Reader, Events Management

Business School

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Rebecca Finkel (PhD, MA (Merit), BA (Hons) is a Reader, Events Management in the Queen Margaret Business School. She is also a Full member of the Centre for Media, Culture and Communication.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Activities & Awards

Dr Rebecca Finkel is an urban cultural geographer and Reader in Events Management in the School of Arts, Social Sciences & Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Her main field of study focuses on identity, social justice, and critical events studies. Main research interests include strategic analysis of government socio-economic policies for funding and development with regard to creative industries and social capital. New research is framed within conceptualizations of gender identity, resistance to globalization through cultural events, and mapping human rights and international sporting events.

Rebecca was educated at Princeton University (BA Hons, Intellectual & Cultural History) and King's College London (PhD, Urban Cultural Geography). Currently, she is Reader, Events & Festival Management, and School Research Lead at Queen Margaret University, and Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy. Rebecca is committed to accessibility, inclusion, and diversity in education through her teaching practices and research focus. By utilising theory-driven approaches to generate interdisciplinary social science knowledge, her work addresses contemporary societal challenges and seeks to enact positive social change.

Rebecca is co-editor of Routledge Critical Event Studies Book Series as well as co-editor of Research Themes in Events (2014, CABI); Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Event Studies (2018, Routledge); Gendered Violence at International Festivals (2020, Routledge); Multispecies leisure: Human-animal interactions in leisure landscapes (2021, Routledge). She has published in gender studies, cultural management, urban geography, leisure, tourism, and events journals and books, including co-editing special issues on (in)equality topics in top-rated journals. She has been invited to deliver keynote addresses at gender, tourism, sport, and events international conferences. Also, she consulted for the Hong Kong Government and London Development Agency about investment in creative industries, and most recently has consulted for Police Scotland about gendered perceptions of safety during festivals, and Edinburgh St James Centre about accessibility and inclusion. Additionally, she has been invited to deliver keynotes, workshops, seminars throughout the UK, Europe, Trinidad & Tobago, Chengdu (China), Austin (USA) on festivals and cultural events.

Academic leadership roles include School Research Lead, Research Degrees Director, REF Unit of Assessment 17 Lead, Acting Head of Division, and Programme Leader.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Organisational Committees & Boards
  • Association of Events Management Educators (AEME): Executive Committee, Treasurer (2009-2015)
  • Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS): Executive Board, Treasurer (2012-2014)
  • Feminist and Women's Studies Association (FWSA):
  • Executive Committee, Publications Officer (2014-2017)
  • Scottish Feminist Academic Network: Co-Founder & Co-Executive (2012- )
  • Critical Events Studies Network: Founding Member (2014- )
  • Organisational Memberships: Leisure Studies Association (LSA), Tourism Society, British Sociological Association (BSA), Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG), Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Professional Social Media:

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Rebecca's research frames critical event studies within conceptualisations of gender in/equality, cultural identity, and social justice. She has published in cultural management, urban geography, gender studies, leisure, tourism, and events journals and books, including co-editing special issues on accessibility, inclusion, and diversity topics in top-rated journals. She is co-editor of Research Themes in Events (2014, CABI); Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Event Studies (2018, Routledge); Gendered Violence at International Festivals (2020, Routledge); Multispecies leisure: Human-animal interactions in leisure landscapes (2021, Routledge). Also, she is co-editor of Routledge Critical Event Studies Book Series. She is on the Editorial Boards of Leisure Studies; Frontiers in Sport, Leisure and Tourism; Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events; and is a founding Editor of Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Equality & Diversity.

Active Research Interests:

  • Events management, cultural identity, social justice, gender equality, resistance to globalization, community festivals

Research Methods:

  • Qualitative approaches: ethnography, participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, participatory research, action research, visual methods, content analysis including social media analysis


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

  • Racing Foundation Grant: 2018
  • Urban Communication Foundation/IAMCR Research Grant: 2018
  • Leisure Studies Association Research Grant: 2017
  • Maureen Harrington Leisure Studies Fund: 2017
  • ESCR NCRM Grant: 2017
  • Carnegie Trust Research Grant: 2010; 2014
  • Santander Research Grant: 2013; 2017

