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Theatre and Performance Studies Seminar Series

Autumn 2019

What is Research Impact?

Wednesday 10th October, 16.30-18.00, G56.

Speakers: Nadine Holdsworth and Yvette Hutchison

Research impact is an increasingly important aspect of an academic’s career and this session is designed to explore what it is, why it matters and what it might look like. We will talk through some of the practical considerations that come into play when trying to make research impactful. We will explore ways to establish research collaborations and networks. We will consider different examples of impact and how we might capture and evidence examples of research impact. To illustrate this discussion we will draw on two impact case studies being worked up in the Theatre and Performance Studies Department – we will look at the language around impact, offer some insights into how impact might be assessed as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and share some of the ways that we are talking and writing about our research to demonstrate impact.

The Royal Navy Theatre Association: Heritage and Invented Traditions
Nadine Holdsworth, University of Warwick

I have recently completed a research collaboration with the Royal Navy Theatre Association (RNTA) that lasted over five years as part of a wider project on amateur theatre in England. This research entailed an extensive period of primary research embedded within the RNTA community that included observation of rehearsals, attending productions, committee meetings, interviews with key personnel and serving as the RNTA’s festival adjudicator in 2016. The issues I have been exploring range around ideas of cultural value; heritage and traditions; places of performance and the relationship between labour and performance. In this talk I will outline how this research has been conceived and framed as an impact project and what issues have arisen around planning for and capturing diverse forms of impact (Individual, group, institutional, societal) and what strategies have been successful and not so successful.

Networking and performing on and off-line, in and out of Africa: African Women Playwright Network
Yvette Hutchison, University of Warwick

I am currently working on analysing research I have conducted through the African Womens’ Playwright Network that SA film and playwright Amy Jephta and I set up in 2015. In this paper I set out to analyse and compare online and live networking, as spaces for artistic and critical engagement both within Africa and beyond. It will explore the contexts, benefits, limits and potentialities of technologies in shaping creative and professional networks, particularly from the perspective of African gendered identity construction and performance. I draw particularly on David White and Alison Le Cornu’s (2013) new typology for online engagement, which analyses online behaviours as being of a digital resident and/ or visitor; and the significance of these patterns of preference for different platform usage when networking; and Linda Tuhiwai Smith’s (2012) use of indigenous research methodologies.

Learn more about our impact case studies:

Amateur Theatre: Craft, Place and Community


Read Nadine Holdsworth's project report: Making Theatre with the Royal Navy

Networking Women's Theatre in Africa