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Dr Gross joined King’s in 2015, following research and teaching posts at the universities of Leeds and Sheffield. His research addresses questions of cultural policy, politics and participation from a variety of perspectives, building on his interdisciplinary background in cultural studies, audience studies, and the history of political thought. At the centre of his research are questions of the role of the state in culture, and the role of culture in human flourishing. Recent collaborative research projects include:

  • Creating the Environment: The Cultural Eco-systems of Creative People and Places (with Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme)
  • The Cultural Learning Ecology in Harrow (with A New Direction)
  • The Get Creative Research Project (with Get Creative)

Jonathan is currently working on Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies - a €2.9million project funded by the European Commission (Horizon2020) - in collaboration with colleagues at King’s and at universities in Finland, Italy and Latvia.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

Jonathan’s current research focuses on questions of:

  • Cultural policy
  • Cultural democracy
  • Cultural eco-systems
  • Cultural economy
  • Human development & the capability approach
  • The politics of hope

He also has research interests in topics including cultural value, everyday creativity, and audiences.

For more details, please see his full  research profile.


Jonathan teaches on the MA Arts & Cultural Management and the MA Cultural & Creative Industries. Previously he taught on MA programmes in Culture, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (University of Leeds), Music Management (University of Sheffield), and on a number of BA programmes at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is an External Examiner at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Jonathan is a regular contributor to discussions beyond academia. He has shared his research with cultural practitioners and policymakers at many locations across the UK, including events held at West Yorkshire Playhouse, CBSO Centre Birmingham, the Cheltenham Music Festival, the Barbican Centre, and The Museum of London. His research typically addresses possibilities for progressive change - working with policymakers, cultural organisations and publics in doing so; and he has conducted a number of programme evaluations, directly informing the development of specific cultural projects. Jonathan was a member of the organising committee of the 2019 conference of the Human Development and Capability Association, held in the UK for the first time.

Selected publications

  • Gross, J. (2020) The Birth of the Creative Industries Revisited: An Oral History of the 1998 DCMS Mapping Document. London: King’s College London.
  • Gross, J. (2019) ‘Practices of hope: care, narrative and cultural democracy’. International Journal of Cultural Policy. DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2019.1702032 
  • Gross, J. & Wilson, N. (2019) Creating the Environment: The Cultural Eco-systems of Creative People and Places. Creative People and Places.
  • Gross, J. & Wilson, N. (2018) ‘Cultural democracy: an ecological and capabilities approach’. International Journal of Cultural Policy. DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2018.1538363  
  • Gross, J. (2018) ‘Creativity Off the Clock: Re-Conceptualizing Creative Careers’, in Martin. L & Wilson, N. (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 501-522.