Knowledge Exchange/Consultancy

Edinburgh St James Centre: 2017-2019

Accessibility, Inclusion, Diversity Outreach Project

Police Scotland: 2016-2017

Perceptions of Safety at Edinburgh's Christmas Research Project

Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute: June 2013

Sustainable Events and Tourism Masterclass Training Workshops

Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute: February 2011

Cultural Events Tourism and Hospitality Masterclass Training Workshops

Queen Margaret University and St. Edward's University (USA): August 2009-2013

International Summer Courses in Events Management and Destination Management

Other Funding:

International Centre for the Study of Planned Events: January 2009-May 2009

An Exploratory Study to Identify Sustainable Funding Alternatives for Cultural Events in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Dr. Rebecca Finkel is a Reader in Events Management. Teaching includes critical events studies subjects, including Strategic Directions in the Experience Economy, Social Justice and Global Events Leadership, and Recreating the City: Events and Regeneration. She co-developed the new MSc International Management & Leadership with Events. These topics draw on a cross-fertilisation of interdisciplinary literature and methodologies, including cultural studies, media studies, sociology, geography, tourism, and other social sciences. Also, she led the student events module for the past decade, where students link the principles and practices of events management by developing, planning, and running a live event in an Edinburgh venue for charity. This module has raised tens of thousands of pounds sterling over the years for a range of charitable organisations. Students use current events management technology as well as complete the events planning process by critically evaluating their events and reflecting on the teamwork aspects necessary for a successful event in a real-world scenario. It has also won the University's Excellence in PDP Award. As module co-ordinator for the Division's Honours Dissertations, Rebecca project managed supervision, marking, and research ethics as well as taught classes to guide students through the research and writing up processes.

Rebecca created and developed the majority of modules she delivers, which allows for research-informed teaching and constructive alignment. External Examiner and student feedback is extremely positive overall, as evidenced by her QMU Student Union Engaging & Inspiring Teaching Award and two-time nomination for the Graduate's Award. Along with traditional instruments, innovative assessment developments include:

  • Video presentations
  • Online platforms and forums/Wikis/Google Sites
  • Critical reflective e-portfolios
  • Live real world scenarios
  • A variety of approaches are implemented to accommodate different learning styles and diverse backgrounds, including:
  • Use of visual and multimedia sources; e.g., TED talks, Twitter, Flickr
  • Technological enhancements; e.g., virtual learning environments, Slack
  • Interactive activities; e.g., debates, presentations, field trips
  • Cross-cultural, international, and diverse reading and writing exercises

Programme Leader:

  • Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Events Management (Sept. 2008 - Jan. 2016)



  • B4014 Strategic Directions in the Experience Economy
  • B4015 Social Justice & Global Events Leadership
  • B4099 Hons Dissertation (including Division Research Ethics Review Panel)
  • B3140 Recreating the City: Events and Regeneration
  • B2091 Events Co-ordination and Evaluation
  • B2125 Events & Festivals with Purpose


  • TM165 Critical Issues in Cultural Management and Policy
  • BM078 Critical Events Management
  • BM067 Social Justice and Critical Perspectives on the State

Ph.D. Supervision:

Director of Studies

  • Laura Sweeney: Feminist Activist Movements and Protest Events
  • Anastacia Papaioannou: Business Tourism and Mega Events-related Human Trafficking
  • Briony Sharp (completed): Critical Examination of Glasgow Commonwealth Games Legacy

Supervisory Panel

Annetta Latham, Alexis Burnett, Amy Rankine
, David Stevenson (completed), Cecilia Gladwell (completed)

PhD Viva Examination

External Examiner: Goldsmiths, University of London (2018); 
University of Hull (2020); Manchester Metropolitan University (2020); 
Heriot-Watt University (2020); Napier University (2021)

Internal Examiner: 2013; 2017; 2020

Teaching Recognition & Awards

Queen Margaret University Student Union Student-led Teaching and Representation (STaR) Awards:

Best Research Supervisor nominee (2020)

Engaging & Inspiring Teaching Award - 2015

Graduate's Award nominee - 2013 & 2014

Research Award

Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) Annual Conference: Birmingham, May 2012

“Developments in Hospitality and Tourism Research and Knowledge Exchange: A Case Study of Trinidad and Tobago” with Dr Majella Sweeney (QMU)

Awarded Best Paper in Research in Teaching and Learning

Rebecca has been interviewed on TV, radio, and social media platforms, including BBC, The Guardian, and international media, e.g.Trindiad & Tobago, Spanish, and American outlets.

Inside Events podcast: Aug. 2020

"Gendered Violence at International Festivals"