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How To Be Together (Even When We're Apart): On the Live Digital Audience

30 June 2020

The Bristol Neuroscience Research Network welcomed Dr Kirsty Sedgman (School of Arts, University of Bristol) on 29 June 2020 as its last speaker of the semester.

Kirsty is an award-winning scholar specialising in audience research and cultural value.

Her work investigates how people find value in cultural participation. How do they experience and respond to the things they see? How are these pleasures and disappointments made meaningful within their lives? And what can all this tell us about the role of the arts in society, as well as the relationship between cultural institutions, power, identity, and place?

Her 2016 book Locating the Audience (Intellect) was the first to explore how people developed relationships with a new cultural institution at the time of its formation: the then brand-new National Theatre Wales. Her second, The Reasonable Audience, examines behaviour policing in the theatre etiquette campaigns. She has published on subjects ranging from exclusions in immersive and participatory theatre, to the ways online audiences talk about digital representations of live performance, to how Harry Potter fans felt about the Cursed Child stage play. Kirsty is currently working on a three-year British Academy-funded research project investigating community engagements with the Bristol Old Vic theatre through time.

Kirsty is one of the many University of Bristol experts involved in coronavirus research, looking at the social effects of what it means to be together in public spaces and how audiences can still enjoy shared live experiences digitally.

Watch the video on YouTube 

Further information

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, Bristol Neuroscience organised a series of webinars aimed at keeping our wider community engaged. Starting in April and continuing through to the end of June 2020, we welcomed a wide variety of speakers discussing everything from mindfullness to artificial intelligence. 

A full list of talks and links to the recordings are available on our home page. If you have any questions on the series, please contact Catherine Brown

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