1st Edition

Arts Methods for the Self-Representation of Undergraduate Students Sensory Transitions into University Cultures

By Miranda Matthews Copyright 2023
    214 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This timely book explores the transitional experiences of undergraduates in minority groups studying at university and how arts methods and practices can play an important role in facilitating these transitions.

    Based on research from UK universities, this volume is the first to draw together the experiences of educators in the humanities and social sciences who integrate sensory methodologies in taught curriculum, in relation to arts educators who add extra-curricular arts practice. It offers an original, contextualised analysis of how to enable university structures to adapt to complexity, difference, and diversity, taking the view that arts practice forms meeting points for confident interconnection and spaces of self-representation. It outlines the novel concept of sensory transition in how arts practices can be used to address issues of inclusion, diversity, and self-representation for minority groups. Each chapter offers an in-depth analysis of significant issues, such as dimensions of race, gender, and class and the specificities of social and cultural group experiences as they occur in arts practice. The book reflects on the decolonisation of university structures and curriculum and demonstrates how universities can support students and build spaces for self-representation in academic courses.

    Accessible and investigative, this book is essential reading for academics, researchers, and postgraduate students in the field of higher education, inclusion, and arts methods. It will also be of great interest to higher education staff interested in decolonisation, diversity, and university futures.

    1. Introduction
    2. Theorising Sensory Transitions
    3. Factors of Difference: Changing Environments
    4. Meeting Points in Arts Practice
    5. Peer Groups, Inclusion and Belonging
    6. Community and Student Leadership
    7. In Conclusion: Opening Narratives


    Miranda Matthews is an author, researcher, and artist educator based in the UK. Miranda is currently Head of the Centre for Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths, University of London. Miranda has taught in the arts and education since 2002. She began teaching in universities in 2011 and started to lead undergraduate teaching in arts methods in 2016. Miranda researches and writes on issues for self-representation in the arts. She also develops programmes of practice research and international collaborations that connect with issues of concern for arts practice and learning.

    "This is an engaging, insightful, and important book that draws on empirical research with educators to explore the significance of arts-based practice in challenging inequalities and creatively enabling belonging. It is an essential read for anyone working and studying in universities who values inclusive practice, pedagogy, and pastoral care." 

    Dawn Mannay, Reader in Social Sciences and Director of Postgraduate Research, Cardiff University.

    "Miranda Matthews has found an impressively original, creative, and inclusive way of offering practical solutions to problems experienced by new students starting life at university. This book will be invaluable for any university lecturer or administrator who cares about undergraduate students."

    Helen Kara, Independent researcher in higher education and author of Creative Research Methods: A Practical Guide (2020).

    "A thoughtful treatise centring the transitional experiences of underrepresented groups whose lives continue to be burdened by racialisation, gendered, and stratified social (class) conditioning, this book works to gather testimony about the vitality of creative arts methods that can enable more fulfilling cultural relations in UK HEI’s."

    Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark, Artist, Researcher and Lecturer at the University of the Arts London - London College of Fashion.

    "Miranda Matthews has crafted a truly inspiring book that makes central the promise of arts-based methods to generate knowledge about what it means to navigate a sense of belonging in the contemporary university. The findings and theorisations, from an intersectional perspective, will be of huge relevance to anyone interested in issues of social justice in HE. Every page offers so much to consider, especially in the pursuit of greater equity - it is both timely and important - I highly recommend." 

    Professor Jayne Osgood, Middlesex University, London.