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Dr Julie Crawshaw

Lecturer in Art and Design History

Department: Arts

Dr Julie Crawshaw is a Lecturer in Art and Design History and an art anthropologist. Julie has held prior research posts at University of Gothenburg and Newcastle University.

Julie Crawshaw Photo 255Julie has an experimental practice developed through an interdisciplinary pathway. In tandem with artists, planners, community members and others, her research explores human non-human relations towards making future plans. Funded by the Swedish Research Council, Julie is Co Investigator of ‘Stretched: Expanding Notions of Artistic Practice Through Artist-led Cultures’ (with Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg). Before academia she worked in the arts with particular interest in the role of art in social contexts and artist-led practice. This professional experience closely informs her academic work as combining scholarship and engagement. 

Julie's interest in research practice began with a postgraduate in development studies. A wake up to the multiple scales of our connectedness, the programme introduced her to interdisciplinary theories and practices of development, and relational perspectives for challenging any folly of separateness. From here, she worked as an evaluation consultant for local authorities, arts councils and environment agencies. Keen to challenge policy metrics for ‘measuring’ the art experience, Julie returned to study, taking an anthropological PhD in Planning: ‘Beyond Targets: Articulating the role of art in regeneration’ (2012). Informed by Pragmatism and Actor-Network Theory the ethnography of her thesis follows the traceable connections between human and non-human actors. In this study she challenged the symbolic perspective of art in urban studies, to rather describe the making of public art as a process of knowledge production.

As an arts manager, Julie's portfolio included working as: Programme Director of Artists Newsletter (now a-n The Artists Information Company), Executive Director of Waygood Gallery & Studios (now BALTIC 39), Development Manager of Forma Arts & Media and Co Director of Midwest; alongside an independent practice as an art commissioner, evaluator and OD practitioner working with local authorities, arts councils, housing associations, environment agencies and arts organisations. During this time, she also taught on the inquiry based Manchester Sustainable Cities programme at the University of Manchester; and Managing at the Top (British Council/DfID), an experiential learning programme for senior Civil Servants of Bangladesh. Julie has presented her work at academic conferences and professional events internationally. 

Campus Address

Northumbria University, City Campus
Lipman 501
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 227 4429


PhD Planning (an anthropological study): Manchester Architecture Research Centre, University of Manchester (Sustainable Consumption Institute Doctoral Training Centre) – ‘Beyond Targets: Articulating the role of art in regeneration’ (2012)

MSc Development Studies (Management and Implementation of Development Projects): Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester

BA Fine Art (Drawing and Painting): Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, University of Dundee

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research interests are developing around the following themes:

  • Classical pragmatism and the heritage of this philosophy as played out in contemporary relational perspectives: in art studies and practice; and planning studies and practice.
  • Human-nature relations in urban and rural planning and governance practice: how we can reveal connectivity in support of making future plans; with particular interest in the role of anthropological ethnography, art, and hybrid modes of practice.
  • Anthropology of the contemporary: developing a practice of working in tandem with a range of experts in particular fields of practice, drawing on my professional experience and interdisciplinary scholarship, such as: art, planning, governance and cultural management.
  • Art-organisation: expanded modes of art such as artist-led and self-organisation.
  • The civic role of the art institution.
  • Humanities inspired and experiential approaches to arts evaluation. 

 PGR Supervision

I welcome enquiries from those working in a range of disciplines who are considering doctoral research in any of my areas of research, and from organisations interested in collaborating on research projects. 

Professional Activity

Member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, and RSA Fellow.

Sponsors and Collaborators

Sponsors: Swedish Research Council, AHRC, Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal, Sustainable Consumption Institute University of Manchester, Renaissance North West.

Academic collaborators: Holy Island Partnership, Kultivator, Galleri Syster, Gylleboverket, Berwick Visual Arts., Centre for Rural Economy Newcastle University. 

Current/Recent Projects

2015-2018: Co-Investigator (with Jason E Bowman (PI) and Mick Wilson, Valand Academy University of Gothenburg) - Stretched: Expanding Notions of Artistic Practice through Artist-led Cultures - Swedish Research Council (€350, ooo).

2016-2017: Researcher (with Menelaos Gkartzios, Centre for Rural Economy Newcastle University) – Aesthetics of Conflict: The Vernacular in Rural Housing Development) – School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University (£5,000).

2016: Researcher (with Menelaos Gkartzios, Centre for Rural Economy Newcastle University) - Researching Rural Housing: with an artist in residence – Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal (£5,000).

2013-2014: Research Associate Northumbrian Exchanges (Fine Art, Newcastle University) – Northumbrian Exchanges – AHRC Knowledge Exchange 

Key Publications

Crawshaw, J. (forthcoming) Drawn Together: Stories of Holy Island, in (Ed. Holt, Y., Jones, W., Jones, D.M.) Imagining Islands: Visual Culture and the Northern British Archipelago. London: Ashgate.

Crawshaw, J. (in press) Island Making: The Work of Art, Landscape Research, Special Issue: art, knowledge and the landscape of northern Europe, Asia and America.

Crawshaw, J. and Gkartzios, M. (in press) Reading the Island: Art and Community Development, in (ed. McGrath, B.) Routledge Handbook of Community Development. Oxon: Routledge.

Crawshaw, J. & Gkartzios, M. (2016) Getting to Know the Island: Artistic Experiments in Rural Community Development, Journal of Rural Studies 43: 134-144.

Crawshaw, J. (2015) Working Together: Tracing the making of public art as part of regeneration practice, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 24(2): 76-96.

Crawshaw, J., Rowe, F. and Hudson, M. (2015). Translations in Practice: The Multiple Roles of the Researcher in Arts-Based Knowledge Exchange, Journal of Arts & Communities 7(2): 101-115. 


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