In November 2022 I received funding from Loughborough University to co-host the first wrestling symposium at the Houses of Parliament in conjunction with Playfight Wrestling School and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Professional Wrestling. It was the first time that change-makers from across the wrestling industry (over 60 people attended) have come together to try and make positive change in British professional wrestling. I presented about the British Academy project data alongside my colleague Dr Dominic Malcolm. Other speakers included the Right Honorable Michelle Donelan MP (the Minister Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport); the co-chairs of the APPG Alex Davies-Jones MP and Mark Fletcher MP; Tom Dawkins and Claire Heafford from innovative wrestling school Playfight; Steve Duncan-RIce from the Equity Union; the Ann Craft Trust; and Rhia O'Reilly who gave an impassioned intervention on #SpeakingOut. It was a really successful day and, we hope, will lead to better relationships across the wrestling community.
In October 2022 I took up an invited Visiting Professorship at the University of Malta hosted by Dr Stefan Aquilina. While there I led a workshop on public engagement, taught two classes (on modernist theatre and popular culture), and engaged in some mentorship with a couple of super early career researchers, as well as simply chat about our research interests. It was a wonderful, inspiring and, in lots of ways, restful experience. I also enjoyed some of the beauty of Malta and Gozo while I was there.
A Place for Musings
New research, collaborations, projects.