Dr Ben Anderson is a multi-award winning environmental historian whose research seeks to explain how people made sense of their lives by interacting with their immediate environments. This has led him to investigate naked trespassers from early-twentieth century Vienna, the role of the rural landscape in courtship for schoolteachers and clerks, and the ways in which an Alpine landscape of huts and paths was first invented in urban museums and exhibitions. After completing his doctorate at Manchester University in 2011, Ben briefly worked at the University of Gloucestershire, before arriving at Keele in 2012. In 2018, he became an Arts and Humanities Research Council/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker (see broadcasts here and here). His first book, Modern Natures: Mountain Leisure and Urban Culture in fin-de-siècle England and Germany will appear in late 2019.
Nicola Winstanley is a socially engaged artist who seeks to explore the relationship between participatory arts, perceptions of place and community action. By forging new relationships between art, people and place, Nicola believes that art practice can have a lasting effect on communities. Nicola has collaborated internationally with artists and worked alongside academic researchers to evaluate the impact of ‘place’ on individuals and communities. Nicola has 10 years workshop and 8 years public consultation experience, as well as having designed and managed large scale public art projects. Nicola is currently undertaking a negotiated MA to build an understanding of the role socially engaged artists can play in urban regeneration, particularly town planning, public spaces, and social housing.