My specific research interests include expertise in cultural work, issues around diversity and inequality in the sector, cultural labour, cultural workers’ social media use and the nature of contemporary craft practice. I am passionate about equality and equity in all aspects of life, and my research trajectory to date has led me to focus on these issues in the cultural sector and particularly craft, as well as in Higher Education.
My Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Innovation Fellowship project, Craft Expertise, in collaboration with Crafts Council, has been running since 2019 following two successful phases of funding worth nearly £500k. So far during this project I have organised several public dissemination events, an interdisciplinary workshop series with makers, published the Making Changes in Craft report and commissioned the We Gather exhibition at Crafts Council Gallery. This work builds on an initial AHRC funded Creative Economy Engagement Project with Crafts Council looking at how social media could support diversity in the craft sector. This project immediately followed my PhD, in which I looked at how artists signal expertise on social media. I have since published the book, The Politics of Expertise in Cultural Labour: Arts, Work and Inequalities. I have spoken about this book on the New Books Network podcast with Dr Dave O’Brien.
In addition to my research I am also Director of Birmingham City University’s Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts (CEDIA), a unique centre bringing together academics, students and external cultural partners to advocate for equality and diversity in creative higher education. I am also a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
I am also an advisory board member for: