Professor Justin O’Connor

Justin O’Connor is Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University. He is also visiting Professor in the School of Media and Design, Shanghai Jiaotong University, where he jointly runs a Global Cultural Economy research hub. He heads the new MFJ research unit Culture Media Economy, and is program leader for the Master of Cultural and Creative Industries.

Justin is leading an ARC Discovery Project (DP150101477) Working the Field, which seeks to understand how graduates of creative arts programs in Australia and China build creative vocations. It investigates the motivations for, and rewards of, unpaid cultural work across two areas of graduate work – visual arts and creative writing in Melbourne and Shanghai. He is also CI on ARC Discovery Project (DP170104255) Urban Cultural Policy and the Changing Dynamics of Cultural Production, focusing on the relationship between the cultural sector and making/ manufacture in Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin, Shenzhen, New York and Los Angeles.

He is also CI on an ARC Linkage Project (LP120200302) on the impact of MONA on the local city and state cultural economy in Tasmania. In 2013 he completed another LP Creative Clusters, Soft Infrastructure and New Media: Developing Capacity in China and Australia, partnered with Shanghai Jiaotong university, the ‘Creative 100’ cluster (Qingdao) and Arup (Sydney). An investigation into the evolving uses of creative clusters in China and Australia, with special reference to the role of social media and urban informatics in urban creative ecosystems.

He is part of the UNESCO ‘Expert Facility’, one of 43 international experts appointed under the UNESCO/EU Technical Assistance Programme in support of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Under this program he worked with the Ministry of Culture in Mauritius to develop a national cultural industries strategy, and the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture, Samoa, to link their cultural industries strategy to the 2005 Convention. He has recently been advising the Tasmania Creative Industries and Department of State Growth on their creative industries strategy. He is a board member of Renew Australia, a not for profit organisation which seeks to introduce creative uses into empty spaces. He has also advised many European cities on creative industries, most recently Yekaterinburg.

Justin works extensively in China. In 2006 he co-organised a conference in Shanghai on Creative Economies, Creative Cities, which came out as a book in 2009. He organises an annual Cultural Economy Summer School, with Shanghai Jiaotong University as part of the MCCI. He has just co-edited, with Rong Yueming of Shanghai Academy of Social Science, a book Cultural Industries in Shanghai: Planning and Policy inside a Global City (Intellect). With Xin Gu he will publish Cultural Economy in the New Shanghai (Sage) in 2018. He supervises many Chinese PhD students. He is currently preparing two ARC Linkage bids, on Transnational Creative Spaces (Melbourne-Shenzhen-Shanghai) and Mapping China’s Independent Music Scenes.

Previously he completed a literature review on the cultural and creative industries for the Creative Partnerships, UK and has completed a report on the relationship between art and creative industries for the Australia Council . He edited a 2009 special edition of the International Journal of Cultural Policy on ‘Creative Industries: Ten years After’, a special issue of Culture Unbound on ‘Shanghai Moderne’, and for City, Culture and Society on Creative Spaces in China and Australia.  Most recently he co-edited (with Kate Oakley) the Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries and a Platform Paper After Creative Industries.

Until 2012 he was Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and visiting Chair, Department of Humanities, Shanghai Jiaotong University. From 2006-8 he was Professor of Cultural Industries at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, and between 1995 and 2006 he was Director of Manchester Institute for Popular Culture at Manchester Metropolitan University.

In Manchester Justin’s research led to the establishment of Manchester’s Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS), the UK’s first dedicated local economic development agency for the creative industries, of which he was co-chair. CIDS established several industry-led network organisations for SMEs in the different sub-sectors of creative industries. Justin was lead academic advisor to Manchester’s Urbis museum of the contemporary city. He led the team which established Manchester’s first Creative Quarter – the Northern Quarter. He also led a four city-university MA, Polis: European Urban Cultures.

Justin led a partnership project between Manchester, Helsinki and St Petersburg to develop a creative industries strategy for the Russian city. His interest in the developing agenda for the creative industries outside Europe has seen him speak in China, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan.

He has published over 100 books, papers, chapters and reports in the field of cultural and creative industries, arts and cultural policy, urban cultures and popular music. He is working on two joint books, Cultural Economy in the New Shanghai and Global Cultural Economy, both with Routledge.

CV is available on request.