Public Engagement & Performance conference March 15/16 2018 


10:00 Registration
10:30 Welcome & Introduction Kitrina Douglas
10:40 Opening keynote Sarah Smith
11:00 Workshops 1 "theatre workshop" 2 "autoethnography-in-progress"
13:00 Lunch & time to explore the Hepworth galleries
14:00 Film & Live performance open to the public
17:00 Day one finish 
18:00 Evening social wakefield (venue tbc)


10:00 Round table discussion with directors and producers
11:00 Presentations sessions one - paper & multi media 
13:00 Lunch & time to explore Hepworth galleries 
14:00 Presentations sessions two - paper & multi media 
15:15 Break 
15:30 Presentations sessions three - paper & multi media

Get a flavour of this years conference: Below extracts from some of the contributions

Cultural Rivers: The use of ‘Static Animation’ and ‘Axiom Documentary’ film making processes to identify issues relating to children who are first generational immigrants in the UK  This illustrated paper will discuss the effectiveness of a methodology developed from combining two processes; ‘Static Animation’ (Hani 2014) and ‘Axiom Documentary’ (Drainville 2014) to identify particular problems, specifically in regard to children who are first generational immigrants in the UK. It will show the evolution of the Good Hearts Model (2011) in developing its use in a new context.Melanie Hani, (Loughborough University) and Elaine Drainville (University of Sunderland)

I Think About It Every day: Re-Performing the embodiments of war through the use of multi modal methods and documentary theatre. There is much at stake in the claim ‘to know’ the embodied experience of war and in turn how to represent these narratives beyond conventional modes of representation that are often determined by didactic agendas which objectify war veterans. The performance consists of two multi modal films. A film called Three Days Down South: A story of loss which explores the embodiments of loss for a best friend who was killed during the Falkland\’s War. The second is taken from the documentary theatre play Minefield which is performed by three Argentine veterans and three British veterans who fought against each other in the Falkland\’s/Malvinas war. They co produced the play. David Jackson (University of Exeter)

“I still get the looks” This film draws on part of my PhD exploring the commitment, opportunities, and the role identity plays for qualified Physical Education teachers with a disability and/or impairment. The aim of the research is to question assumptions, ideologies and discourses surrounding disability and impairment within education through a critical lens. Matthew Staples (Leeds Beckett University)

Unconcsious into Concsious: A personal story of emergent creativity in response to trauma. This presentation, a mixture of seeing, hearing, doing and feeling, uses A/R/tography as living inquiry research. By ‘living’ my inquiry, I attempt to document experiences of trauma-related dissociation and the creative responses I seek ways to survive them that emerge during a six-month slice of my life. This auto-ethnography is set in the genre of dance/movement. It shows how, as therapist and client, I integrate creative arts into therapy. This experiential insight ‘Shows’ as much as it ‘tells’ about my story and what it is like to be me as I inquire into the meaning of living my life as a piece of research. Jan Filer (BACP, PTUK, Sherborne International Association, University of Bristol)

Critical Arts-Based Research: A Performance of Provocation. The paper from a Critical Race Theory standpoint draws on data from life history interviews with undocumented Mexican-Americans, and live performance work with Mexican-American artists, to reflect on the ways in which critical arts-based research impacts upon research participants as artists, subjects, and audience. ..Our intent in this paper is to draw on post-performance interviews and correspondence with artists, subjects and audience members to critically reflect on participant impact; an impact which in this article we are calling a performance of provocation. Carl Bagley, (Queen’s University Belfast)

‘Emotional Fit’: an autoethnographic story of ‘being engaged’ by academic researchers.This paper reports on a user-centred methodological approach towards fashion design for mature women. Referred to as the ‘baby boomers’ the women in this study are the product of the cultural revolution of the 1960s, who consequently have a strong sense of their own ‘agency’, as conveyed through their clothing and style, but now find themselves stepping into the unknown territory of a limited market. This presentation, tells the story of ‘Emotional Fit’ from the perspective of one of the participants – a less familiar kind of account from a member of the ‘ageing female demographic’ public with whom the academics engaged. The project culminated in a ‘salon’ event organised to showcase its outcomes and achievements to academics/public/industry representatives. This illustrated presentation will conclude with the screening of a ten-minute film of this event. Jackie Goode, (Visiting Fellow in Qualitative Research)


