Sadler Seminar Series

Sadler Seminar Series 2021-22

Hands Sadler Seminar Series

Sir Michael Sadler was Vice Chancellor at Leeds from 1911 to 1923, when he introduced a series of public events and debates on a wide variety of topics, many arts-related, in a desire to increase contact not only between researchers from different disciplines, but between the University and the wider community. 

It was in this spirit that our Sadler Seminar series began in 2015. The aim of the series is to support colleagues wishing to pursue research questions that, to be answered well, require collaboration across disciplinary lines. 

The Sadler Seminars run for a year with activities each semester including talks, performances, debates, outreach activities, and grant-writing workshops.

In the scheme’s seventh year we are delighted to be supporting the following projects:


Click Here to Enter: Interdisciplinary Interventions in the Brotherton Special Collections

Series Conveners: Tom Jackson (School of Media and Communications); Emma Cayley (School of Languages, Cultures and Societies); Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis (Brotherton Special Collections)

How might interdisciplinary and practice-led research collaborations with external practitioners develop new ways to engage the public with the items contained within museum and library collections?

In this project, we will form teams that represent intentionally unlikely and provocative sets of disciplines, skills and experiences. Each team will be allocated an item in the Brotherton Special Collections that has a currently untapped potential for public engagement and then use different forms of creative practice to develop and test methods for revealing and communicating the significance of that item.


Reframing Displacement

Series Conveners: Asa Roast (Geography); Nour Halabi (School of Media and Communications); James Souter (School of Politics and International Studies)

This Sadler Series seeks to reimagine the role of displacement in the contemporary world by exploring the intersection of historical, urban and migratory displacements, and to explore methodologies which can represent and record various forms of forced mobility.


Sensory Storytelling, Imagination and Wellbeing

Series Conveners: Freya Bailes (School of Music); Maria Kapsali (School of Performance and Cultural Industries); Anna Madill (Psychology)

Scholarly research has focussed on the many ways in which wellbeing can be enhanced by engaging in creative practice, but there is a surprising gap in our knowledge about the function of imagination and imagining in the creative process and its impact on wellbeing. In this series we ask how sensory storytelling through different art practices and sensory registers can help us to question and understand relationships between imagination and wellbeing.

Serious Play: Exploring Role-Playing Games as Practice-Led Research

Series Conveners: Oliver Thurley (School of Music); Asa Roast (Geography); Liz Stainforth (School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies); Dominic O’Key (School of English)

This Sadler Seminar series will investigate how tabletop role-playing games can model new ways of conducting academic research. We will explore how the immersive, collaborative and improvisational aspects of role-playing games constitute forms of serious play that might fundamentally transform prevailing research methods.


Simple Models / Complex Diseases

Series Conveners: Greg Radick (School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science); John Ladbury (Biology); Colin Johnson (Medicine); Ellen Clarke (School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science)

The stripping away of real-world variability and complexity is a central – perhaps indispensable – strategy for scientists seeking to understand diseases. 

This seminar series will bring together disease modellers with historians and philosophers of science to ask how scientists using model systems to investigate disease causes and cures can better balance the virtues of simplification with the virtues of taking full account of how unsimple disease really is.


Tunings of the World: Attunement, interdisciplinarity and the audio-visual installation

Series Conveners: Sam Belinfante (School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies); Scott McLaughlin (School of Music); John Mowitt (School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies)

We want to explore how a model of ‘attunement’ can be used to situate differing modes of thought, languages and disciplines.

Attunement, a translation of the German Stimmung, refers to the bringing into accord of objects or events without reducing their differences. It names that aspect of attending to the world that refers to how the human subject and perceptual object touch.