Dr Brianna Wyatt is a Senior Lecturer for Oxford Brookes University. She teaches at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels in the subjects of Dark Tourism; Global Contexts of Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Management; and Planning and Delivering Sustainable Events. She is also the Subject Coordinator for the PG programmes in Hospitality, Tourism, and Events.
Brianna specialises in dark tourism and focuses specifically on the interpretation and experience design for visitor attractions, museums, and festivals and events. She has further interests and experience with the wider heritage tourism industry, including World Heritage, which she has worked directly with at UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris.
Brianna received her PhD from Edinburgh Napier University as a 50th Anniversary Scholar, where she critically explored the influences on the design and management of interpretation at lighter dark visitor attractions. She has also completed her PGCHE (with Merit) and has been awarded Fellowship with Advanced HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy). She also holds a PGC in Business Research Methods, an MSc in Heritage and Cultural Tourism Management (with Distinction and as a University Medal Winner), an MA in Humanities, specialising in History, an MA in Museum Studies, and a BA in History.
Teaching and supervision
- International Hospitality, Events and Tourism Management (MSc)
- International Hotel and Tourism Management (MSc)
- Global Events Management (MSc)
- Events Management BSc (Hons) (BSc (Hons))
- Marketing and Events Management (BA (Hons))
- Global Context of Hospitality, Tourism, and Events
- Developing and Planning Events
- Managing the Sustainable Event Project
- Event Management in Practice
- Contemporary Issues in Responsible Leadership
- Professional Practice for Event Managers
- Foundations for Academic Success
- Dark Tourism
- Global Visitor Economy
- Developing the Sustainable Event
- Senior Lecturer of Travel and Tourism at Bath Spa University at UKCBC London (2020)
- Associate Lecturer of Heritage and Cultural Tourism Management at Edinburgh Napier University (2017-2019)
- Associate Lecturer of History and Art History at Henley-Putnam University (2014 - 2016)
Brianna specialises in interpretation and experience design for visitor attractions and festivals and events, with a particular focus in heritage and dark tourism. She has experience researching and supervising qualitative studies and has an interest in using innovative research methods, such as rich picture building. Her supervision interests include studies relating to dark tourism, interpretation, experience design, edutainment, heritage tourism, visitor attraction management, visitor management, festival and event design, public history, and death studies.
Brianna is currently working on forthcoming publications relating to her PhD, as well as other publications within her research interests. Her research interests include:
- Dark tourism (experience design, visitor attraction management, interpretation, conversion properties, memory)
- Heritage tourism (experience design, visitor attraction management, interpretation, conversion properties)
- Interpretation (edutainment, re-enactment, storytelling, theming, immersion)
- Medieval and early modern history (plague, public punishment, lore and superstition)
- Festivals (experience design, sustainability, health and safety)
- Museums (experience design, interpretation, public history)
Brianna is currently exploring the emergent and global trend of converting defunct penal institutions into places of accommodation. The aim of the study is to critically explore the influences on the planning and design of defunct penal institutions into place of accommodation; identifying the relationships between the influences on the plans and develop an understanding of their impact on the design of the accommodation experience; and reviewing the influences underpinning the on-going design management of the accommodation experience.
Brianna is also currently collaborating with Dr. Giulia Rossetti (Oxford Brookes University) and Prof. Jane Ali-Knight (Edinburgh Napier University) as editors for an upcoming (2023) book on festivals and edutainment. This book explores festivals as activities where education and entertainment can take place simultaneously. Brianna and Giulia are also collaborating as co-Guest Editors for a (2024) Special Issue of the Event Management Journal focusing on storytelling within festival spaces and places.
Brianna's research draws on tourism, hospitality, events, experience design and in exploring dark tourism experiences. She has researched and published on the dark tourism experiences including influences on interpretation design, edutainment design and management, re-enactment interpretation, and organisational culture and management.
Brianna is part of the Oxford Brookes University Centre for Business, Society and Global Challenges and contributes to the research focus People, Communities and Places. She is also part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development and contributes to the research focus Place, Culture and Identity.
