2020 Programme

Public Engagement & Performance Conference 20th & 21st March 2020


The following draft schedule provides an overview of the conference. The organising team will update this over the next few weeks. 


9:30 Registration
9:50 Welcome from the Conference Chair David Carless
10:00 Forum Theatre Workshop with Delia Muir
11:15 Coffee Break
11:45 Workshop 2 Tim Buescher "Interventions for Objects" 13:00 Lunch & time to explore the Hepworth galleries 14:00 Films & Live performances/multi media presentations [open to the public] 16:00 Day one finish 18:30 Evening social at the Iris Cafe (not included in conference costs)


10:00 Reflections and Q&A performances
10:45 Workshop 3 "Decolonizing Drama/theatre/research processes with Warren Linds
12:00 Lunch
12:40 Session 5
2pm Tea Break
2:20 Session 6 Panel
eaching to their talents and performing data in sport"
15:45 Finish and depart


Workshop One: Using Forum Theatre for public engagement with Delia Muir

Delia Muir

Have you ever considered using “Forum Theatre” to engage the public with your research? What might that look like? How might you begin using forum theatre? In 2015 Delia won a highly sought after Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship to explore the potential of public engagement. She is the Operational Lead for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) at Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials Research (LICTR) and Public Involvement Advisor for the National Institute for Health Research, Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber(NIHR RDSYH).

Workshop two

Tim Buescher

“Interventions for objects” with Tim Buescher

In this workshop Tim will be using a template for a recently funded project to show how – through objects- we can engage the public. Please bring an object with you!

Workshop Three: Decolonizing Drama/Theatre Research Processes: Exploring the ‘4 R’s of an Indigenous approach to performative research and community engagement ,Warren Linds, Department of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Decolonization in our research and engagement with communities requires action centralizing traditional Indigenous knowledge to reclaim equitable ways of interacting to co- create new possibilities, transforming political and personal histories. This workshop will explore such an approach to research drawn from our work researching and developing wellness through embodied processes with Indigenous communities and youth in Canada over the past thirteen years.

Sessions open to the public

“Worlds Collide” David Carless (Queen’s University Belfast), Kitrina Douglas (University of West London) & Jon Tan (Leeds Beckett University Can musicians be researchers? When do songs and music become social research? And what happens – emotionally, sonically, textually, physically, collaboratively – when they do, when these worlds collide? Through a musical dialogue with you – the audience – our performance seeks to provoke ‘right now’ answers to these questions. The answers we create will be neither permanent nor universal. But they will be ouranswers, to thesequestions, today. And that might just be enough.

Janice Howard, Oxford Brookes University will be showing two films. Each video is an attempt to encounter some of the physical and emotional dynamics of human experience as it relates to perceptions of illness and to explore how one might try to locate oneself in relation to such a borderland, an otherwise paradoxical space in-between.

“Double Consciousness: Dark Side of the Mirror”. Phoenix Nacto – TraoreCentre for Race, Education and Decoloniality (Leeds Beckett University). A performance piece about a young woman coming to terms with who she is versus who she has been told to be. The performance tackles issues such as sexuality, self-harm, self-acceptance, and love. The performance will include a mixture of monologue and poetry. 

Shifted Child: A Sacred Autoethnographty Christa Welsh, Independent Writer/researcher.The author presents embodied and grounded perspectives from an African diaspora clinic researcher on undertaking personal narrative performative research in ways that promote and privilege the voice of the marginalised or silenced and examines the process of carrying out evocative, critical and performative autoethnography research as an alternative ways of knowing the psychological and social world. this social activist research draws on Endarkened, Black Feminist and Autoethnography Praxs.

 “Self Container”, Christopher Saunders Lux Artists\’ Moving Image/Independent artist researcher. Self Container is an evocative performative auto-ethnography focused on my childhood ‘sickness’ mixing my medical records, family stories and my own recollections as an ‘enlightened witness’ (Miller 2005) to flesh out a new psycho-social narrative that tells an ‘other’ story of home and the impact that had on my developing and often devitalised physical and psychological body. 


