IAS Colston Research Fellow: Sharon Irish

3 March - 2 May 2014

Sharon Irish (Ph.D. Northwestern University, USA) is an historian and grants coordinator at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), USA, with particular interest in community cultural development and urban spatial practices.

From 2007 to 2011 she served as the coordinator and then interim director of the Community Informatics Initiative at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Community informatics examines intersections among information, communication technologies, and various publics.

She has been co-director of the Ethnography of the University Initiative since 2010, examining with students the university as an agent. Active in the national consortium, Imagining America, Dr. Irish works with others to catalyze publicly-engaged scholarship. For example, she recently co-authored an article about cultural connections between Champaign and Chicago, Illinois, with a Chicago-based artist, Angela Rivers, whose family members have lived in Champaign since the 1860s.

Dr. Irish’s research in the last decade has focused primarily on two artists who base their practices in communities, Los Angeles-based Suzanne Lacy, and London-based Stephen Willats. With Penny Evans of the Knowle West Media Centre, she has coauthored an essay about Bristol’s University of Local Knowledge for a 2013 issue of the International Journal of Progressive Education. She also continues to research the histories of twentieth century architecture in the United States and holds a zero-time appointment in the UIUC School of Architecture.

She serves as an advisory editor for the journal, Technology and Culture. She has authored three books and numerous articles on Lacy, Willats, and the architect Cass Gilbert, among other topics.

During her visit to Bristol Dr. Irish is giving the following seminars:


Read Dr. Irish's post for the Bristol IAS & WUN Visitors' Blog.

For more information on Dr. Irish's visit, please contact Dr Angela Piccini.