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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research
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Dr Dan Ashton 

Associate Professor of Cultural & Creative Industries at Winchester School of Art

Dr Dan Ashton's photo

I teach and research in the fields of media, communication and cultural studies. I have published my research on topics including digital media technologies, creative industries labour and policy, and participatory cultures. I have taught on undergraduate and postgraduate course and am a PhD supervisor. I have worked in partnership with a range of cultural organisations on public exhibitions, teaching initiatives, and research bids.

I am Fellow in Disparate Data and Unexpected Evidence at the University's Institute of Arts & Humanities.

I am Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Co-Chair of the What Next? West chapter. Through these roles and relationships, I have engaged with a range of public, policy and creative practitioner communities through themed events and networking sessions to explore issues of: placemaking; civic culture; digital culture; well-being; funding; audience development and participation.

I have been involved with the Southampton 2025 City of Culture bid through several different internal and external working groups.

As Fellow in Disparate Data and Unexpected Evidence with Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities, I:

  • explore potential projects and collaborations with University of Southampton researchers and external partners
  • support researchers within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities to explore questions of data and evidence
  • develop events and workshops on themes related to data and evidence


As Co-Director of Transforming Creativity Research Group, I have organised and facilitated several public events, including:

  • Creating the ‘Ordinary City’: The Making of Place and Community in Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021 (Emily Hopkins, March 2021)
  • Diversity work and “niceness”: Addressing racism in the knitting community (Dr Karen Patel, March 2021)
  • What is to be done with the arts? (Professor Julian Meyrick, July 2019)


I am a co-investigator on the ‘Connecting Culture’ initiative, a two-year project supported by a £75,000 grant from Arts Council England and involving a large consortium of arts organisations and child-focused services, led by the University of Southampton, to catalyse a new future in the arts.

Several projects I have been involved with have made links between research and teaching (for example, the Higher Education Academy Creative Contexts and Industry Intersections projects). As the Programme Leader for the MA in Global Media Management I haven involved in organising or supporting 6 annual symposia with various different forms of industry and public engagement.

Human Worlds Digital 2020:
Organised and facilitated a public workshop with Dr Karen Patel (Birmingham City University) titled, ‘A Robot Could Paint That: Artificial Intelligence, Aesthetic Expertise and Artists’

Digital Suzhou 2018
Presenter and participant at international creative industries festival hosted in Suzhou (China) in 2018.

Funding Cultures 2017
Project investigator for Winchester School of Art Strategic Research Fund project examining funding for arts and cultural organisations. Findings were explored with project participants in a one-day workshop document in this video and presented to Tate Plus Development Network.

Dr Dan Ashton
Room 63A/1035
Winchester School of Art
University of Southampton
Park Avenue, Winchester
SO23 8DL

Room Number : 63A/1035

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