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Dr Alison Lloyd Williams

Senior Research Associate

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 594627

Research overview

Alison is a theatre practitioner and researcher, interested in the uses of participatory arts in education and development and, more recently, disaster recovery and resilience building. She has been involved in school and community projects across the UK, in Japan and in various African countries. Alison was a researcher on the ESRC Urgency Project with Save the Children UK, Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience, and is currently a Senior Research Associate, working on the Horizon 2020 project, CUIDAR: Cultures of Disaster Resilience among Children and Young People.

Research Interests

Alison completed an AHRC funded MA in Theatre and Development Studies at the University of Leeds in 2007, where her dissertation analysed workshops she had conducted with young women in Madagascar and the UK, using theatre methods to critique contemporary ideas about female body image. 

Alison's AHRC funded PhD in Theatre Studies (Lancaster, 2013) built on her MA by bringing together concepts of education, development and citizenship in relation to theories about children, childhood spaces and performance to reassess the notion of the ‘developing citizen’ and the role of the school in citizenship development. Her research project involved working with groups of primary school children in England and Uganda, inviting the pupils to create and share performance work about themselves and their communities both within and across the two locations. The thesis made a case for a pedagogy of Theatre for Development in education, configuring schools as key sites for development within their communities and children as active participants in that development. 

Working on the Children, Young People and Flooding project has led to Alison's interest in the uses of theatre in disaster recovery and resilience building with children and young people. In 2016 she was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to work with Prof Aya Goto at Fukushima Medical University on a two-month study. This collaboration has continued and is contributing to work on the CUIDAR project. After Fukushima: Working with Children and Young People to Build Community Resilience uses participatory theatre to explore and present young people's ideas for community development in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.   

Alison has formerly held an Honorary Research Fellow position in the School of Arts, Languages & Cultures at the University of Manchester, contributing to the university’s In Place of War arts programme via a Theatre in Education consultancy for Children in Crisis Liberia. Alison's blog about this project is available on the Children in Crisis website.


Professional Role

Alison works for Global Link Development Education Centre in Lancaster, using creative methodologies to deliver global learning and community-based projects with young people and adults.

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