Maria Arias

Maria is a second year PhD student in Museology at the University of Manchester. Her research lies at the intersection of social media, branding, and network studies. Her research objectives are to examine the ways in which social media audiences affect museums’ branding; and to adapt Actor-Network Theory to explore brand-making practices as the result of varied relationships between human and non-human actors. Maria’s case study is the Manchester Art Gallery, including the take-over event by contemporary artist Sonia Boyce that led to the temporary removal of Hylas and the Nymphs – a performative act that resulted in an unprecedented Twitter controversy. Previous to living in the UK, Maria was awarded an MA with Distinction with from the University College London, for her research exploring the use of Instagram posts as ‘objects’ – evidence of museum visiting experience, and as a ‘site’ – highlighting the potential of visual media for museum audience research. Find Maria on Twitter: @ariasmariaprn