2020 Programme

Public Engagement & Performance Conference 2020


Monday 11th May

Our conference has always attempted to provide opportunities for experimentation, education, inspiration, play and collaboration and so when COVID-19 struck and removed our annual gathering, the conference committee looked to find ways to bring delegates a taste of the published programme. After an amazing show of support and solidarity  from delegates we are excited now to launch this years event which includes nearly all of the workshops, films, live performances and presentations originally scheduled

Using the digital conference platform zoom we hope to provide an interesting and stimulating programme with opportunities for interaction and discussion.  

If you have registered for the conference you will be receiving a link to join the conference and below you will find additional links and information to hopefully whet your appetite!

We look forward to seeing you there!

11am Arrival! 
11:10 Welcome from the Conference Chair David Carless
11:15 Forum Theatre Workshop
with Delia Muir
12:00 Coffee & Comfort Break

12:15 "Interventions for Objects"
Workshop with Tim Buescher & Christopher Westoby
13:00 Lunch break
13:30 Live performances & presentations "Our Flesh’ OR ‘(M)Other and Me" Gayle Letherby
"Shifted Child: A Sacred Autoethnographty" Christa Welsh
"Self Container”, Christopher Saunders
"Worlds Collide" David Carless & Kitrina Douglas

2:15 Workshop Three: Decolonizing Drama/Theatre,
Warren Linds

2:45 Short Break

3:00 “Picture Box” and “About a Tapeworm”, Janice Howard:

3:20 The Performing Practitioner, Nishi Ravi;
"In public relations: an ethnographic study", Miriam Pelusi.

3:40 Sport Panel Fleshing out connections in sport

4pm Discussion & Close

Conference Schedule

11:15 Workshop One
Delia Muir
Using Forum Theatre for public engagement with 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).

12:15 Workshop two

Interventions for Objects Tim Buescher & Christopher Westoby

In this workshop Tim and Chris 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!

1:00 Lunch Break
1:30 Live Performances and Presentations

The Story of the Kitchen Table,David Carless and Kitrina Douglas h

Linking the Interventions for Objects workshop and a prelude to the stories that follow in this performance session we offer a short piece based on a kitchen table that explores how a story can give us a rare glimpse into another’s life and culture. Songs too can illuminate an experience or even a world. But what do we have to do, as writers, to open ourselves to a new song or story? How can we ready ourselves to ‘receive’ and pass on that story or song? Here, we explore and reflect on these questions through storytelling and song. We do so because we believe that stories and songs matter. As writers, we need to be there and we need to be ready when a new song beckons. Because it might just be the song that is needed right now, by these people, in this time.

This session takes the conference theme to flesh out connections with family.

  ‘Of Our Flesh’ OR ‘(M)Other and Me’: reflections on auto/biographical work. My interest in auto/biography within research and research presentation have always been accompanied by an interest in the relationship between the research process and product, the research product and any possible or subsequent impact, and in creative approaches to data collection and scholarly writing. Nowhere is this more evident in my feminist sociological work on non/motherhood and non/mothering. This presentation is part performance, part critical consideration of my creative and academic work specifically related to my own experience as non-biological mother and as biological daughter. https://www.abctales.com/story/gletherby/invisible-mendinh

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. 

2:15 Workshop Three

Decolonizing Drama/Theatre Research Processes:  the ‘4 R’s of an Indigenous approach to performative research and community engagement, Warren Linds, 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.

2:45 Session Four

Janice Howard, Oxford Brookes University will be showing two films. “Picture Box” and “About a Tapeworm 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

3.00 Fleshing out Transitions & Dialogue https://youtu.be/n71rT6zwlKo

The Performing Practitioner: A Play of 3 Acts, Nishi Ravi, University of Edinburgh
I explore the transition in my self-identity as I develop as a counsellor and the role played by improvisational theatre in this transition. I trace my internal journey (from feeling anxious and depressed to the emergence of better sense of self, less fear of failure and risk-taking, and increased steadiness) in conjunction with the parallel external journey (from a comedic improv performer to a more flexible, authentic practitioner). 

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. 

3:30 Sport Panel

“LA lingo: a view from the cricket commentary box” From: Joe Pryle (Clive Palmer, et al.) https://youtu.be/zhcGxduwUAQ

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. The opposition scorer, Roy from Jamaica, opened up a dialogue with Joe that is recreated here from the perspective of a commentary box position. The similarities in the conversation between Joe and Roy, and the televised broadcasting of test match cricket between Lancastrian David Lloyd (Joe) and Jamaican Michael Holding (Roy) suggests that this field episode can mimic the commentary box through the lens of an ESPN studio, cricket’s major broadcaster in America. The advantage of this observing position is that a focus can be placed on the cricket from a unique perspective, but more importantly allows for other aspects and themes of the cricket culture to emerge that are occurring on the periphery, such as social class, food, education and diaspora, as well as language. The language of the different cultures is represented using both Standard English and Jamaican Patois to aid the viewer/reader in understanding this world through a lived experience. Joseph Pryle and Clive Palmer (2018) The Angels of Compton. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies, 12, 1, 181-206 .


Sport Panel: 1. Hatch match & Dispatch, 2. Homework, in PE! Are you ‘avin a laugh!” 3. The Runwell Ladies

Hatch, match and dispatch: corporeal ceremonies in the mud  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GsMILRNHa4

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. 

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


Andrew Sprake (Clive Palmer, et al.)This is an account of my pedagogical aspirations, humble naivety and, ultimately, regret. As a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) of Secondary Physical Education (PE), I, like many others, entered the profession with wide eyes and a desire to change the world. Armed with a passion for education and the conviction that PE has a crucial role to play in it, I did what most NQTs are advised to do; I took a risk and tried something new

The Runwell Ladies

LA lingo: a view from the cricket commentary box” From: Joe Pryle (Clive Palmer, et al.)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. 


Discussion and close