Upcoming Profs in the Pav with Ian Brown

Celebrity and the Attention Economy: how popular culture can commodify an audience’s attention




Professor Ian Brown will base his presentation on a series of artworks produced as part of artists’ group Common Culture (Ian Brown, David Campbell, Mark Durden). The work uses appropriation and the ready-made to engage audiences in a critical assessment of a celebrity culture which functions by commodifying its audience’s attention, leading to questions on its cultural and social value.

OMG I love common culture !!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️  and ME, The Total Show were made in response to an American internet celebrity who capitalized on the intimate relationship he had built with his online followers by trademarking the name ‘Common Culture’ to brand, promote and sell a range of products.  The Die Raum gallery was turned into a Common Culture shopfront, with logo, weblink and an accumulation of graphic stickers based on the online posts of the celebrity’s fan base. The Rampa gallery collates appropriated and translated material into an enclosed interior space for consumption. The two exhibitions involve a parodic mimicry of the internet celebrity’s commodification of his audience, himself and his products. This explores how the aesthetics, interactions and transactional intimacy built by internet personalities are ruthlessly deployed to convert followers into consumers and attention capital. 

OMG I love common culture!!!!♥♥♥♥ Die Raum, Berlin, Germany. 29th Feb — 19th April 2020 

Gallery Website: http://www.dieraum.net/index.php?/exhibitions/2020-0045-common-culture/

ME, The Total Show Rampa, Porto, Portugal 30th April – 29th May 2021

Gallery Website: https://www.rampa.pt/event/me-the-total-show/

Upcoming Industrial Crafts Research Symposium

Staffordshire University’s Professor Neil Brownsword is presenting at the upcoming virtual event:

The Industrial Crafts Research Network’s two-day inaugural symposium,

Exhibiting Skill: Understanding, Documenting, and Communicating Skilled Practices of Historical Industrial Environments.

Registration for this symposium can be found here.

Poster and  Programme downloadable here.


Call for Papers: “Practice-Based Research”

Call for Papers: Special Issue of the International Journal for Creative Media Research “Recontextualising Practice-Based Research”



Please send an abstract, up to 5 keywords, and a short biographical note to Agata Lulkowska at Agata.Lulkowska@staffs.ac.uk by 14 January 2022.

Abstracts should be between 300 to 500 words. Notification of acceptance will be sent by no later than 31 January 2022. If the proposal is accepted, the author(s) will be asked to submit the full article by 4 April 2022.

For more detailed guidance please see our Author Guidelines page.

The articles must not exceed 7000-8000 words and can include images, clips, and links. Please, provide correct credits, permissions, and copyright information in order to be sure that the images, clips, and links are copyright free and can be published.

It is expected that the issue will be published in July 2022 TBC.

More information:

Recontextualising Practice-Based Research

Guest editor: Agata Lulkowska (Staffordshire University)

Despite having been around for over three decades, practice-based research continues to be a source of controversy and confusion. Questions persist about how to design the most relevant methodology, how to demonstrate ‘originality’, ‘significance’ and ‘rigour’ (as defined in the REF criteria), and how to disseminate the outputs. Positioned in between creative arts and traditional research, Art/Practice-based research often lacks clearly defined target audiences. Moreover, with the emergence of practice-based masters and doctoral programmes across (mostly UK and Australian) HE institutions, questions about how to design the most effective training and support still remain largely unanswered.

With this in mind, this special issue seeks to re-contextualise practice-based research in creative arts and humanities by returning to the basic questions addressing the trajectory of a typical practice-based research. Topics within the scope of this issue include but are not limited to:

  1. What is practice-based research in creative arts?

  2. How to tame your inner artist: what distinguishes Art/practice-based research from purely artistic practice?

  3. How to navigate Interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary quagmires?

  4. How to design an effective methodology?

  5. How to balance theory, practice and reflective evaluation?

  6. How to disseminate practice-based research?

  7. How to evidence impact?

  8. What are the ingredients of a successful training and support system for practice-based researchers?


Art/Practice-Based Research Seminar Series

The seminar series, led by Agata Lulkowska, also has its own webpages at https://www.agatalulkowska.com/seminar-series

This seminar series aims at establishing a dynamic hub, where inspiring discussions, reading groups and presentations concerned with art/practice-based research, based in creative methods could flourish.

