About the conference


The 2017 conference draws together researchers from across the social sciences, arts and humanities, as well as independent scholars, organisations & charities, who share an interest in making research more accessible and impactful and who want to discuss and understand, be introduced to and explore, the many different ways of achieving these aims.

Through the keynote presentations, workshops, papers and performances we:

  • explore social justice and inclusion
  • consider how to engage in communication that is sensitive, aware, ethically informed, emotionally rich, embodied, provocative, political, and accessible
  • embrace the potential of arts informed research practices
  • explore ethical and practical challenges we face as reflexive researchers
  • find ways to support reflexivity and embodied practice
  • engage with our communities
  • create a supportive environment of learning, sharing, and inquisitiveness
  • create work that fulfils the ‘out-put’ requirements of institutions such as, publish in high-impact peer reviewed journals / and engage with the public and policy-makers

Through workshops, led by experienced practitioners, along with a variety of focussed papers, we open dialogue around the issues that concern us, while exploring many of the challenges the arise in the course of  ‘doing’ research. This includes exploring the potential of arts based methodologies.

The evening showcase event has included stand-up comedy, live music, drama, poetry and films. It provides an opportunity for performers, producers and directors to present their finished works and is  an opportunity to “practice what we preach” as the doors are to the public.

Before the paper presentations, the saturday morning symposia with directors, actors and performers has in the past provided a valuable and unusual opportunity for these practitioners to candidly talk about behind the scenes issues that are not obvious to those who have only watched a film, performance, play or comedy sketch. And it gives delegates the chance to have their questions about the performance considered from different perspectives.


Alongside consideration of the theoretical, methodological and ethical reasons to engage with arts based research (as a way to better engage the public), this interdisciplinary conference provides a supportive forum to share, discuss, develop and learn about diverse approaches to performing and presenting research and the practical and technical issues that underpin such approaches. We therefore create opportunities to informally chat around meal times and coffee breaks which are very much part of the conference agenda (as is home make, mouth watering cake!).

Become aware of what others are doing. The conference provides an opportunity – even if you don’t want to perform yourself – to learn more about the practical, financial, ethical and methodological issues underpinning communication of research via arts based performative methodologies.

The conference is an ideal forum through which to share problems or solutions that arise during the process of communicating your research including the ethical challenges of performing, publishing or showing impact. We achieve these aims through the keynotes talks, workshops, presentations and symposia.


How to participate: 

  • One – present a paper or compose a panel on any area of autoethnography, performance, film, documentary, stand-up or other area of communication and public engagement.
  • Two – present your completed work at the evening of performances[1]
  • Three- you don’t have to present or perform at all! You can come and learn, share, watch, contribute to the event through the questions you have, pick up ideas, and become better informed.

The programme has been designed to provide opportunities for researchers /academics/students/ to develop ideas, to present and discuss their work,  be inspired by others and to forge alliances and collaborations across disciplinary borders, and to present and showcase our work in an accessible space where the evening event is open to the public.


If you have any questions or queries please contact the administration team on by e mail info@engageyork2015.org.uk

[1]Please contact Dr Kitrina Douglas kitrinadouglas@gmail.com if you would like to discuss giving a performance or exhibiting your work at the evening event.

Organising Committee 
Dr Kathryn Curran
Delia Muir Just So festival perfromance