My PhD research fieldwork consisting of two ethnographies will be carried out over the period of a year from 2015 – 2016 in Glasgow. I will be supervised by Dr Lisanne Gibson in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values (UEP) project.
Previous research carried out during my Masters in visual anthropology explored the relationship between a localised approach to learning about heritage and craft practice and well-being in the post-industrial city of Bradford. These themes have sparked my interest in critical heritage studies, and I have begun to think about how this can be aligned or woven into my interest in urban studies. For this PhD, I am interested in addressing ideas such as community, well-being and heritage, echoing some of the questions asked by the wider UEP project such as ‘how are communities made, unmade, divided and connected’ through participation. Stemming from these areas of interest, I think it will also be important to address issues of scale i.e. how might small-scale projects be able to feed back into the larger scale policies which impact upon provisions, funding, resources etc. within the city?
My academic career leading up to this PhD has laid the ground for how I will approach this research, in that I am keen to attend to a collaborative, engaging and experimental methodological process when working with participants. My skills in this field will lend themselves to a research practice which attempts to address issues of power which permeate participation in the city on a wide variety of axes (gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity to name but a few), and seeks to understand how we can work with participants to understand the context in which their everyday participation and cultural value is embedded and articulated.
I will be keeping a blog following the developments as my research project takes shape which you can find here: http://uepinglasgow.tumblr.com