Additionally, this series is paired up with a Special Issue for the International Journal of Creative Media Research focusing on the debate around the current stage of Practice-based Research. For more details about the CFP please check the link. 

Please email Agata.Lulkowska@staffs.ac.uk to book your place.


Session 1: What is practice-based research? – link to the recording

27th October | 15:30-17:00

This session will introduce the series, the formula, guests, and topics. It also initiates the discussion on the practicalities and nature of practice-based research. The session will attempt to answer the question of the scopes for practice-based research, what makes it different from regular research and purely creative practice. It will look at definitions, exceptions, expectations and a variety of potential outputs.

Speaker: Dr Agata Lulkowska

Core reading: Linda Candy, Practice-Based Research: A Guide, 2006, Creativity & Cognition

Studios, University of Sydney.

Case study: The act of killing (+ REF case study)

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 2: Creative Process meets academic rigour

24th November | 15:30- 17:00

This session will explore the questions of the process – how do you approach creative methods in art/practice-based research? What are the priorities and how to maintain the right balance between creative freedom and academic rigour.

Guest speaker: Assoc. Prof Michael Branthwaite 

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 3: Creative methods

15th December | 15:30-17:00

This session explores the wide range of creative methods which could be applied to practice- based research. It reflects on the processes to choose the most relevant methodology, practical application of some, processes, and the implications.

Guest speaker: Nicole Brown, UCL

Nicole Brown (2019): Identity boxes: using materials and metaphors to elicit experiences, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2019.1590894 Abhigyan Singh (2011) Visual artefacts as boundary objects in participatory
research paradigm, Journal of Visual Art Practice, 10:1, 35-50, DOI: 10.1386/jvap.10.1.35_1

Drawing on her understanding of and experience with Practice As Research as doing-thinking- being, Dr Nicole Brown presents on using objects and artefacts as creative methods for data collection and analysis. The presentation begins with an outline of methodological, practical and ethical reasons for the employment of object work and metaphorical representations before considering the research questions and foci best suited for these approaches. Nicole concludes with a consideration of the researcher’s role and responsibilities when engaging with participants, stakeholders and the wider scholarly community in Practice As Research.

Core reading

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 4: Transdisciplinary/post disciplinary

19th January | 15:30-17:00

Methodological quagmires in the post-disciplinary era.

Guest speaker: Prof. Carola Boehm 

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 5: Who is it for and how can we communicate it?

23rd February | 15:30-17:00

With the traditional publications still defining many academic careers, it becomes a challenging task for researchers working with practice-based methods. Luckily, the emergence of alternative platforms for dissemination makes this task more attainable and relevant to various non- conventional outputs. This session explores the possibilities and challenges of practice-based focused online journals and other platforms focusing on alternative forms of research based in creative methods.

Guest Speaker: Dr Charlie Tweed

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 6: Research Assessment and Impact 

30th March | 15:30-17:00

This session will look at research assessment in different contexts including the REF, research councils and academic awards. It will consider the particular challenges and opportunities for practice research within these contexts and how impactful practice research can be.

Guest speaker: Prof. Joanna Callaghan

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 7: Moving image as research practice

27th April | 15:30-17:00 pm

This session looks into more details on film as a method for practice-based research.

Guest speakers: Paul Ottey and Assoc. Prof. Fiona Graham

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 8: Reflective Practice

25th May | 15:30-17:00

Guest Speaker: TBC

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

Session 9: How do you prepare future practice-based researchers? 

15th June | 15:30-17:00 pm

This session summarises all the series up to date, and reflects on the best way to train future practice-based researchers. It reflects on the qualities and skills needed for a successful researcher working with practical, creative methods and it hints at the possibility to develop a toolkit.

Speaker: Agata Lulkowska

Click here to join the meeting via MS Teams.

PaTHES Online Social Meets – Season 4

PaTHES Online Social Meets – Season 4

Hosted by Carola Boehm, the International Society for Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education organising virtual social meets, where we come together and chat informally about topics around current challenges for Higher Education and for our Higher Education Futures.

