Michael Eades

Contact details

Name:
Michael Eades
Qualifications:
BA, MA, PhD
Position:
Public Engagement Manager and Research Fellow
Institute:
School of Advanced Study
Location:
School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Phone:
+44 (0)20 7862 8693
Email address:
Michael.Eades@sas.ac.uk
Website:
www.michaeleades.net

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Culture, English Literature
Research keywords:
Place-based cultural and literary studies (particularly in relation to Bloomsbury, London); Research as creative practice; Arts infrastructures and institutions; Public engagement & co-produced research methodologies; Arts and health
Regions:
England, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:

My research interests intersect with my professional practice (and vice-versa). In broad terms, all my work explores what I call the ‘cultural politics of cultural practice’. I am interested in the structures, intuitions and social contexts in which cultural/artistic practice takes place, particularly in relation to collaboration and ideas of artistic community. A lot of my work has explored festivals of various kinds, but I am also interested in galleries, museums, archives, funding and policy infrastructures in both the cultural sphere and higher education. Increasingly I’m interested in activity that happens on the fringes of mainstream cultural/ educational infrastructure and which challenges it. Small museums, micro-galleries, home archives, self-publishing, outsider artists, collectors, community art activity and art collectives are all of interest. I’m fascinated by how such people and projects sit in relation to the structures that surround them, the motivations behind them, and how they connect to wider publics.

My research has developed alongside an ongoing professional career in community arts and public engagement. These two sides of my practice overlap significantly. A large proportion of my research is therefore explored through practice. I have worked collaboratively with a number of artistic groupings and community arts practices – including for example conducting narrative interviews with participants in Nottingham City Arts’s Arts on Prescription programme and working with a number of grassroots arts charities, initiatives and festivals.

I’m interested in exploring ideas of ‘research practice’ that sit outside or complicate the professional infrastructures of higher education. I’m interested in independent, unfunded, very short (one day) projects and projects that are highly collaborative, interdisciplinary, perhaps even a bit messy...

A current interest is in creating experiments in ‘small’ cultural infrastructure which provide a framework for asking critical questions of larger, more powerful structures. Bloomsbury Festival in Box – which created a mini, portable festival – is one example of this. Another more recent example is The Secret Diary of Bloomsbury – through which I co-created a life writing/mass-documentary project that continues to run in Bloomsbury.

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
17-Feb-2020 'Documenting Disappearance: a day in the ‘research laboratory’ of Iona and Peter Opie'

Journal articles

Performance Research

20-Jul-2016 ‘Festival in a Box’: Development and qualitative evaluation of an outreach programme to engage socially isolated people with dementia

Journal articles

25-Jun-2015 Bloomsbury Festival in a Box: engaging socially isolated people with dementia. Final Report.

Research aids

 Final project report to AHRC

27-Jul-2013 Arts on Prescription: a qualitative longitudinal outcomes study

Journal articles

Research Projects & Supervisions

Research projects:

Details
Bloomsbury Festival in a Box: engaging socially isolated people with dementia

Between August 2013 and May 2014 I was PI on the AHRC-funded research project Bloomsbury Festival in a Box: engaging socially isolated people with dementia. This project researched, implemented and analysed a pilot scheme for engaging people with dementia in the arts. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the two-year Cultural Value Project, the project was a collaboration between the School of Advanced Study, University of London, University College London, the Bloomsbury Festival, and Age UK Camden.

Professional Affiliations

Professional affiliations:

Name Activity
Telling the Bees (AHRC Funded Research Project) Advisory Board Member
Playing the Archive (EPSRC Funded Research Project) Advisory Board Member
Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
01-Feb-2020 Being Human festival

My current focus of activity is curating and managing Being Human – the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. I helped establish this festival in 2014, and it now takes place annually at venues across the UK. Since its inception, the festival has reached hundreds of thousands of people nationally and internationally, and seen events popping up everywhere from Singapore to the Orkney Isles.

15-Nov-2019 MIR #11 with The Secret Diary of Bloomsbury - Everyday Poetry

In the eleventh episode of the MIR Podcast, Peter J Coles talks to Elizabeth Dearnley and Michael Eades about their project The Secret Diary of Bloomsbury.

01-Sep-2015 Festival in a Box: Archives

Exhibition at the Leeds College of Art displaying research outputs and orginal artworks developed as part of the 'Bloomsbury Festival in a Box' project. The exhibition was aimed primarily at stucdents and practitioners at the start of their careers and was seen by around 2,000 people in autumn/winter 2015. 

01-May-2014 Festival in a Box: sharing knowledge on dementia and the arts

Project dissemintaion/knowledge share day for the Bloomsbury Festival in a Box Project . The day provided an environment in which the lessons learned from our project could be contextualised in relation to the broader landscape of arts and health projects working with people with dementia. Podcasts of talks from the day are available here: https://festivalinabox.blogs.sas.ac.uk/outputs/

 

23-Oct-2013 Ministry of Communication

Curatorial project at the School of Advanced Study funded by the AHRC’s Cultural Engagement Fund Pilot Scheme. For this project I curated a programme of events and original art commissions for the Bloomsbury Festival in October 2013. The project was designed to act as a catalyst for public engagement activity in the University of London, and to help the School of Advanced Study to reassess its place in relation to the cultures, histories and communities of its immediate civic milieu. The programme featured speakers including Will Self, Iain Sinclair, Andrew Motion and Ruth Padel, contributions from across the School's research institutes, and four original art commissions - one funded by an additional grant from the Arts Council of England. Outputs are archived here: www.michaeleades.net/2013/10/02/ministry-of-communication-bloomsbury-festival-2013/

Other editing/publishing activities:

Date Details
2019 'Want to save the humanities? Try getting off your pedestal'

Article for WonkHe

2019 6 Hidden Gems to Check as Part of this Free Festival

Media article for Londonist

2018 Sex, solitude and secrets: what we learnt from Londoners’ anonymous diaries

 Media publication in iNews, with Elizabth Dearnley. 

2018 Tensions Between the Everyday and the Extraordinary

 Article for Arts Professional 

2017 Being Human and the British Academy

Invited guest blog for the British Academy 

2016 Kindred Spirits? University/ cultural partnerships.

 Article for Arts Professional

2016 Still Invited to the Party?

 Article for Arts Professional

2014 Being Human: A new forum for engagement with the humanities

Guest blog for the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement. 

Consultancy & Media
Available for consultancy:
Yes
Media experience:
Yes
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