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Emily Dunford

PhD Researcher


About Me

Emily began her PhD in April 2019, researching Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021. She is funded by the University through the Higher Education Industrial Fund (HEIF).Prior to beginning her PhD, Emily worked on the University’s Student Personalised Information Programme Student Personalised Information programme, and, in 2017-18, was Warwick Students’ Union’s Warwick Students’ Union’s full-time Postgraduate Officer. She has experience in UK Higher Education policy and pedagogical development.

Research interests

Emily’s research focuses on Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021.

Coventry 2021 has, so far, portrayed itself as aiming to create an inclusive year for culture change with a transformative legacy. Emily’s research project stems from the idea that the arts and culture are often presented as offering an incubator for rethinking established socio-political norms. At the same time, the arts can be exclusionary for many people. Her project explores the extent to which the City of Culture provides a site for experimenting with alternatives to the culturally-specific context in which the mega-event is located.

The research project is in its early stages, but is expected to use discursive methodologies to engage with Coventry citizens, policy-makers and artists.

Emily is supervised by Professor Andy Lavender and Professor Nicolas Whybrow.

Coventry 2021 is anticipated to have an enormous economic, educational, cultural and health impact on Coventry. As the City of Culture year moves closer, researchers from different fields of the partner universities (and beyond) will be engaged in qualitative and quantitative research in the city. It is expected that there will be opportunities for undergraduate involvement in various forms.


BA: English and Theatre Studies, University of Warwick

MA: English, University of Warwick

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