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Professor of Cultural Economy, University of South Australia

Justin O’Connor is Professor of Cultural Economy at the University of South Australia and visiting Chair in the School of Cultural Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University. From 2012-2018 he was Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University, where he established the Master of Cultural and creative Industries, Australia's latest program in that field. 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. He also helped establish and was first chair of Manchester’s Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS), the UK’s first dedicated local economic development agency for the creative industries. Justin was lead academic advisor to Manchester’s Urbis museum of the contemporary city. He also led the team which established Manchester’s first Creative Quarter - the Northern Quarter.

Justin is engaged in two Australian Research Council Discovery programs: "UNESCO and the Making of Global Cultural Policy" (DP180102074) and "Urban cultural policy and the changing dynamics of cultural production" (DP170104255). Between 2014-17 he led (DP150101477): "Working the Field: Creative Graduates in China and Australia". Prior to that he was involved on Linkage projects on MONA: (LP120200302): "Towards a New Bilbao Effect" (MONA) and (LP0991136) "Creative Clusters, Soft Infrastructure and New Media: Developing Capacity in China and Australia.

Between 2012-2018 he was a member of the UNESCO 2005 Convention's Expert Facility, supporting cultural policy development in Mauritius and Samoa.

His co-authored book (with Xin Gu) Red Creative: Culture and Modernity in China is out in 2020


  • 2008–present
    Professor, Queensland University of Technology
  • 2006–2008
    Professor of Cultural Industries, University of Leeds


    University of Sussex, Ph.D