Extracts from the 2017 conference:

Delia MuirDelia Muir, Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow, University of Leeds took a ‘Lost in Memories’ theatre project workshop. The ‘Lost in Memories’ theatre performance draws on research and testimony about dementia and caring. It was developed collaboratively by theatre makers, researchers, patients and carers. During this interactive workshop, participants will have the chance to work with data from the project and consider how to turn carer testimonies into a live performance.

The public engagement event included live music and films

The Sarajevo Derby Directed by Joel Rockwood

We Crossed The Tamar by Kitrina Douglas & David Carless

The Betrayal Directed by Susan Young

Papers & multi-media presentations included

Sarah Meaney, Maynooth University, Ireland. Dropped Out or Pushed Out?’ who used creative research methods to explore early school leavers’ experience of school exclusion and oppression. Sarah presented filmed snapshots of this research in its dramatic and poetic form.

Oliver Langdon, Co-director, Kilter
David Owen, Project Manager, University of Bristol

presented Invincible a science-Theatre production from synthetic biology centre BrisSynBio. The play reveals the personal and societal conflicts that sit alongside this emerging field of science, immersing audience members in how this new area of science may permeate our culture, opening up new and challenging choices. In their presentation they shared a short video providing a taste of the performance, some of the challenges, motives and opportunities that the work presented and invited delegates to reflect on and critique the approaches used.

Dr Maxine Horne, Six Degrees Social Enterprise / University of Salford presented Roots to Engagement: meeting carers of people living with dementia on Facebook at Slimming World and a Bat ‘n’ Chat.  

Six Degrees are developing a new approach to communicating with people living with dementia (PLWD), we propose a new way of thinking about communication that can reduce frustration and we offer a supportive, reflective space where attendees can work through the difficult feelings that being around dementia can bring up.

Matthew Staples, Leeds Beckett University, took part in the ‘in-progress’ autoethnogrpahy session and presented Supply Agency: An Autoethnography which will form part of his PhD – exploreing the motivations, opportunities, barriers, and realities of disabled Physical Education (PE) teachers working in the profession through storytelling.

Tim Buescher & Tracey Pallet, University of Hull,  presented a paper and interactive session titled Charting Collaborative Explorations of Compulsive Hoarding’ based on our experience of compulsive hoarding and its effects on families as part of Tim’s thesis.

Isabelle van der Bom, Sheffield Hallam University,presented Wallpaper a work of fiction told through videogame technology. This paper reflected on engaging the public with research by exploring a series of public engagement events that were organised as part of a AHRC-funded Reading Digital Fiction (RDF) project (Ref: AH/K004174/1), which aims to raise public awareness of and engagement with digital fiction by: introducing readers to digital fiction, disseminating digital fiction research, and by producing empirical analyses of how readers engage with digital fiction.

Jana Wendler, University of Manchester:presented an interactive game Downpour – street games in climate engagement Imagine: it hasn\’t stopped raining in days and the river banks are collapsing. The risk of flooding is imminent. You and your team of experts have been sent to take immediate action and avert future crises. Can you save the city? 

Philip Kerrigan, University of York: ALIVE: Art between Life and Science. Presented a paper about this is a initiative that paired academics from the University of York with artists.The scheme led to the creation of many engaging new works of art which are currently being shown at York Art Gallery at an exhibition entitled \’ALIVE: Art Between Life and Science\’.

This Artist in Residence Scheme was funded by the University\’s Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, an interdepartmental virtual research centre co-funded by the University and the Wellcome Trust under an Institutional Strategic Support Fund award.

If you have any questions or queries please contact the administration team on by e mail