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Centre for Culture and Creativity

Connecting researchers and practitioners from across the arts and humanities, the Centre for Culture and Creativity seeks to enrich cultural understanding, increase cultural engagement, enhance public debate, further creative and applied practice, and drive positive social change.

Centre for Culture and Creativity

Addressing vital and complex critical, historical and creative questions, researchers employ a range of methodologies – including archival, practice-based, critical and theoretical – in disciplines encompassing art, computing (animation and games design), creative writing, cultural geography, curation, dance, design, English literature, history, media studies and performing arts.

The Centre’s research areas include representation, identity and disability; community, place and belonging; cultural engagement and participation; collected and contested memories; and radicalism, revolution, democracy and dissent.

It works in partnership with regional, national and international organisations and charities in arts, education, industry, heritage, museums, public health and policy sectors including Tate Plus, National Gallery Research Network, and Creative Fuse North East.

The University’s input into the AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training, The Heritage Consortium, and the Northern Bridge Consortium are hosted here.

More about our people and projects

Meet the team

Dr Rachel Carroll

Dr Rachel Carroll

More about Rachel

Dr Roisin Higgins

Dr Roisin Higgins

More about Roisin

Professor Simon McKeown

Professor Simon McKeown

More about Simon

Professor Sarah Perks

Professor Sarah Perks

More about Sarah

Research at Teesside

Dr Roisín Higgins

I very much appreciate that I work with colleagues who continue to produce such original scholarship. Research is a way of contributing to and learning from the University’s diverse community.

Dr Roisín Higgins, Associate Professor (Research)

Impact case studies

Are commemorations more than they seem?

Analysing commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising to understand how historical events create meaning in the present 

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Creating 'useful museums'

Reimagining the role of communities in curating museums and galleries

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Placing disability arts centre stage

Increasing the visibility of marginalised disabled people in cultural spaces and cultural production

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Re-interpreting the North East’s industrial past

Giving value to alternative narratives for the North East’s heavily industrialised past

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Promoting gender equality in writing and research

An immersive three-day workshop focused on advancing the research careers of next generation women scholars in Pakistan.

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The Conversation

The Conversation is an independent source for news and opinions, written by the academic and research community for a general public audience.

Cartoons have always been for adults but here’s how they got tangled up with kids

Julian Lawrence

BoJack Horseman, the show about an anthropomorphic horse struggling with depression and addiction, has come to end.

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Assassin’s Creed TV series: why it’s so hard to adapt video games for the screen

Ian Sturrock

The Assassin’s Creed franchise is leaping forward (off the top of a building, presumably) with the release of the 12th game in the series – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – and the recent announcement of an upcoming Netflix show.

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Four tips to make the most of your next gallery visit

Laura Sillars

Going to a gallery can be an escape from the everyday – an opportunity to fall into a moment of reverie in front of an artwork that you know cannot be replicated in print or online.

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Anne Boleyn: in defence of historical inaccuracy

Leanne Bibby

The Channel 5 historical drama series Anne Boleyn, directed by Lynsey Miller, stars black British actor Jodie Turner-Smith as the Tudor queen consort at the height of her power and influence, shortly before her dramatic fall and execution in May 1536.

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Michael K Williams and The Wire: how the show redefined television watching

Ben Lamb

Emmy-nominated actor Michael K Williams has died aged 54, reportedly of a suspected drug overdose. Early last year the actor mused on instagram “How will I be remembered and what will be my legacy?”

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Dennis the Menace lives on: the influence of this 70-year-old on everything from darts to raves

Julian Lawrence

The current Somerset House exhibition in London, Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules, revels in the joyful impudence of the 83-year-old comic magazine’s characters. A tribute to the publication’s impact seems long overdue; as curator Andy Holden says: “Beano’s irreverent sensibility is something that appeals to you as a child, but also, for some, never leaves you.”

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French ski resorts are fighting for survival due to changing COVID travel restrictions

Leon Davis

Before COVID, the winter sports tourism industry was worth over €70 billion (£58.2 billion) a year globally, with ski resorts expanding across the world. The pandemic then led to a stark decrease in visitor numbers, with a major impact on revenues and livelihoods.

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Bloody Sunday 50 years later: what it means when we commemorate trauma

Roisín Higgins

At its heart, Bloody Sunday was a devastating personal tragedy involving the deaths of 13 men and boys, six of whom were only 17 years old. The victims were taking part in a civil rights protest march against internment.

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When do strikes work? History shows the conditions need to be right

Christopher Massey

There has been a significant decline in union-led strike action in the 21st-century UK. But with average public sector pay increasing by 1.5% between March and May 2022 (versus 7.2% in the private sector) and households facing a cost of living crisis, industrial disputes are on the rise again in the UK.

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Why David Hockney’s Bigger and Closer is an important step forward for immersive art shows

Simon McKeown

Artist David Hockney has ridden many technological waves. While his mark-making has remained resolutely painterly, he has challenged the practice of painting. He was an early adopter of computer-assisted drawing, using the iPad and iPhone.

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