The CC Team

The Connected Communities Programme is led by the AHRC and the Leadership Fellows supported by a small team of researchers and administrators. You can find out a little more about the team below. You can find our details on the Contact Us page.

Leadership Fellows

Professor Keri Facer, University of Bristol

I’m Professor of Educational and Social Futures at the University of Bristol where my work is broadly concerned with creating new relationships between universities, schools and wider society (or between formal education and informal/community learning). My background is in interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research, often bringing together education researchers, creative arts and design, new technologies, young people and teachers to create new approaches to education. In recent years I’ve been particularly concerned with understanding the implications of potential future economic, environmental and technological change for the relationship between schools and communities, which is the subject of my latest book Learning Futures.

These days I’m mainly concerned with exploring how we can best create new research cultures to ensure that all of our communities can build what Appadurai calls the strategic knowledge they need to thrive despite potential significant environmental, economic and technological disruptions.

Find out more

Professor George McKay, University of East Anglia

George is Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia.

His research and teaching interests are in alternative culture and media, the cultural politics of popular music, disability, festivals, community music, alternative cultures, cultures of protest and social movements, and gardening. He has written and edited numerous books, collections and journals in these fields, including the following AHRC-funded monographs:

  • Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain (Duke University Press, 2005)
  • Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music and Disability (University of Michigan Press; Corporealities–Discourses of Disability series, 2013).

His new international collection, The Pop Festival: Music, Media, History, Culture, was published by Bloomsbury in the summer of 2015.

George was a member of the AHRC Peer Review College for Media, Music, and for Knowledge Exchange. His other involvement in Connected Communities projects includes being co-author of a 2011 scoping review entitled Community Music: History and Current Practice, Its Constructions of ‘Community’, Digital Turns and Future Soundings, alongside a 22,000 word, 90-entry annotated bibliography of the field, co-investigator on a 2012-13 project entitled Community Gardening, Creativity and Everyday Culture, and principal investigator for a small 2014 project in the creative economy, producing a film Carnivalising the Creative Economy: AHRC-funded Research on and with British Jazz Festivals.

Find out more



Dr Bryony Enright, University of Bristol

Connected Communities Postdoctoral Research Assistant

I work closely with Keri at the University of Bristol as the Research Assistant on the Connected Communities programme. The aim of this role is to explore how CC projects work, what they can contribute to our understanding of collaborative and co-produced research and what their legacy is for university-society relationships. We hope to develop a narrative across the CC programme which brings to the surface some of this shared learning. This role involves a variety of methods, including interviews with different people across the CC programme such as Principal and Co-Investigators, Early Career Researchers, Community Partners and the AHRC; focus groups with ECRs; workshops with Community Partners; network building and collaborative writing across seven CC legacy projects; a programme wide survey; and participant observation and co-writing with two case study projects.

My background is in Human and Economic Geography and I am particularly interested in issues related to the political economy of the CC programme, for example, the experiences of ECRs in collaborative and interdisciplinary research and how these tie into understandings of academic labour and precarious employment. In addition, I am interested in the political and economic context in which the programme is happening and how austerity influences the university’s relationship with civil society organisations. Further to this, my background exploring temporary and agency work means I am also concerned with the different types of community groups interacting with CC. As part of this role I examine how community partners are supported to collaborate, which groups are not being brought into the programme and how some of the poorest groups in society, such as low-skilled services workers, agency temps, migrant workers and informal/exploited workers can be supported and allowed to work with academics through research which addresses their own everyday issues and interests.


Dr Emma Webster, University of East Anglia

Emma Webster is an academic expert on live music and festivals and is also a music and comedy promoter in her spare time.  She received her AHRC-funded PhD from the University of Glasgow in November 2011; the title of her thesis was Promoting Live Music: A Behind-the-Scenes Ethnography, and is the first academic account of what live music promoters do and the contexts within which they work. The research focuses on the live music scenes of Glasgow, Bristol and Sheffield, and involved ethnographic fieldwork at arenas, clubs, festivals, concert halls, and pubs, and interviews with promoters, venue staff, musicians and audiences. In 2012, Emma and colleagues at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow set up the Live Music Exchange, an online hub for anyone interested in live music research, which contains blogs and resources on a wide range of topics including festivals.

More recently, Emma worked on a census of live music in Edinburgh in 2015 and wrote the six-year report of the Association of Independent Festivals in 2014; she appeared with George McKay on the Festival Britannia panel at Kendal Calling 2015 and gave the keynote speech at the IASPM Postgraduate Conference 2015 in Cardiff. Emma is also an Honorary Research Associate at Oxford Brookes University, where she worked for four years in a variety of roles before starting the Impact of Festivals project. Among her academic publications is the co-authored three-volume series The History of Live Music in Britain (Frith,  Brennan, Cloonan and Webster), of which the first, covering 1950-1967, was published by Ashgate in 2013.



Katherine Dunleavy, University of Bristol

I provide administrative support ranging from organising events to updating the website. I also manage the very active and interesting mailing list for our Connected Communities researchers – please contact me if you would like to receive our emails.

Rachel Daniel, University of East Anglia

I provide administrative and event support for Prof George McKay and the Connected Communities programme from the University of East Anglia. My background is in art and I am currently undertaking a practice-based PhD exploring the use of art in healthcare environments. My website for art practice is here.

Jessica Knights, University of East Anglia

I work with Rachel to support Prof. George McKay and the Connected Communities programme from the University of East Anglia. My academic background is in Social Anthropology, specialising in Material and Visual Culture.