New Book and Book Launch Event: The role of landscape and place in creative writing

Writing Landscape and Setting in the Anthropocene: Britain and Beyond

Editors: Philippa Holloway and Craig Jordan-Baker. Including contributions from Mark Brown, Martin Brown, Lisa Mansell, Mel Ebdon, Philippa Holloway, and many others.

  • Explores the role of landscape and place in creative writing, in a world deeply affected by human interventions
  • Includes case studies from Britain and beyond, as well as theoretical chapters examining creative practice and process
  • Responds to current debates about the writer’s practice and social conversations about our relationship to nature

The new book has been published by an international group of academics, including C3 members that focus on Stoke-on-Trent as a place. The book launch took place on 10/07/2024, and the recording will be linked soon.

This edited collection offers an in-depth exploration of the role of landscape and place as literary ‘settings’. It examines the multifaceted relationships between authors, narrators, and characters to their locales, as well as broader considerations of the significance of the representation of landscape in a world deeply affected by human interventions. Consisting of case studies of projects that engage with these questions, as well as research examining the theoretical underpinnings of both creative practices/processes and post-textual analysis of published works, this volume is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in scope. In the context of the climate crisis and a pandemic which has caused us to re-evaluate the significance of landscape and the environment, it responds to the need to engage current trends within the academy and in broader social debate about our relationship to the natural world.

The books available from from Springer at and from our Staffordshire University Library Catalogue from this LINK.

Online Book Launch Event and Readings from 10/07/2024.

EVENT: Critical Ecologies, Thursday 11th July 2024

  • Thursday 11th July 2024
  • Catalyst CA2 Creative Lab
  • 10 am – 5pm

Critical Ecologies is an opportunity for academic and non-academic staff to come together and share research in alliance with communities and ecologies.

We have two exciting keynote presentations, and space for 6 presenters from within the University to share their research. In creating this fledgling research hub we are acknowledging the need for an open and respectful space where we can build (and rebuild) an interdisciplinary research culture. We also aim to centre nature recovery and environmental justice within these interdisciplinary conversations.

4 July Snap Elections – What our C3 members think

“Welcome to Stoke-on-Trent”, Student Projects 2017 (*)

Last week, Rishi Sunak called for a General Election to be held on Thursday 4 July 2024, saying it was “the moment for Britain to choose its future”. Our C3 members have their on thoughts on what this future ought to look like, and what they see to hope in various party manifestos. Here are some:

Carola Boehm, Professor of Creative Industries and Creative Communities at Staffordshire University:

“As Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the UK general elections, all I could think about was: Could this be the return to “Cool Brittania”? I arrived in the UK at the beginning of 1997, and thus, I experienced the rush of immense hope and giddiness that caught the country as  Labour swept into power after a decade of austerity. This giddiness had at its core an appreciation of British creative outputs, both in terms of the biggest Creative Industries of music and film, as well as the art scene of designers. It was the time when the likes of Noel Gallagher were invited to No 10, where there was a real and explicit effort to turn the UK into a cultural powerhouse, as the Blair government recognised the cultural moment that could help the whole country get back to its feet. These were the years of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, Ginger Spice wearing the Union Jack at the Brit Awards, Austin Powers, and Vanity Fair covers of “London Swings Again”, Blur, Pulp and Notting Hill.

Since then, we have had various Creative Industry strategies and policies, which I would suggest are, at worst, uninformed and, at best, lack aspirations. So when this election was called, my mind snapped immediately to the question of whether any incoming government is aware of how much the creative sectors contribute to our daily lives in the UK. Will it be at the forefront of their thinking, that it was our UK Creative Industries that tended to grow faster than any other sector in the UK;  that pre covid, 12% of our total exports of services were from the Creative Industries, and that boosting the Creative Industries was the fastest economic leveller than any other policy implemented, with, for example, West Midlands Creative Industries jobs growing by 38.9%, whereas all jobs only grew in that region only by 10% (Figures DCMS 2011-2017).   So my hope for any incoming government is that they understand the power of the Cultural and Creative Industries and invest in the country by putting policies in place that allow us all, up and down the country, to re-imagine and experience another era of Cool Britannia. In the words of Austin Powers, we have lost our mojo, so wouldn’t it be groovy to get it back?”

Anna Francis, Associate Professor of Fine Art and Social Practice:

“After 14 Years under the current administration it is certainly true to say that I will be looking carefully at the messages of all parties concerning arts and culture and particularly arts education, and who has access to it. The latest report by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (May 2024) set out the important role the creative and cultural industries play in health and well-being, community development, and education, but also set out the worrying statistics in terms of the underrepresentation of people from working class backgrounds in employment within every area of arts and culture.

