Call for Abstracts


The Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values project invites submission of abstracts for the conference:

Understanding everyday participation: Re-locating culture, value and inequality

11-12 June, 2018

Friends’ Meeting House, Manchester

Confirmed keynote speakers: Professor Omar Lizardo (University of Notre Dame) and Professor Kate Oakley (University of Leeds)

About the conference

The Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values project calls into question the traditional boundaries of ‘culture’ and exposes the role these play in the making of economic, social and geographical inequalities. Its research disputes the methodological nationalism that dominates understandings of cultural participation and demands a radical re-appraisal of the meanings and stakes attached to participation and ‘cultural value’.

This closing project conference asks how we might re-think the field of participation studies, both within and across disciplinary boundaries, including its articulations with policy. Papers contributing to the debate about the future of cultural participation research under the following themes are invited:

  • Cultural values and participation
  • Geographies of everyday participation
  • Creative economies and the everyday
  • Health, wellbeing and everyday participation
  • Arts, culture and heritage and the everyday
  • Participation, identities and power

Conference Flyer

How to submit

Please email both a publication ready abstract of 250 words or less, and a short biography of no more than 150 words to Additional attachments may be sent as part of the submission, but will not be published.

Deadline for submissions: 14 February 2018. (We aim to communicate results by mid-March)


Registrations are also welcome from those who are not presenting papers.


Co-creating cities and communities


On the 12 – 13 July,  the Connected Communities Programme and Urban Living Pilots held  a two-day event exploring innovative partnerships between universities and civil society organisations engaged in co-creating, re-inventing and improving life in the city and its surroundings.

The Understanding Everyday team was there throughout, presenting a rountable discussion on Everyday participation, community assets and public spaces:
methods and practices for locating cultural value.

Participation in local mining communities


Sarah Hughes shares insights from her UEP PhD research in her post, Understanding cultural participation and value in former coalmining communities in and around Barnsley

One of the aims of the Understanding Everyday Participation (UEP) project is to strive towards a more democratic understanding of participation.  We are exploring ways in which decisions about cultural investment are made, and how they relate to particular forms and contexts for governance, nationally and in relation to different local cultural eco-systems in England and Scotland.

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Who Goes to Museums? (and who doesn’t?)


Lisanne Gibson explains how her Museum Studies teaching intersects with the UEP project in a video of a mini lecture of her research.
WHO goes to museums TP stats

Click here for slides

The figures tell us that museum visiting has been increasing.
According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Taking Part statistics, 51.8% of adults attended a museum once, in the first Quarter of 2014/15, compared to 42.3% in 2005/06 (the year the Taking Part survey began).

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Breaking the Temple of the Culture – Well-being Relationship


Susan Oman gave her first keynote at Tate Liverpool last week. Below are some sections of the presentation and some thoughts on the plenary panel.

Culture is frequently described in terms of its relationship to well-being. Often, the implication being, that culture is only as GOOD as the quality of its attachment to well-being. Well-being is the patriarch, the most powerful and the one to do the serious work of policy, while culture is there to make us feel pretty. While playing with the ways in which the culture – well-being relationship is represented, the serious work of my provocation is to ask for a rethinking of this portrayal in order to move forward. To break not only the Temples of Culture, to cite the name of this event, but what seem to be sacred depictions of culture, as relative to well-being, in policy.


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