This seminar celebrates the launch of the paperback version of Collaborative Arts-based Research for Social Justice (published by Routledge). This text focuses on the ways that social inquiry might be carried out with marginalised groups to promote social justice. The seminar includes discussion of some of the book’s themes including the power of the arts to critically explore those elements of life that are often hidden or disregarded. Drawing on a range of colourful examples, it will be argued that the arts can startle us out of complacency and enable a different way of knowing the social world.
Dr Victoria Foster is Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences and Associate Director (External Relations) of Edge Hill University’s Institute for Public Policy and Practice (I4P). Her work is concerned with social justice issues and all her research has involved collaborations with organisations outside of the university. Victoria’s ESRC funded doctoral and postdoctoral research was carried out at a Sure Start programme in North West England and involved developing a range of arts-based methods to evaluate people’s experiences of the programme. Since then she has worked on NIHR funded participatory research with parents of babies requiring neonatal care, and evaluations of several arts programmes. These include a drama-based crime prevention programme at the Royal Court Liverpool and an innovative educational programme carried out by the European Opera Centre. She is currently developing on an arts-based research project at a local community farm, exploring the politics of food production.