School of the Arts, English and Drama

Staff research

Politicized Practice

The Politicized Practice Research Group starts from a shared question rather than a specific disciplinary context, asking, how can contemporary art contribute to social and political change? Politicized Practice is not about attempting a ‘representation’ of politics.

Our aim is to act on and intervene into the political conditions of specific disciplines, for example, visual culture's relationship to art history, anti-art ideas in relation to Fine Art practice and social graphics' relationship to capital. ‘Critical practice’ denotes the various modernist projects in which a medium determines its own limits and specialisms through the use of its own methods and concepts; for example, where painting critiques painting, and thought critiques thought. 'Politicized practice', therefore, enables us to engage in a more productive collection of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary dialogues and debates.

Through a combination of cultural production and the development of theoretical and critical perspectives we examine culture’s role in the development of the public sphere. Our work acknowledges the function of culture in the articulation of politics and asserts its contribution to emancipation through art and design. Our research in this field manifests in direct public engagement, through events, projects and publishing. The scope of research undertaken within the group addresses a range of disciplines including art and the public sphere, curation, social graphics, visual culture, histories and theories of art and all forms of contemporary art practice.

The Politicized Practice Research Group is engaged in collaborative and individual projects which can be attributed to the following areas and themes:

  • Activism and Art
  • Art and the Public Sphere
  • Social and Political Art Practice
  • Radical Aesthetics
  • Interdisciplinary Research in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Art, Activism and Political Violence

This project is a collaboration between the Anarchism Research Group and the Politicised Practice Research Group designed to build new relationships between artists and political theorists and to explore questions of political violence and art activism.

Art, Activism and Political Violence


The RaRa project was initiated in 2009 and has produced a book series and a number of symposia exploring the intersection of contemporary art practice, philosophical ideas and interpretations of radicality to promote debate, confront convention and formulate alternative ways of thinking about art practice. 


Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art

The Politicized Practice Research Group and the Anarchism Research Group are joining forces with a broader range of Loughborough researchers to convene a series of events on Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art.

Critical Citizenship, Activism and Art

Current members of the group: 

Rebecca Beinart Catie Gill Martin Lang Zoe Petersen 
Kathryn Brown Sarah Green Emma Mahony Susan Reid
Viviana Checchia Johanna Hallsten Arianna Maiorani Assunta Ruocco
Fred Dalmasso Jaakko Harkunen Sofia Mali Nick Slater
Chiara Dellerba Janet Harrison Marina Maximova Aria Spinelli
John Downey Julia Kelly Vlad Morariu Kuba Szreder
Simon Downs E Kerslake Eleanor Morgan Jane Tormey
James Ellison Ruth Kinna Corina Oprea Gillian Whiteley

Antoinette Burchill | email

Antoinette, artist, writer, performer, PhD researcher, will be delivering a participatory performance on the Confident Gaze in Public Engagement at the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) Engage 2016 conference. She is also working on leading and delivering the public engagement research strand of Mercurious an exhibition about mercury at Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Leicester in 2018. The project is led by Dr Angus Cameron, University of Leicester, and Melanie Jackson, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. For more information see


Fred Dalmasso | email 

Fred has a forthcoming chapter entitled ‘Remote Spectating: Drone Images and the Spectacular Image of Revolt’ in Fisher and Katsouraki (eds) Performing Antagonism (Palgrave Macmillan), due out in December 2016. He is currently editing a collection, Syncope in Visual and Performing Arts (Paris, Editions Le Manuscrit) following an exhibition at FRAC Picardie (Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain) in Spring 2016 which combines works/reflections from artists and theoreticians in English and French in response to Catherine Clément's book Syncope: The Philosophy of Rapture (University of Minnesota Press, 1994). He is also contributing a chapter entitled ‘Syncopolitics’ (about the syncope of the image as an allegorical method for emancipatory politics). As co-convenor of TaPRA Theatre, Performance and Philosophy working group, he is also working on an event in Palermo (with the association Arte Migrante and the University of Palermo) to discuss the notion of displacement.


Gillian Whiteley | email

Gillian has been awarded a 6-month University Fellowship to focus on Art Activism and its Publics from August 2017. She is currently researching the radical traditions of the pamphlet and its use in contemporary art for an essay in a book Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer she is co-editing for the RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa) book series (Bloomsbury).Whiteley and Tormey are collaborating with Radar Artscentre to commission artists’ responses, culminating in For and Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet, a two-day research and public ‘festival’ event in May 2017, including an exhibition at Charnwood Museum, Queen’s Park in Loughborough curated by Whiteley. She is also co-organiser of an ongoing project Art Activism and Political Violence (AAPV) with Prof Ruth Kinna. An Independent Social Research Foundation-funded 2-day workshop was held at LU in September, designed to build new relationships between artists and political theorists and explore questions of political violence and art activism. This initiative stemmed from a longer collaboration between colleagues in the Anarchism Research Group and the PPRG. Whiteley and Kinna are currently expanding the AAPV network, planning a publication based on the workshop, a public event and an external funding bid plus two seminars with Emma Mahony (14 December) and Gavin Grindon (10 May 2017). 

The first two meetings of 2017-18 will be held jointly with the Theatre and Performance Research Group.

Engineering the imagination, creating spaces of appearance: political performativity and Welfare State International 

Dr. Gillian Whiteley (School of Arts, English & Drama)
Wednesday 25 October 2017, 12.00pm || Edward Barnsley 63.1.07 || Gill Whiteley abstract 25-Oct-2017

Reimagining Citizenship 

Stéphanie Jamet (Institut des Beaux-Arts de Besançon) and co-editor, with Fred Dalmasso of recently published Syncope in Performing and Visual Arts, 2017, Le Manuscrit 
Wednesday 22 November 2017, 12.00pm || Martin Hall MHL 0.07 || Stephanie Jamet abstract 22-Nov-2017