Laura Swithenbank

Laura Swithenbank


My current research focuses on theorising alternate ways of thinking about everyday life and surviving precarity in deindustrialised areas in the North of England. This work aims to look past conventional cultural narratives relating to these areas which often focus on progress, loss, trauma and change and instead focus on survival and liveliness despite 'ruination'. I am currently undertaking my fieldwork analysing collaborative survival and livelihood practices as they occur in three distinct organisational types exemplified by a bowling club, a collaborative arts organisation and the contributors and audience of a podcast and zine. 

I received my BA in English Literature at Leeds Beckett University and my MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Leeds where my dissertation focussed on considering a Critical Disability Studies approach to improving museum practice and providing better access for people with learning disabilities. Following my MA studies I worked as Programme and Operations Assistant for Heart of Glass, supporting participants, artists and producers in a range of collaborative arts projects. 

Research interests

I am interested in producing research which lies at the intersection of radical feminist theory considering the stakes of living in the Anthropocene and conceptualisations of ‘The North’, deindustrialised places and the people who live there. Some other interests include:


  • Subjectivity, embodiment and epistemology in the context of the everyday.
  • Landscape modification and interspecies collaboration.
  • Cultural memory and the concept of ‘ruination’.  


  • MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, University of Leeds
  • BA English Literature, Leeds Beckett University