Research impact and knowledge exchange is a core aspect of Drama's research strategy.
We seek to design research projects that involve and directly benefit external partners. We also look to develop innovative ways of enabling public engagement with areas researched within the department.
Current research with a strong focus on impact includes the following ongoing projects:
Transforming the perception and understanding of the authorship, range, reception, and influence of the work of Delia Derbyshire.
Socially engaged arts organisations and artists in creative conversation on communities, creativity and Covid-19 in 2020.
Drama researchers and postgraduates are encouraged to understand their work as being integrally connected to a diverse ecology of public audiences, and to explore options for two-way exchange.
We believe that working in collaboration with a range of partners is also a key source of further learning for us.
Key to our approach are:
Over a period of many years, we have worked to develop lasting relationships with partners ranging from prisons to museums to overseas NGOs.
We seek actively to be responsive to the stated needs of external partners. For example, Drama researchers have in recent years written commissioned, evaluative reports on arts projects by or for organisations including the New Charter Housing Trust and St. Vincent's Housing Association (Dr. Jenny Hughes), the Exodus Onstage refugee theatre festival (Dr. Alison Jeffers), Contact Theatre and Y Touring (Dr. Simon Parry). Such commissioned work extends our own knowledge base while also proving directly impactful for users.
Drama at Manchester has a long history of developing and collaborating in the development of, outward-facing organisations that create platforms for public research, practice and knowledge exchange. This approach dates back to the formation of the Theatre in Prisons and Probation Centre in 1992. More recently, Drama researchers have been pivotal in the recent development of the Institute for Cultural Practices and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. There was also the biannual Insight Film Festival (launched 2007), which supported young people in making films exploring interfaith dialogue and community cohesion.
The excellent theatre and conferencing facilities available at our departmental base, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, have enabled further opportunities for knowledge exchange with external users. For example, we have hosted Platforma's national gathering of refugee artists, and provided a venue for The Men's Room (an arts and social welfare organisation serving young men with experiences of homelessness, sex work, and the criminal justice system).
Impact case studies
Our research influences and engages with the wider community, in Manchester and beyond, in many ways.
You can read about the impact of our Drama research by viewing some of the projects we've been involved in: