Paper & Performance Presentations

Submit a paper or conference presentation on any aspect of public/community engagement, participatory research, performance, arts-based methodologies, autoethnography, evaluations, criteria for judgement: this is not intended to be a substantive list but we hope provides some guidance as to the types of issues, challenges and interests of delegates at this conference. If you are uncertain or would like further clarification before submitting your paper please contact the administration team by e mailing

The first performance and public engagement conference saw a variety of papers presented and these varied considerably in style: the following provides some flavour for this diversity. 


Joan Williams from the University of Brighton presented a paper titled: My terror of Performativity and Managerialism in Higher Education: finding a respectful way to be.” Her presentation explored her experiences as an academic in what she described as ‘neo-liberal times striving to remain true to a discourse that champions creativity, educational uncertainty and the facilitation of learning’. It is fair to say we were all moved by the powerful song she sang during the presentation. In a contrasting style of presentation Maxine Horne, a final year doctoral scholar at Manchester Metropolitan University, gave a presentation titled: “Performing in front of 80,000 words: how does a dancer write a big book thesis?” where she danced as well as talked about researching the experience of older people in age specific community dance provision.

Delia Muir, from the University of Leeds, asked: “What next for simulated patients?” – these are trained individuals who take part in a form of specialist role-play in used in medical and healthcare education. This model, she explained, has the potential to “bring research findings to life in an interesting an accessible way, which acts as a catalyst for debate. Live interactions between researchers and SPs can give members of the public an insight into both research findings and the qualitative research process.” Delia gave examples of this approach which including the Severe Pressure Ulcer Project (

In a very different style of presentation Alexander G Romanitan, from the University of Edinburgh, gave a very in depth, reflexive and sensitive talk entitled “Shaping the Empty Space of Practice: Qualitative research”. This paper provoked much discussion and we were thankful to those with a counselling and therapy background for pushing the conversation to greater depths. Helena Enright’s paper “Staging Testimony: Turning Qualitative Enquiry Into Theatre” provided film clips as examples for us to considered the value of testimony while simultaneously harnessing the communicative and evocative nature of theatre.