After a very popular creative writing workshop in 2019 we are delighted Gayle Letherby (Universities of Plymouth & Greenwich) is returning with an innovative and insightful presentation titled  ‘Of Our Flesh’ OR ‘(M)Other and Me’: reflections on auto/biographical work.

2. Hope Bastine, University of Nottingham, The Visible and Invisible Scars of a Second-Generation Survivor of a Controversial Minority Belief Group: A Humanistic Analytical Autoethnography. Being raised in a world-rejecting controversial group leaves a survivor carrying tensions and polarities. Leaving the groups presents itself with further challenges that have historically been difficult for healthcare providers to conceive. Not only do survivors enter mainstream society for the first time practically ill-equipped and unconnected, but they are left to fend for themselves while grappling for a sense of self and identity in the aftermath of complex trauma. The leaving experience is, in and of itself, traumatic akin to features of complicated grief; on the one hand, freedom as never tasted so good, but on the other, there are considerable losses. 

Panel: Teaching to their talents and performing data – creative research methods in sport from from the University of Central Lancaster Sport Staff Clive Palmer: capalmer@uclan.ac.uk

the following abstract extract form a performing panel that use story telling / theatre

Hatch, match and dispatch: corporeal ceremonies in the mud  Danny Lee Warning: the following is true… This presentation is about a series of role-plays to teach qualitative research methods whilst on a canoeing expedition in Essex. To set the scene… an MSc Sports Coaching student; the very Reverend, Lord Danny Lee, with 20 years in the film industry behind him, met Clive Palmer; a gymnastic philosopher, arts-enthusiast and urban canoeist, when Clive was teaching poetry in his research methods class. On the basis that learning and teaching should be enjoyable, both agreed to a challenging field trip to rehearse aspects of data handling – for the purposes of Danny’s dissertation. 

Tainted love Joanne Keeling What could be better than researching a culture you’re part of? A culture in which you’re welcomed, valued and live within. A culture that you’ve been part of for a long time with many friends, memories of good times and of being part of “the club”. That’s why researching grass roots rugby league culture seemed a good choice for me. Early pre-proposal observation indicated there may be a flaw or two within the game – touchline behaviour is the one that springs to mind – but hey, nothing’s perfect and it can’t be that bad. So I started to watch and learn and think. 

Homework, in PE! Are you ‘avin’ a laugh?” PerformanceAndrew Sprake

Dialogue in public relations: an ethnographic study, Miriam Pelusi, Leeds Beckett UniversityMy PhD thesis is being built on a belief that dialogue matters profoundly to us all. Dialogue is a growing field of research in different academic disciplines, including public relations. My aim is to contribute to the theorisation of dialogue in public relations with an ethnographic study.  Philosophers such as Socrates and Habermas help us to think about dialogue at a high level. Amongst the many interpretations of dialogue, Kent and Taylor’s theory (2002) is dominant in public relations. However, I criticise this theory due to the absence of anthropological research. I therefore argue that dialogue needs to be fleshed out with an ethnographic method.  I conduct my own ethnographic study in order to generate anthropological knowledge. I am directly involved with the research process, and detached to a certain extent. My role requires me to have excellent interpersonal skills in order to write about people and learn more about dialogue with my research participants in a collaborative way. Discourse analysis investigates my reflective research diary, documents, observational notes, conversations with my research participants in order to add detail. Anthropological knowledge is embodied in this embroidered text, which allows me to understand the essence of dialogue and its different aspects.

LA lingo: a view from the cricket commentary box Joe Pryle. This episode is taken from a period of ethnographic fieldwork in Los Angeles, where Joe took on the mantle of scorer in a cricket match between a multicultural team comprising a range of nationalities and a team representing the Caribbean community. 

and join us for a wonderful social at the Iris restaurant in Wakefield friday evening