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Practical Public Engagement was developed initially by Dr David Forrest, Lecturer in Film Studies in the School of English, and Dr Rebecca Fisher (formerly Associate University Teacher in the School of English, now Project Officer for PG Recruitment at the University of Warwick) David’s interests lie in developing socially engaged approaches to research and teaching in Film Studies and he has been involved in a number of public engagement projects exploring these ideas. Along with colleague, Dr Jonathan Rayner he developed the ‘Sheffield Film Studies and Sheffield Studies Film’ project, which involved local school children in analysing visual representations of Sheffield, before creating their own films of their lives in the city:
He recently undertook a practice-based research project with a filmmaker and photographer, working collaboratively with Chinese Students in Sheffield The Youzi Project In addition, David is Director of Outreach and Widening Participation for the School of English and co-leads the We Are Here project and teaches on School of English modules with a public engagement focus. His involvement is currently advisory, but he also leads the PhD project The Image Speaks… which partners PhD students with a photographer and a designer to produce an exhibition of photographs of research.

The course is currently taught Amy Ryall, External Engagement Projects Manager in the Faculty Office of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Dr Jane Hodson Faculty Director of External Engagement and lecturer in the School of English supports this.

Jane has a role supporting public engagement projects within the Faculty. She also has much experience in public engagement projects and activity related to her own research. Precious Words supporting the investigation of dialect and Yorkshire Voices an exhibition, poetry readings, film and music events based on research into Yorkshire dialects in literature. She is currently working with Furnace Park on creating gardens to populate this pop up performance and event space.

Amy supports the development and delivery of public engagement projects across all departments, brokering relationships with external partners, highlighting practical support available to academic staff and liaising with relevant departments outside the Faculty, for example Research and Innovation Services, Trusts and Foundations and Widening Participation and Outreach. Amy has a background in teaching and more recently in museum learning, professional development, and project and event management. She was part of the team that ran the Their Past Your Future project at the Imperial War Museum, a large scale public engagement project She is interested in the benefits of relationships between different types of professionals in order to support development in their respective areas and also in how museums and other organisations can work together to engage the public in difficult and challenging stories. She is part of the AHRC collaborative research network Silence Memory Empathy and also runs The Image Speaks… project alongside David Forrest.

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