Tiffany Jenkins is an author, academic, and columnist who for four years wrote a weekly column on social and cultural issues in the Scotsman. Her writing credits include the Guardian, Spectator, Independent, Foreign Policy magazine and the New Republic. She was the presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Beauty and the Brain’, which explored what brain science can tell us about art. In December 2016 she will write and present for BBC Radio 4, A Narrative History of Secrecy.
She is the author of the critically acclaimed Keeping Their Marbles: How Treasures of the Past Ended Up in Museums and Why They Should Stay There published by Oxford University Press in 2016, described as ‘An outstanding achievement, clear-headed, wide-ranging and incisive.’ by John Carey in the Sunday Times.
She is also author of Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections: The Crisis of Cultural Authority
Her academic research explores conflicts over the value of the arts, the uses of the past, and how culture is given causal properties to ‘do stuff’: like raise self-esteem, regenerate community and contribute to the economy, even nation building, at the same time as western society is less and less clear on what culture is. Her research also examines the symbolic meanings and strategic use of human remains, and how the body becomes a locale for so many cultural, political, and ethical debates.
She has been a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, Department of Law, and was previously the director of the Arts and Society Programme at the Institute of Ideas. Her first degree is in art history, her PhD in sociology. She divides her time between London and Edinburgh.