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Sharon Wilson (FHEA)

Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events

Department: Newcastle Business School

Sharon Wilson (FHEA) joined the faculty in October 2017 as Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Events at University of Northumbria Business School.

As an interdisciplinary researcher, my interests are human mobilities, cultural tourism, business innovation and the creative industries. As a social scientist and creative practitioner, my research fits with the aria of emotional geographies, embodiment theory, transport ontologies, post-humanism and creative thinking in innovation. Having completed a PhD that looked at body-machine relationships in auto-mobility, I have subsequently produced a body of work around sensory mobilities and slow travel. With engagement with the ‘new mobilities paradigm’, my qualitative work also welcomes plurality and innovation in research episteme to contribute to the evolution of creative methodological practices. 

My expertise in artistic and strategic development in the cultural sector dovetails my research innovations from a creative perspective, synergising learning and teaching practices with research-orientated methodologies but with a real-world network that is current and future demand focused, as I drive to innovate as outwardly mobile, whilst institutionally dedicated to contributing to the pedagogical landscape.  

Complementary to my research developments, I endeavour to enhance the teaching environment with significant expertise as a practitioner from the creative industries with local, national and international connections established over 15 years with 30 organisations to include: creative SME’s, the health and wellbeing sector (NHS), heritage management and the entertainment industry. These deployments have resulted in a longstanding and stable professional network that offers external engagement opportunities for research, enterprise and experiential learning benefits for Northumbria University.

Former program leader of events at the University of Sunderland for 7 years, offers a breadth and depth of experience having taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. A testament to a commitment to student experience, receiving ‘Best Lecturer’ in the Faculty in the student-led teaching awards at the University of Sunderland Faculty of Business and Law in 2015.

I also welcome general enquiries and applications from potential PhD students interested in my supervision.

Campus Address

Room 011, Newcastle Business School
Northumbria University, City Campus East
Newcastle Upon Tyne



  • Tourism PhD December 22 2017
  • MSc October 01 2017

Key Publications and Outputs

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Wilson, S, & Hannam, K., (2017), The Frictions of Slow Tourism Mobilities: Conceptualising Campervan Travel, Annals of tourism Research, 67 (p. 25-36).4* ABS
  • Wilson, S, Chambers, D, Johnson, J (2019) VW CAMPERVAN TOURISM AS INSTRUMENTAL METAPHOR: Embodied Sonic Experiences. Recently submitted to Annals Tourism Research - Major Corrections stage. 4* ABS
  • Campervan Ethnographies (2019) Handbook on Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, Elgar Publishing. (Agreed Publication)
  • Mordue, T and Wilson, S, (2019) Course Fishing as Performativities of Urban Leisure, Environmentalism and Animal Welfare. (TBC) Environment and Society. (3/4*ABS)
  • Mordue, T and Wilson, S, (2020) Tourism, Time and Embodied Temporalities. For Mobilities Journal/ Society and Time. TBC. Working at 2019
  • Wilson, S, Johnson, J, Uzunogullari, S (2019) ‘Not the Blue Mosque. Where would you like to take me?’ Destination Branding through the narratives of taxi drivers in Istanbul. Submission to Current Issues in Tourism Journal December 2019. (3* ABS)
  • Wilson, S, Obrador Pons, P (Home and Away, VW Campervan Communalities from Ph.D.) starting November 2018. (3* ABS)
  • Wilson, S, (2018) The Nuclear Family Project- The Art of Touring the Toxic. (Published - Exhibition Catalogue and online)
  • Online Publication. T2M Transport, Traffic & Mobility
  • Online Publication Cultural Geographies.


Academic Proceedings and Presentations

  • Article in Proceedings Book (2014) 7th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism Hospitality and Leisure, Kadir Has University Conference Center. (
  • Social and Cultural Geographies Research Group @NUGEOG (Northumbria University) Taxi Drivers in Istanbul November 2018.
  • C-MUS conference '(EM)Powering Mobilities'. Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark (2018).
  • 2nd International Research Symposium in Tourism Hospitality & Events – Contemporary Issues & Future Scenarios, University of Sunderland. (May 2018)
  • Mobile Utopias Conference, Cosmobilities, Lancaster University, UK (2017)
  • Research Symposium – Tourism, Hospitality and Events: Border Crossings and Interconnections, University of Sunderland. (2017)
  • Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting: BOSTON (2017)
  • Education and Society Postgraduate Research Group (ESPGRG) Conference, David Goldman, University of Sunderland. (2016)
  • ISA-RC50, Chiang Mai, Thailand The Empress Hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand. (2016)
  • Royal Geographical Conferences Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference. RGS Consumer Behaviour in Tourism Symposium) "Tourism Motilities beyond Place: Time, Resources and Perspectives" The University of Exeter (2015)Tourism Partnerships Seminar, Barbican Centre London with ABPCO. (2015)
  • Association of American Geographers' Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois Cosmobilities session with Sven Kesselring from Aalberg University in Denmark. Presentation on:Auto-ethnographic experimentation and mobile fieldwork as an emotional and moral dilemma. (2015)
  • Lancaster University Department of Sociology’s 8th Intellectual Party/Summer Conference Title of paper- Volkswagen Campervan Subcultures:Tourism Mobilities and Experiences. Winner of 3 Minute Thesis Competition. (2014)
  • 7th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism Hospitality and Leisure will be held in Kadir Has University Conference Center. ( Mobile Geographies Paper. (2014)
  •  RISE Festival of Research, University of Sunderland. Keynote Speaker. The National Glass Centre, Sunderland. (2014)
  • Association of American Geographers' Annual Meeting in New York, Illinois Cosmobilities session with Kevin Hannah. Mobilities Theory.
  • Actor Networks and VW Campervan and Tourism Mobilities: Presentation pending at The Spaces and Flows: International Conference on Urban and Extra Urban Studies -Centre for Urban Studies University of Amsterdam. (2013.)
  • VW Campervan Subcultures, Tourism Mobiities and Experiences presented at the International Research into Innovation, Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE) Faculty of Business and Law, University of Sunderland.(2013
  • VW Campervans, tourism Mobiities and Experiences presented Crumb- Arts Design and Media -Showing the Process of Practice -University of Sunderland and Northumbria University - Block Grant Research Conference. (2013)
  • Article in Proceedings Book (2014) 7th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism Hospitality and Leisure, Kadir Has University Conference Center. (


