Photo of Dr Katie Beswick

Dr Katie Beswick

Public engagement

I am interested in working with communities and in sharing my research with the wider public. Public engagement work includes:

- 'Art and Loss of Social Housing': I concevied and organised this event, at Exeter's Phoenix Arts Centre. It was an exhibition, film screening and panel discussion, which explored how art serves as a means for social housing residents to engage with the loss of their homes. This was part of the Being Human festival of the humanities.

- 'A Box Park to Live In' Hoxton Private Housing/Public Home: I devised and performed this site-specific public engagement piece along with Cecilie Sachs Olsen, as part of the Home in the Housing Crisis symposium held at the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, London. This interactive performance offered the audience a proposal for a development in Hoxton and asked participants to explore the area to appraise the development's feasibility.

- Estate: A Reverie: I was a panel speaker at the discussion session for the screening of Fugitive Images film Estate: A Reverie, at Queen Mary University of London, a Centre for Studies of Home event. 

- 'The Resident Artist: Making Performance in Your Council Estate Home': I gave this public lecture at Senate House, London as an invited speaker for the Institute of Historical Research 'Studies of Home' series. 

- Reach: I delivered workshops to students in secondary schools in Tower Hamlets as part of an outreach initiative run by the Drama Department at Queen Mary University of London, encouraging year 9 pupils to consider studying Drama at university level.

- Look at the (E)state We're In: a two-day symposium, which took place in public venues across Peckham in May 2015. This initiative, funded by University of the Arts London, explored arts practices on and about council estates and included public talks, workshops, an exhibition and a publication.

- Ten in a Bed: an eight week series of arts workshops, which introduced under 5s and their families to new and popular stories in order to enhance literacy. This project took place in Tower Hamlets from January to April 2015, and was designed and delivered by myself and students at Queen Mary University in partnership with applied theatre company Phakama. It was funded by Queen Mary's Centre for Public Engagement and Big Lottery Awards.

- Thackray Medical Museum: in this project I facilitated a site-specific performance festival where students from the University of Leeds developed a series of performances designed to communicate aspects of medical history.

- National Coal Mining Museum England: Between 2009 and 2012 I facilitated an annual, three-way project between students at the University of Leeds, local secondary school students and the NCME. This project culminated in an annual performance festival exploring aspects of coal mining in the Yorkshire region.

Contribution to discipline

I am book reviews editor for the journal Studies in Theatre and Performance. I am a member of TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), and the Society of Authors.

I am interested in using research methodologies that engage with the public from the outset. Rather than disseminating findings through public engagement alone I am interested in finding ways in which we might consider the 'public' as collaborators and experts from whom we can learn. I have worked with ethnographic methods to engage with subway dancers in the Bronx New York, and so called 'hard-to-reach' families in Tower Hamlets, London. I am interested in developing creative writing practices as a means through which to develop a public engagement methodology.


I write arts criticism and opinion. My work has been published in online and in print publications, including Loud and Quiet Magazine, Culture Vulture and the Huffington Post.

Some examples of my work include:

'New Misery' review of Cullen Omori's debut album for Loud and Quiet Magazine, available at

'The Story of Whitney' interview in Loud and Quiet Magazine, available at

'Artists are Doing it for Themselves' interview with film maker Tom Connolly on Huffington Post blog, available at

'Council Estate Creativity' at my own website,

'Immersive Theatre: The Weather Machine' a preview of artist David Shearing's 2015 installation for Huffington Post blog, available at

'Electroknit/Men With Ties' an interview and review of artist Elizabeth Chadwick's exhibition at the Culture Vulture, availlable at

'Hole, Northern Lines, Bradford' a theatre review for the Culture Vulture, available at

I was the featured guest, discussing my blogging work, on the Ladies What Brunch radio show, for Hoxton Radio. You can listen to that show at