Homepage is at https://pathes.org/pathes-online-social-meets-season-4/

SEASON THEME: Colonisation, Coloniality and Whiteness in the Academy

Led by Dr Thushari Welikala, St. George’s, University of London, UK & facilitated by Prof Carola Boehm, Staffordshire University, UK

Season 4 Online Social Meets focus on how the continuing processes of colonisation, coloniality and whiteness are being utilised by the geo-political Centres to create a particular type of ‘global’ higher education. Colonisation and coloniality are processes that perpetuate the hegemony and the supremacy of whiteness within higher education systems across contexts. Whiteness reflects a set of “narrative structural positions, rhetorical tropes and habits of perception” (Dyer, 1997, p. 12) that enable power structures to continue different forms of coloniality of knowing within higher education institutions, despite the absence of white bodies (Shahjahan and Edwards, 2021).

Audre Lorde (2007) identifies whiteness as a mythical norm that enforces the supremacy of whiteness over others’ life and thought, maintaining the core of white dominance brought on by colonization and enslavement. Whiteness, as the colonial superstructure (Quijano, 2000), operates within current higher education under the guise of global university rankings, globalisation, internationalisation and projects on decolonisation and inclusion, shaping our social and educational imaginary and futurity through colonial ontologies and epistemologies (Christian, 2019).  

The global higher education magnifies white supremacy through racial neo-liberalisation, capitalism and competition, constructing particular values and beliefs about what is meant by learning, teaching and Being human. In question here is, how the often invisible and uncontested whiteness moulds the social- cultural and intellectual imaginaries within higher education and their impact on the process of maintaining and continuing the coloniality of knowing, supressing alternative ways of perceiving the world.


Christian, M. (2019). A Global Critical Race and Racism Framework: Racial Entanglements and Deep and Malleable Whiteness. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 2019, 5(2) 169–185

Dyer, R. (1997). White. Routledge.

Lorde, A. (2007). An Open Letter to Mary Daly, in Sister Outsider. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, pp.57-62.

Quijano, A. (2000). Coloniality of power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America. Nepantla: Views from South, 1(3), 533–580.

Shahjahan, R.  A. and Edwards, K. T. (2021). Whiteness as futurity and globalization of higher education, Higher Education 10.1007/s10734-021-00702-x

For your time zone check on https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

Friday                15/10/2021                   4.30pm-5.30pm (BST, UK Time)   LINK

Friday                22/10/2021                   4.30pm-5.30pm (BST, UK Time) 

Thursday (!)      28/10/2021                   4.30pm-5.30pm (BST, UK Time)

Friday                05/11/2021                   4.30pm-5.30pm (BST, UK Time)

Friday                12/11/2021                   4.30pm-5.30pm (BST, UK Time)


Beyond Preservation

Endangered Ceramic Skills Symposium

Saturday 16 October 2021, 9am to 5pm
Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3DW

Beyond Preservation: re-evaluating Intangible Cultural Heritage in the UK Ceramic Industry

Global economics and advances in automation technology have radically
transformed the landscape of the UK’s ceramic industry in recent decades.
Whilst these transitions have facilitated greater productivity, once
commonplace skills associated with ceramic manufacture have now been
displaced, threatening the continuation of much traditional knowledge.
Should such practices, deemed outmoded or economically unviable for
contemporary ceramic production be simply relegated to history or the
trails of heritage tourism? What value is there in safeguarding this
knowledge for the future? How can traditional practices be revived through
new modes of thinking and creativity in a digital age?

This symposium builds upon these questions, and highlights specialist
skills at significant risk of being lost from the industry, surveyed through
recent research for the Heritage Craft Association’s Red List of Endangered
Crafts. Making particular reference to North Staffordshire’s intangible
cultural heritage*, scholars together with former employees and current
representatives from the ceramics industry, will explore a variety of
perspectives concerning a re-evaluation of the industrial crafts and their
revitalisation through contemporary exchange and adaptation.

Although the symposium will be taking place within a cultural event, it will
discuss ways to connect with the local community beyond cultural
institutions, so that they can develop, engage and participate in ‘their’
intangible heritage. It is hoped that this event will introduce new ways of
valuing industrial ceramics skills that are not influenced by the immutable
heritage discourse of experts, by facilitating those that were and are still
involved in the industry to articulate the value of their own heritage.

