Dr Saskia Warren

Senior Lecturer and AHRC Leadership Fellow

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Biography

I joined Manchester in 2015 as a Lecturer in Human Geography. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019. My research is primarily concerned with social and spatial inequalities. In particular my work attends to geographies of creativity and difference, with especial interest in faith and religion, gender, 'race' and culture, and spaces of education and labour.

From October 2017 I was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellowship (2017-2020). For this award, I am leading a programme of research for the project: Geographies of Muslim Women and the UK Cultural and Creative Economy (AKA 'CreativeMuslimWomenUK'). Related to this research, I was awarded best paper and presentation by the Nordic Geographers' Meeting held in Stockholm in 2017, for  “Placing faith in creative labour: work-based activism of Muslim women in the UK cultural and creative economy” in the session Cultural Production Within, Against and Beyond Inequalities. I co-curated a major research-led exhibition, Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at The Whitworth (June 2019- February 2020; 200,000 visitors), and spoke as invited academic contributor with artist Usarae Gul on BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Allowed. Films produced for the exhibition are available to view here. Together with Jana Wendler and The Whitworth, I received a Making a Difference Award 2020 for Social Responsibility by the University of Manchester for 'Outstanding Public and Community Engagement Initiative'. A monograph on the wider research project is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press (September 2021). For more on this research and related news see: http://www.creativemuslimwomen.manchester.ac.uk/

Prior to taking my current post, I held the position of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. During my time at Birmingham I worked on a flagship multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral AHRC-funded research project, Cultural Intermediation: Connecting Communities in the Creative Urban Economy (PI: Phil Jones). I was further Principle Investigator on a Communities and Culture Network+/EPSRC project, Birmingham Surrealist Laboratory.

Practice is an important aspect of my research. To date I have curated exhibitions at Henry Moore Institute, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Stanley Picker Gallery and the Royal Geographical Society. In 2019 I co-curated, Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today, an exhibition of contemporary Muslim women artists in dialogue with the historic collection opened at The Whitworth. The exhibition run was extended twice. It was supported by an ambitious programme of public and educational events. 

My research and consultancy has been funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Collections Trust, Arts Connect, and UKRI (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council).

I have peer reviewed widely for high profile international journals in Geography and cognate disciplines, including: Progress in Human GeographyAntipode, Cultural Geographies, Social and Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, Area, International Journal of Heritage Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Cultural Trends. I have also widely reviewed funding applications, including for the Irish Research Council. I am a nominated, appointed, and serving member of the AHRC Peer Review College (2019-23).

The research I undertake on issues of inequality and diversity informs my adminstration roles including acting as Geography lead for Athena Swan, SEED, University of Manchester (awarded Bronze 2018), and my previous role on the committee for Athena Swan, GEES, University of Birmingham (awarded Bronze 2014). I become a fellow of Higher Education Academy in 2017. I am currently co-Director of the Cities, Politics and Economies Research Group (with Cristina Temenos) and co-Director of the BA/BSc International Year Abroad (with Aurora Fredriksen). I am on the board of Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester, and Public Art Agency, Birmingham. I am also a serving committee member of the Royal Geographical Society's Social and Cultural Geography Research Group.

Qualifications

Ph.D. Cultural Geography, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds

BA (Hons), English Literature and Language, University of Oxford  

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