Across the institutes and libraries of the School of Advanced Study, researchers are undertaking public engagement activities in a variety of ways. From one-off events to long term collaborative projects, engagement is a core part of the School’s activity and focus of its research community from postgraduate students to professors.

This section of the website captures some of this activity and the learning that has been drawn from it. The case studies below provide valuable insight into the benefits and challenges of undertaking public engagement activity, and are aimed at informing and inspiring anyone thinking of undertaking similar projects.

Being creative online - 'A Night at the Rare Books Auction'

Dr Ana de Oliveira Dias reveals how she brought about a fantastic online performance that immersed attendees in the action and broke down the barrier of the computer screen. 

Sending postal packs - 'The Memory Box'

Dr Amanda Phipps explores top tips and lessons learned from ‘The Memory Box’, a public engagement activity based around postal packs that were delivered straight to people’s homes. 

Working with a team - 'Our Mutual Friend the Machine'

Professor Jane Winters discusses how important it is to work as a team when putting together a fantastic public engagement event.

Working with performers - 'Theatre in Exile' 

Dr Clare George discusses the benefits of working with partners and the fantastic collaborative process used to produce her performance-based event for the 2019 Being Human festival.

Focusing on your audience - 'Sea Change’ 

Dr Elizabeth Dearnley explains how she connected with her intended audience over folktales and music at her event ‘Sea Change’ as part of the  2019 Being Human festival.

Working with partners – ‘Cartoneras in London’ 

Dr María Soledad Montañez discusses the fantastic work she has done with cultural and community partners, exploring the relationships she has built with communities in Southeast London.

Stories from El Salvador 

Dr Ainhoa Montoya reflects on her amazing event which drew together members of the Latin American community. Find out how she placed her target audience at the heart of her Being Human activity.

Weaving Women’s Stories

Dr Emma Bridges looks back on her Being Human events, including creative workshops, performances and talks. She discusses the importance of working collaboratively with cultural partners to attract diverse audiences.

Finding Mr Hart

Dr Cynthia Johnston reflects on her Being Human event ‘Finding Mr Hart’ and explains how colleague Christopher Adams wrote a play which creatively presented her research into the Edwardian collector J R Hart.  

Shakespeare, suffragists and soldiers

Dr Naomi Paxton looks back on a Being Human event featuring an interactive performance walk in Bloomsbury - a space with a strange connection between Shakespeare and ANZAC soldiers.

Communicating the Ministry of Information

Dr Henry Irving explores the variety of Ministry-themed events held as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘A Communication History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46’. 

Communicating Law and Information Policy

Dr Judith Townend speaks about the variety of public engagement events the Centre for Law and Information Policy at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies held in its first few months.

Night at the Library: Books of Hope and Fear

Dr Matthew Shaw reflects on the success of ‘Night at the Library: Books of Hope and Fear’ event, an immersive ‘escape room’ style experience in the library  for the 2016 Being Human Festival.