Staff profile


Jane Lovell

Senior Lecturer

School: Christ Church Business School

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922374

Profile summary

BA American Studies (University of Hull, University of New Mexico, 1987), MSc Tourism and Environmental Science (University of Kent 2003), PhD Tourism Studies Cities of Imagination: Staged Authenticity in Historic Cities (2013).

My work experience provided me with a background in arts development, at the world-class Royal Opera House and tourism development at Canterbury City Council (balancing the needs of a district which includes a World Heritage Site, a cathedral city, the two very different seaside resorts of Whitstable and Herne Bay and rural areas). My projects at Canterbury included cultural destination management, for example organising the 100-day outdoor Canterbury BLOK urban sculpture show with Englisah Heritage and the University of the Creative Arts and a son et lumiere in partnership with English Heritage at St. Augustine's Abbey World Heritage Site. I also led the British partnership of an Interreg-funded, £285,000 project working with the cathedrals of Canterbury, Amiens, Rouen and Rochester, culminating in the Cathédrales de Lumière show in 2005.

Researching authenticity, heritage and the imagination blends my PhD investigations of staged authenticity in historic cities with my first degree in American Studies and interest in staging light installations at heritage sites. I specialise in perceptions of the authenticity of places: heritage sites; light installations; magical, imaginative and folkloric sense of place; literary and film geographies; the American frontier; site-specific art; hipsterisation and gentrification. 

Research and knowledge exchange


I am a member of the Canterbury World Heritage Site Management Committee and the Steering Group planning for Canterbury's Levelling Up Fund Expression of Interest in 2022.


Symposium (2020) Light Installations, Magic and Heritage. Canterbury Christ Church University.

Symposium, (2018) Reimagining Authenticity in the Age of Post-truth. Canterbury Christ Church University.

I continue to pursue my interest in organising light installations at historic sites, collaborating with Howard Griffin at the University of Kent on installations including Canterbury Christ Church University in 2012, St Augustine's Abbey in 2018 as part of the UNESCO 30 year anniversary of World Heritage Site status celebrations.

Teaching and subject expertise

My expertise in teaching focuses on heritage and creative placemaking and event production at UG and PG levels. I also direct our Tourism and Events MSc Course. 

Module leader:


Introduction to Events

Heritage and the Creative Industries

Creative Places for Events and Tourism

Events Operational Design


Creative Destinations

Events Design and Production




External activities


Visiting Fellow, British Library Eccles Centre of American Studies.

Associate Fellow, UCL Institute of the Americas.

Member of the Council of the British Association of Canadian Studies (BACS).

Previous Knowlefdge Exchange Positions include

Chair, Canterbury Heritage Partnership.

Steering group, East Kent City of Culture 2017 bid.

Co-director COAST (Cultural Offers in Seaside Towns) symposia:

  • On the Threshold, Culture and Change in Towns by the Sea at Canterbury Christ Church University 2013
  • The Cultural Life of Seaside Towns at Turner Contemporary 2014


External Examiner at University of Sheffield and Aglia Ruskin Universities. Previously External Examiner at Leeds Beckett, Sheffield Hallam, Brighton, Westminster and  Central Lancashire Universities. 

Guest Lecturer

University College London Canadian Studies: 'Haida Timelessness and Staged Authenticity'.

Westminster University MSc Tourism and Events: 'Historic Cities, Cathedrals and World Heritage'.

British Library Eccles Centre of American Studies: 'Magical Realities: Staged Authenticity and the Haida People'.

Recent conference Presentations

·      Lovell, J. (2019) Magically Real Authenticity, Fairytale Tourism and Harry Potter. Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, Washington DC.

·     Lovell J, and Hitchmough, S. (2018)  ‘Looping the loop of Authenticity: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Tour and Westworld.’ Association of American Geographers (AAG) New Orleans, April 2017.

·      ‘Magical Realities: Staged Authenticity and the Haida People.’ Colloquium: ‘Canada Inclusive/Exclusive: 150 Years and Beyond’. University College London Institute of the Americas, July 2017 

Publications and research outputs

Selected Publications


Lovell, J and Bull C. (2017) Authentic and Inauthentic Places in Tourism: From Heritage Sites to Theme Parks. Routledge.

Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S., eds.  (2019) Authenticity in North America: Tourism, Culture and the Popular Imagination. Routledge. 


Lovell, J. and Thurgill, J. (2021) Extending hot authentication: Imagining fantasy space. Annals of Tourism Research. 87, p.103138.

Lovell, J. and Griffin, H. (2021, forthcoming) Unfamiliar Light: The Production of Enchantment. Annals of Tourism Research. 

Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S. (2020). Simulated authenticity: Storytelling and mythic space on the hyper-frontier in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Westworld. Tourist Studies, p.1-20

Lovell, J. and Griffin, H. (2018) Fairy tale tourism: the architectural projection mapping of magically real and irreal festival lightscapes. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. Volume 11, 2019 – Issue 3, pp. 1-15. 

Lovell, J. (2019) Fairytale authenticity: historic city tourism, Harry Potter, medievalism and the magical gaze, Journal of Heritage Tourism, DOI: 10.1080/1743873X.2019.1588282

Thurgill, J.C. and Lovell, J., 2019. Expanding Worlds: Place and Collaboration in (and after) the ‘Text-as-Spatial-Event’. Literary Geographies, 5(1), pp.16-20.


Lovell, J (2021, forthcoming) Evolving Authenticity into the magical real of fantasy-based, third-order simulacra. In Sharpley, R. (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of the Tourist Experience. 

Lovell, J. (2018) ‘Hyperreal light simulacra: Performing buildings in motion.’ In Rickly, J. and Vidon, E. (eds.) Authenticity & Tourism: Materialities, Perceptions, Experiences. Emerald.

Lovell, J. and Hitchmough, S.  (2021) Hyper-staged authenticity on the technological frontier in Westworld’s post-human theme park.   In: Yeoman, I. and McMahon-Beattie, U., eds. Science Fiction, Disruption and Tourism. Channel View. 

Lovell, J. (2019) Opening the Memory Boxes: Magically hyperreal authenticity, tourism and the Haida People. In Lovell, J. and Hitchmough S., eds.  Authenticity in North America: Tourism, Culture and the Popular Imagination.  Routledge. 


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 07:57:00