photo of Sally-Jane Norman

Prof Sally-Jane Norman

Post:Visiting Professor (Sussex Humanities Lab, Music)
Location:ARTS B B156

Telephone numbers
Internal:3339 or 3667
UK:01273 873339 or 01273 873667
International:+44 1273 873339 or +44 1273 873667

Research expertise:
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After an MA at the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa/ New Zealand, I was awarded a Doctorat de 3ème cycle (1980) and Doctorat d'état (1990) from the Institut d'études théâtrales, Université de Paris III. Focussed on performing arts, my research has involved collaboration with organisations including the Performing Arts Laboratory of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Unesco, and the French Ministry of Culture, and navigation between theory and practice (cf. In 1993 I directed the Louvre New Images and Museology conference, and have led performing arts initiatives for organisations including the International Institute of Puppetry (Charleville-Mézières), Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe) as European Framework Research Associate, and Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (Amsterdam) where I was Artistic Co-Director from 1998-2000. As Director General of the Ecole européenne supérieure de l'image (Angoulême/ Poitiers), I piloted the school's transformation and multi-million euro funding scheme, launching a practice-based Digital Arts PhD programme. I then moved to Newcastle University to found and direct Culture Lab which opened in 2006 as a SRIF-funded interdisciplinary research facility, and was awarded £12M as a Digital Economy hub in 2009. In January 2010 I came to Sussex to found the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, an interdisciplinary resource underpinned by a major refurbishment project completed in spring 2016. From January 2015 until July 2017 I worked as co-founder and co-director of the Sussex Humanities Lab, under Caroline Bassett and with the SHL team, leading Digital Performance research.

In July 2017 I commenced my current post as Director of the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī  - at Victoria University Wellington.

International links include roles as Honorary Professor with the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing, and Visiting Professor with the University of Peking. I was co-founding and regular jury member for the Vida Art and Artificial Life Competition run by Fundación Telefónica in Madrid from 1999-2014. I am member of the Scientific and Artistic Advisory Board of School of Arts, Design & Architecture at Aalto University in Finland, and of the International Scientific Committee of the Université Grenoble-Alpes in France.

Alongside regular reviews of UK Research Council grant applications, I undertake advisory and review missions for organisations including the European Research Council, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France), Canadian Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Swiss National Science Foundation, and Programm zur Entwicklung und Erschliessung der Künste in Austria. Past advisory missions have involved the Swedish Strategic Research Foundation, Portuguese Foundation of Science & Technology, Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture, and French Conseil de Recherche.


Visiting Professor, Sussex Humanities Lab/ School of Media, Film and Music

Director, New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī - Victoria University Wellington



Community and Business

Trustee engagements to date have included roles with the AV Festival (Newcastle-Gateshead), The Public (West Bromwich), Sonic Acts International Advisory Board (Amsterdam), Mute Advisory Board (, and DanceDigital (Essex). I undertake lobbying and policy interventions at numerous national and international levels.