More details at https://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/c3centre/files/2021/10/Beyond-Preservation-programme-v1.5.pdf



Staffordshire University Arts Collection Exhibition

Staffordshire University Arts Collection

Our Fine Arts department has the pleasure of inviting you to the ‘Staffordshire University Arts Collection Exhibition’ and an exhibition of two of our MAns Fine Art students ‘ Loss of information’

The Staffordshire University Art Collection exhibition showcases some of the work from the University Arts Collection in the Cadman Fine Art Space, featuring the work of past students, staff and even some of our current technical team. Michael Branthwaite and Fine Art Students Eve Travis and Lorna Lakin have been combing through the collection gathering the names and dates and creating a new archive of the collection. To extend their life, and find new locations to share this diverse range of artworks, this exhibition will allow university staff to ‘loan’ artworks from the collection, they will then be installed in their new location and recorded in the archive. As well as the physical collection there is also an entire slide collection and degree show catalogues stretching back to the 1980’s. This project is very much the beginning of a longer-term ambition to track the history of Fine Art at Staffordshire University back to its inception at the Bartlem School of Art in the early 1900’s.

How it works, firstly please come and enjoy the exhibition! 10-17:00 22-25th September. On the 28th September you are welcome to the closing event 17:00-18:30 to enjoy some refreshments as well as the MAns exhibition. At the event we will be on-hand to take details of the work University staff want to loan and will then work with estates to have it brought to you and installed.. ( We will need full name, email and a room number.)

If you require further information please get in touch with: M.branthwaite@staffs.ac.uk


Staffordshire University Arts Collection

2022 Communities and Communication Conference: Call for Papers

The theme for this year is: Diverse Voices.

The deadline for submissions is FRIDAY 17th DECEMBER

Conference website is at https://filmfreeway.com/Communitesandcommunication

This year we are expanding the range of accepted submissions to artworks, performance, video submission, and other non-conventional forms.

Potential Topics:

  1. Representation
  2. Local vs global
  3. Crossing boundaries 
  4. Accessibility
  5. Platforms for dissemination
  6. Collective voice
  7. Art as activism 
  8. Quiet voices

The need for Diverse Voices’ inclusion into the conversation on communities and communication has never been more urgent. Connecting communities only makes sense when a variety of experiences share the stage in a respectful and engaging way, building a network of support and understanding between disciplines and different forms of expression. Building upon the success of last year’s edition, we are excited to invite participants from around the globe to engage in the discussion, in the hope for a more integrated approach to knowledge generation.

For more information and proposals contact: CommunitiesandCommunication@staffs.ac.uk 


The deadline for submissions is FRIDAY 17th DECEMBER 2021.

The proposals should include: Title, up to 5 keywords, abstract (250 words), author name, affiliation and short bio (50 words) + if relevant, sample of the artwork/description/still/video.

All the proposed submissions must respond to the brief and be linked, in one way or another, to the ideas of communities, communication and diverse voices. All the creative work must be copyright free.

All proposals should be emailed to CommunitiesandCommunication@staffs.ac.uk
All Audio Visual submissions: https://filmfreeway.com/Communitesandcommunication

We encourage submissions from Early-Career, PhD students and independent researchers and artists. The conference is organised by the Department of Media and Performance, School of Digital, Technologies and Arts at Staffordshire University and will take place over two days 19-20 May 2022.

DanceCult Conference is back

DanceCult Conference

Dancecult Research Network (DRN) is an interdisciplinary network of academics, scholars and students researching all aspects of electronic dance music culture (EDMC). The DRN acknowledges that, from proto-disco through what is today labelled “EDM”, from the practice of the DJ to the present ubiquity of dance clubs, the aesthetics, politics and cultures of electronic dance music permeate underground and popular movements.

As an educational and research network, the DRN facilitates information exchange, resource sharing and collaboration among international researchers of the genres, identifications, aesthetics, technologies and other manifestations of EDMC. Researching techniques and locales, scenes and events, ethnicity and gender, production and distribution technologies, digital arts, drugs, sexuality and other subjects, members hail from various disciplines, operate in many different global locations, and employ diverse methodologies.

Programme at https://dancecult-research.net/2021-agenda/

More info and registration at https://dancecult-research.net/conference/