The stripping of the arts from school curriculums, and the significant undermining of the role of arts and culture in our society that we have seen in recent years is certainly having an impact on who feels able to take up a career in the arts.

Keir Starmer’s speech at the Labour Creatives Conference, in March 2024 directly addressed these issues and I think we should all be observing with interest how this may be acknowledged within Party Manifestos ahead of the election.”

Sarah Page, Associate Professor in Social Justice and Social Learning:

“With austerity cuts and the cost-of-living crisis significantly impacting people and particularly the most vulnerable, inequalities have seemingly widened. For example, more people have needed to use foodbanks, while others have seemingly misused their privileged positions with illicit covid lockdown parties and visits to second homes when travel was not permitted. Such injustices have led the public to question the authenticity of some policy makers, who have one rule for the public and another for themselves. I wonder whether now is the time for leadership that better understands and address the inequalities gaps in Britain, and is prepared to challenge price extortions that we have been experiencing?”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
(*) If you were the artist that designed above posters, we would love to add credits to the image. Contact us on

Research Seminar Series – Life Matters: Thought, Nature and Technology

Visiting Speaker – Prof. Joost Van Loon – Historical Materialism and Actor Network-Theory
31 October 18:00 Online
For a link, contact Patrick O’Connor

Research Seminar Series – Life Matters: Thought, Nature and Technology

You are invited to Staffordshire Philosophy’s research seminar series. This time Prof. Joost van Loon from Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt will be joining us online for an MS Teams event to discuss his paper “Historical Materialism and Actor Network Theory.” The paper is available at the bottom of this message.

Paper: ““Historical Materialism and Actor Network Theory.”

Abstract: “Those who invoke the term new materialism mainly do so because they want to distinguish it from materialism-as-we-know-it, or better, from materialism-as-we-thought-we-knew-it. This materialism usually goes by the name of Marxism. However, I prefer to use historical materialism as this is the term that Marx and Engels themselves used to describe their approach. By contrast, ANT is itself working with an already established tradition whose roots go back via Deleuze (1994) and Whitehead (1978) to Tarde (2009), Nietzsche (1992), Leibniz and Spinoza (2004), I am implying a wider philosophical trajectory than those usually invoked by sociologists when dealing with ANT…”

Bio: Prof. Joost van Loon is the Chair of General Sociology and Sociological Theory from Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. His research is concerned with theoretical engagements with social and cultural processes with a specific focus on media and technology. Professor van Loon is editor-in-chief of a great journal called Space and Culture and his publications include the monographs Risk and Technological Culture (2002) and Media Technology: Critical Perspectives (2008). He has also published several articles.

Please note Joost has supplied a copy of his paper so please read in advance. Bring your questions, queries and comments with you, and we can explore the themes of the Joost’s paper together. The session will comprise a short interview with Joost and I. Then we will take questions from the floor. Asking consent here to record event.

Please contact Patrick O’Connor if you would like an invite to the meeting or if you are having trouble accessing the paper. 

Obsolescence and Renewal – C3 Member Prof Neil Brownsword artist talk at The Brampton Museum // BCB’23

In connection with the BCB 2023:

  • 28 Oct 2023 2:00pm–3:15pm
  • Price £5,
  • Venue details: The Brampton Museum, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 0QP
  • Booking details at BCB website

In connection with his exhibition Obsolescence and Renewal, Professor Neil Brownsword will present a lecture about his artistic practice. 

In connection with his exhibition Obsolescence and Renewal, Professor Neil Brownsword will present a lecture about his artistic practice. For nearly three decades Brownsword has explored marginalised histories associated with ceramic manufacture in North Staffordshire, focusing primarily on the impact of globalisation in recent decades upon people, place and traditional skills.

His reactivation of endangered industrial crafts has achieved impact internationally via curated projects and cross-cultural exchange. Brownsword’s work raises questions surrounding the value and contemporary relevance of intergenerational skills and obscure regional histories, and how these can be re-imagined into new narratives and modes of expression that reinforce place identity.

About the speaker

Neil Brownsword is an artist, researcher, educator and Professor of Ceramics at Staffordshire University. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1995, his work has gained national and international acclaim. It is represented in public collections internationally, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Korea Ceramic Foundation and Yingee Ceramic Museum Taiwan.

He has received various accolades for his creativity and contribution to contemporary ceramic practice, including the inaugural British Ceramic Biennial Award (2009), the Grand Prize at the 2015 Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, South Korea, and the Whitegold International Ceramic Award (2019).

Rebellious Research is Back!