Competitive Research Awards Received

  • Arts Council Grant (Individual Year of the Artist Award) 2000
  • Arts Council Joint bid with Durham County Council (Durham Light Infantry Museum Project) 2007
  • Grant from Sunderland and Northumbria Universities for ‘We Love New York’ Exhibition at Broadway Gallery, New York 2010



  • Wilson, S Campervan Ethnographies (2019) Handbook on Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, Elgar Publishing.
  •  Wilson, S, (2018) The Nuclear Family Project- The Art of Touring the Toxic.
  • Online Publication. T2M Transport, Traffic & Mobility.
  • Mordue, T.& Wilson, S., (2017), Angler and Fish Relations in the UK: ethics, aesthetics and material semiotics, in Carr N. (Ed) Domestic animals and Leisure & Wild animals and Leisure, Routledge Books.
  • Wilson, S, (2014) The Ethics and Fieldwork and Experimentation in Auto-Ethnographic Practice, Eds, (Hannam, K, Mostanezhad) Moral Encounters in Tourism, Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
  • Wilson, S, Obrador-Pons, P (2013) The Nomadic Village: Communal Creativity and political subversion in temporary settlements in Travel, Tourism and Art (eds) Rajik, T and Lester, J.A Farnham:Ashgate.



Reviewer - Hospitality and Society Journal 2018

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research areas are twofold.

As an interdisciplinary mobilities researcher I consider different aspects of social, physical, cultural and virtual mobilities.  By collaborating with other mobilities groups (Social scientists, artists, geographers, engineers alike) I encourage the crossing of disciplinary boundaries to foster a study of movement in the context of globalisation to contemplate the conditions of mobility and modernity as a set of social encounters and through collaboration understand them better.

Please see:

My second interest is creative methodologies both in business innovation and mobilities research.  Working from the foundations of ‘art school meets social science’, I seek to develop novel approaches to capture the embodied experiences of human mobility through inventive forms of sociological enquiry.  From this ‘freewheeling’ adoption of mixed methodologies in data collection, I use fluid, artistic and participative approaches crossing inter-disciplinary boundaries; to see social phenomenon from a social, imaginative and embodied perspective. I also adopt crystallisation methods to draw together fragments of knowledge from a plurality of sources visual, audio, sensory, whilst using Latour’s (2007) Actor Network Theory as a thinking tool in the formative stages of induction.


Professional Activity

Since 2011, I have presented papers at 18 conferences including the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in New York, Chicago, Boston, the RC50 in Thailand as well as Session Organiser and Discussant at the RGS (IBG) at Exeter University.  My recent appearance at the C-MUS (EM)Powering Mobilities symposium at Aalberg University (2018) also resulted in consolidation of my strategic outfacing work, leading to development of the international Mobilities Futures Research Network:  M.F.R.N. (Northumbria University) 

My role as founder of the M.F.R.N. is to vision and coordinate the dissemination of inter-disciplinary innovations in Mobilities Research. The purpose of the M.F.R.N. is to locate urban Mobilities departmentally within MOS, connecting to EIS. In positioning Northumbria University as a sub-group within the established Cosmobilities Network (see also affiliated with Lancaster University Mobilities Research Centre (Cemore) strong links to an international network is adding value to the research orientations concurrent with university strategy.

Endorsed by Professor Tom Mordue for my interdisciplinary research qualities I am an invited contributor to the Centre on Innovation, Regional Transformation and Entrepreneurship (iNCITE). Within this I am currently working on an EPSRC (RCUK) bid with Alexey Burluka Professor of Future Engineering in the department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering, Northumbria University and Professor Tom Mordue of the Business School to consider the question “Hybrid vs electric powertrains for passenger cars: industry and end-user perception and acceptance”.

Strategic Partnerships

Dovetailing the AHRC Cultural Value Scoping project, 2018, I am currently developing a proposal in collaboration with Dr Toby Lowe and Professor Jonathon Sapsed - Newcastle University Business School Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise (KITE) towards an AHRC Standard Grant Bid.  The research will look at how artists are managed (and manage themselves) to achieve success in complex environments as currencies transferable to the management of ‘uncertainty’ in public sector services,


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