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Dr. Jon Croose

Senior Lecturer (Contextual Study) – Costume

PhD: Cultural Geography: The Practices of Carnival, Community, Culture and Place (University of Exeter); MA: Cultural Performance (University of Bristol); Postgraduate Certificate in Education (University of Bristol); Certificate in Newspaper Journalism (National Council for the Training of Journalists); BA (Hons) (University of Kent at Canterbury) PG.Cert: Supervising Research Degrees (University of the Arts London) Contact:

Jon’s academic background is in Theatre, Performance and Cultural Studies. His inter-disciplinary PhD thesis: The Practices of Carnival: Community, Culture and Place, (University of Exeter) brought together Performance Studies, Performance Anthropology and Cultural Geography approaches, in order to re-think arts-participation and arts-development within notions of the ‘cultural economy’.

Jon conducted his PhD through ethnographic, participatory research alongside small-town community carnival groups, and as a professional street performer within the Battle for the Winds performance that launched the 2012 Olympic sailing at Weymouth. His PhD built on his previous practice-led study supervised by Professor Baz Kershaw in association with the seminal UK participatory performance company Welfare State International, for which he was awarded an MA in Cultural Performance at Bristol University in 2004.

Jon has a 20-year record of working in participatory festival, street theatre, music, Theatre and Drama in Education, youth theatre, site-specifics, community theatre, inter-generational performance and processional crafts. He has worked in prisons, with special needs communities and as a stage manager at Glastonbury Festival, and still performs regularly as a street musician, showman, and in site-specific Outdoor Arts. Contact:

Dr Croose is interested in receiving applications from PhD candidates who wish to explore the relationship between performance and notions of place, the politics of heritage performance, and the role of the arts in urban regeneration and social participation. He is also interested to hear from students who wish to examine notions of ‘vernacular’ or ‘illegitimate’ performance, such as street arts, busking, walkabout theatre and clowning, that challenge ideas of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture within contested notions of public space. Dr Croose is particularly keen to support students who wish to take a performance / practice-as-research approach to doctoral study, or who wish to explore ethnographic methods in arts contexts.

Jon’s role as Senior Lecturer in Contextual Study at AUB involves undergraduate teaching, assessment and course management for the university’s BA Hons degree course in Costume with Performance Design. Jon is also co-convenor of the AUB Performance As Research Group and a member of the university’s postgraduate supervisory team and Research and Knowledge Transfer Committee. Jon’s ambition as an academic is to contribute to discourses in Drama, Performance Studies and Cultural Geography through performance-led research, publication and teaching. He also hopes to communicate the practices and ethics of a socially-engaged, culturally-democratic approach to the next generation of performance practitioners. In his creative practice, Jon continues to apply these academic understandings and rationales to performance work alongside creative communities of all kinds, and to claim space for a wider, social notion of art and vernacular creativity in the street, the village hall, the field and the front-room.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

AUB Research Fellowship (2015–2016)

  • £2,100: University of Exeter: CLES Research Strategic Investment and Dissemination Fund, CLES Postgraduate Research Enhancement Fund, AHRC Research Support Training Grant, Jurassic Coast Arts Programme. For attendance and presentation of research at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Los Angeles. (2013)
  • £45,420: AHRC Doctoral Award Studentship for PhD study (CDA) (2010–2013)
  • £50,295: Heritage Lottery Fund, East Devon District Council Natural Environment Awareness Grant, East Devon AONB ‘Making it Local’ Fund. For Longshore Drift / Smugglers’ Gold. Site-responsive Drama in Education / Touring Heritage Theatre / Museums Development project. (2009–2011)

Ear Trumpet: Performative Investigations in Sonic Geology. Theatre & Performance Design(Routledge), 2016

Abstract: Ear Trumpet is an outdoor performance in which a team of “sonic investigators” have discovered pockets of sound, trapped in the Earth beneath our feet. This paper considers Augoyard & Torgue’s notion of ‘sharawadji’ in Ear Trumpet, arising from its encouragement of ‘the consciousness of early listening,’ and through a combination of the sonic effects of anamnesis, de-contextualisation, de-localisation, attraction, phototonie and quotation. The paper reveals how participants’ suspension of disbelief in the pseudo-science of ‘sonic geology’ reframes their everyday soundscape and ‘magically and suddenly transports [them] elsewhere’. It raises questions about the effect of sharawadji and the tension between theatrical illusion, “belief” and critical distance among audiences, to consider a politics of aurality in performance.

Performing Diversity: Art, Culture and Contested National Identities during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

This research project explored attitudes within the Rio arts community towards representations of Brazilian national identity in the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony, and how their own art and performance expresses alternative notions of community, place and identity in Brazil. The project involved artists from the Ministry of Culture occupation protest, transgender artists, black artists, street performers, clowns and countercultural visual artists, as well as Olympic cultural producers involved in the official ceremonies.

The Practices of Carnival, Community, Culture and Place.

University of Exeter (PhD) 2014.


This thesis analyses data gathered within two town carnivals in East Devon and Dorset and in the professional Battle for the Winds street performances which were staged for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at Weymouth. It shows how carnival was employed as a symbolic construction of place, power and policy, and critiques carnival practice within the contested geographies of the ‘creative economy’.