‘Culture’ and ‘Creativity’ have been core features of policy discourse for the best part of two decades, with creative industries often central to urban policy seeking to regenerate post-industrial cities. Within this context, creative workers have taken on a certain totemic quality: on the one hand they are viewed as exemplary agents, demonstrating resilience and flexibility, driving forward innovation and economic development; on the other hand, more critical voices emphasise the precarity, insecurity and poverty inherent in many creative careers, with some suggesting that creative workers are in fact a dystopian harbinger of future working practices for large swathes of the population.
The new Cultural Work faculty research group brings together researchers with expertise in topics connected to cultural production, from disciplines across the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and other faculties. The purpose of the group is to identify overlapping thematic interests and to develop and facilitate collaborative and interdisciplinary research in key areas in the field. The title Cultural Work has been chosen for its double meaning, with ‘work’ serving as both a verb and a noun, an act of labour and the outcome of that labour. These products are themselves regulated, managed, mediated, marketed, and so on, and thus fall under the group’s remit. At this stage, the intention should be to keep potential research topics as broad as possible. Overarching themes could potentially be:
• The working practices, conditions and experiences of cultural producers across all cultural/creative industries
• Local, national and international policy pertaining to ‘culture’/cultural industries
• Cultural markets, both global and local
• Organisations/institutions/employers involved in the production of culture
• Cultural intermediaries
• The regulation and management of cultural works, including intellectual property rights
• Historical cultural industries
The group runs an occasional seminar series and has a mailing list to encourage discussion and keep members informed of relevant events.
To join this group, please email Lee Marshall, the group leader, with details of your relevant research interests.