Led by one of our C3 Centre members, Agata Lulkowska, a new third season in the Rebellious Research Seminar Series (previously known as art/practice based-research seminar series) is now published and available to download and share.

It runs on a last Wednesday of each month starting in October, via MS Teams, at 3:30-5pm UK time.

More details and the programme can be found in the links below or the downloadable PDF.

Want to catch up via our Videos at our Research Conference’23

Below are the videos we recorded at this year’s Staffordshire University Research Conference on 24th and 25th of May. There will be a curated blog post about our presentations on our Showcase Site at , but in short below are the different presentations from our C3 researchers that presented at the conference.


All videos were recorded by Jack Tune.

Panel Discussion – University 3.0 Meets Gibbons 3.0
A recording of the C3 Centre Panel at the Staffordshire University Research, Innovation and Enterprise Conference 2023. Panel members are Carola Boehm, Jackie Reynolds, Michael Knowles, Jodie Gibson, Giulia Lapucci, and Nicola Gratton.

Get to know the C3 Research Centre for Creative Industries and Creative Communities
An exciting look into the C3 Centre, detailing who we are and some of the innovative projects that we have been involved with. C3 Panel members – Carola Boehm, Mark Estibiero, Patrick O’Connor, Neil Brownsword, and Agata Lulkowska.

Dan Lewis – Designing Emotions: Strategies for Furniture Designers
Designing Emotions: Strategies for Furniture Designers. Presentation by Dan Lewis, Course Director for Design at Staffordshire University.

Rebecca Nunes – Eco Alliances: Imaging the other-than-human to create advocacy for the environment.
Eco Alliances: Imaging the other-than-human to create advocacy for the environment. Presentation by Rebecca Nunes, Associate Professor in Lens-Based Media at Staffordshire University.

Introducing the C3 Showcase Website

The C3 Centre has recently launched its own Showcase website.This website will function as a gallery space, or if you will, a curated and creative multi-element journal. It will be a multi-medial experience showcasing our practice, our research and the work that we are engaged in.

Our research groups will use it to showcase some of their work, bringing together published, underpinning academic writings with practice outputs, such as music, film, visual art or media.

Our showcase is at the beginning of its development, so please be patient with us as we are putting together some exciting arts, writings, media, film and music, drawing from our creative practice-based research.

The link to the showcase website is

We would like to invite our research groups to identify researchers who will create their own curated pages showcasing their research. Below is a short how to guide and some examples.

Any questions and if you need a bit of help with putting together a curation, contact either Agata or Carola.

Below an image of a “Curation”.


Here is a list of our current example curations. that can be used as a template.

Getting into Culture 3.0: cultural engagement, place-making and co-creation

Welcome to C3 Curations

Do you want to co-curate with us?

The C3 Centre at our Research Conference’23

C3 Centre members will be presenting on various sessions at the upcoming Research, Innovation and Enterprise Conference on 24th and 24th of May 2023, this week.

It is still time to sign up for free at

Key events include a session on getting to know the C3 Centre, with a panel including:

  • Carola Boehm, Panel Chair, Co-Director
  • Music and Sound (Marc Estibeiro) (www)
  • Philosophy, Film and The Environmental Humanities (www)(Patrick O’Connor)
  • Ceramic Cultures, Practices and Debates (Neil Brownsword) (www)
  • Practice as Research (Agata Lulkowska)
  • Art and Design Research Group (Ian Brown)

And in a keynote slot, we also have members exploring the tensions between research, teaching, internationalization and regional impact.


  • Carola Boehm, C3 Co-Director & Professor of Creative Communities and Creative Industries
  • Jackie Reynolds, C3 Co-Director & Research Impact Manager

And Panel Members:

  • Michael Knowles, PhD Researcher & Film Producer
  • Giulia Lapucci, PhD Researcher & Cultural Researcher, University of Macerata
  • Jodie Gibson, Visiting Fellow & Arts & Culture Professional
  • Nick Gratton, Lead for Civic Engagement and Evaluation & Associate Professor of Community and Civic Engagement
  • Anna Francis, Associate Professor of Fine Art and Social Practice

We also have individual presentations from members, including

  • Dan Lewis: Designing Emotions: Strategies for Furniture Designers
  • Jackie Reynolds: Building Research Impact
  • Rebecca Nunes: Eco-alliances: imaging the other-than-human to create advocacy for the environment
  • Giulia Lapucci: Collaboration at the Centre: building a Constellation to share and disseminate knowledge
  • David White: The design, development and pilot study of a marine ecological simulation for education or environmental changes on marine life

Registration is free at