Memberships of professional bodies
- Editorial Board Member for World Leisure Journal
- ECR Editorial Board Member for Event Management
- Member of Association of Heritage Interpretation
- External Examiner for Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
- External Examiner for Glasgow Caledonian University
- Peer Reviewer for Tourism Management Perspectives;
- Tourism Futures; Event Management Journal;
- World Leisure Journal;
- International Journal of Event and Festival Management;
- International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration;
- Museological Review
- Wyatt, B. (2022) Re-enactment for storytelling of dark histories. Presentation at OxLEP’s Creative Industries Showcase, (June 22), Oxford Brookes University
- Wyatt, B. (2022) Edutainment interpretation in lighter dark tourism experiences. (Invited) Presentation at the Dark Tourism Symposium – Dark Tourism: Memory, Pilgrimage and the Digital Realm, (May 4-5), Edinburgh Napier University
- Wyatt, B., Rossetti, G., McBlane, A. (2021) Delivering live student events virtually in the wake of COVID-19. Presentation at ATHE Annual Conference – Hybrid and Virtual Experiences: Opportunity or Threat for Tourism Education and Industry, (Dec 9-10), Online.
- Wyatt, B. (2021) Re-enacting dark heritage: edutainment interpretation at lighter dark tourism attractions. Presentation at AHI Annual Conference – Engage: Creating Heritage Interpretation for the Future, (Nov 3-4, 17-18) Online.
- McBlane, A. & Wyatt, B. (2021) They said, we did: Engaging students as partners. Presentation at CABS Annual Conference – Learning, Teaching & Student Experience, (29-30 June), Online.
- Wyatt, B. (2020) Rich picture building for future heritage research and practice. Presentation at ACHS Annual Conference – Futures, (Aug 26-30) London.
- Wyatt, B. (2020) Edutainment and Authenticity: Interpretation in dark tourism practice. Presentation at the More than Horrible Histories workshop, Bristol.
- Wyatt, B. (2019) Creating truth through edutainment: An exploration of influences on the design and management of interpretation within lighter dark tourism practice. Presentation at the AHI Annual Conference – Bedford.
- Wyatt, B. (2018) Exploring interpretation design at lighter dark tourism attractions: A PhD study introduction. Presentation at the ATLAS Dark Tourism SIG conference, Amsterdam.
- Wyatt, B. (2016) Interpretation at sensitive heritage attractions. Presentation at the Re-Imagining Challenging History conference, Cardiff.
- Buckingham Gaol (August 2022 – Ongoing) - Providing subject expertise for re-design of the museum’s interpretation and exhibition spaces.
- Oxford City Council (July 2022 - Ongoing) - Oxford’s Experience Trails App, Providing subject expertise on Oxford’s hidden histories
- OxLEP – Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (June 2022) - Oxford’s Hidden Stories, Provided subject expertise on interpretation methods and storytelling within the context of heritage and dark tourism.
- University of the West of England, Bristol. (Feb. 2020) - More than Horrible Histories, Provided subject expertise on the interpretation of dark heritage within museum and visitor attraction contexts
- Japanese American Museum of San Jose, San Jose, CA, United States (2013 – 2014) - Provided subject expertise relating to the interpretation design for the Kawakami House restoration project
- National Steinbeck Centre, Salinas, CA, United States (2013-2014) - Developed and managed the museum’s digital archive. Also, assisted in grants development research for the 2014 Steinbeck Festival which was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’
- Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, OK, United States (2011 – 2012) - Provided subject expertise relating to the museum interpretation and exhibitions spaces to enhance educational qualities and aesthetic theming. Also, developed and managed the museum’s digital archive.
- Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, Shawnee, OK, United States (2011) - Provided research support for the provenance of Madonna Enthroned altarpieces. Also, supported the exhibition development of the Medieval art collection.
Brianna's industry experience contributes to her teaching students of real-world examples. Her experience working in public history and heritage tourism management includes varying roles in management, interpretation, guest services, collections, and archives (physical and digital). She has worked with global brands including UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Merlin Entertainments, as well as other well-known organisations, such as Continuum Attractions and the National John Steinbeck Centre.