/happenings called ‘Back to the Future 1965-2015-2016’ which explored the history and meaning of Gainsborough’s Middlefield Lane council estate particularly through the eyes, memories and experiences of children living on the estate today. See:

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • Childhood Studies

  • Common Land

  • History and Memory

  • Planning

  • Post-WW2 British Popular Culture

  • Post-WW2 Council Estates

Research Projects

  • Co-investigator: ‘Unearthing Utopia’ — awarded £3000 by Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2017
  • Co-investigator: ‘Exploring Middlefield’s Archaeology — awarded £20000 by Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2016
  • Co-investigator: ‘Taking the Lead – research through action’ — awarded £1060 by Arts Council England in 2015
  • Co-investigator: ‘Changing landscapes, changing environments: enclosure and culture in Northamptonshire, 1700-1900’ — awarded £400000 by Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2010

Research in the Lincoln Repository