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The School of Creative Arts brings together expertise in drama, film, music, sonic arts, and arts management and cultural policy. In addition to disciplinary strengths, the unit has a strong interdisciplinary focus on research in the creative arts and its impact on society at large. The individual research of over 30 full time members of staff is united by a focus on artistic activity in international, contemporary and historical perspectives, disseminated through scholarship, practice, and public engagement.  Collectively, the School investigates the creative arts in three broad domains: (1) contemporary creative practice, (2) theory and history of the creative arts and (3) society and the arts.


Collaborative Research 

The School seeks to continually enhance quality and dissemination of research and foster interdisciplinary and collaboration leading to wider impact. The Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities and the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s provide an important interdisciplinary focus for Arts and Humanities research across the University.  Initiatives facilitated by the Institutes include the research groups Art, Performance and Media in (Post-) Conflict Societies, Recomposing the City: Sonic Arts and Urban Architecture, Translating Improvisation, and Belfast Soundwalks – a partnership with Belfast City Council, funded by the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund.

Queen's growing programme in Arts Management and Cultural Policy has seen the School take a lead role in the establishment of the Cultural Policy Observatory Ireland, an all island research network aimed at growing, connecting, and profiling academic research on the practices and policies relating to cultural policy across the island of Ireland.


Archives and Collections

Research is supported through a multifaceted infrastructure, which includes archives and collections (Gibson-Massie Moore Collection, the world’s largest collection of Thomas Moore’s published literary and musical works), as well as state of the art audio-visual technologies. 


Public Engagement

The School offers an extensive programme of research seminars, performances and screenings, which have included visitors such as Christopher Hogwood, David Charlton, Richard Coyne and Clare Hammond (2013). The weekly seminar and performance series is complemented by high profile events such as the Annual Brian Friel Lecture (Shaun Richards in 2013). The commitment to an intense programme of research-led public events is evidenced by an average of 25 seminars and 45 performances/screenings per semester.  

The School also supports students to engage the public in their own research. Every November, the MA in Arts Management holds an annual research event where new graduates present their dissertation research to a public audience of arts and cultural professionals and policymakers.


Knolwedge Exchange

The School has hosted major international conferences across all areas of creative arts. These include the International Computer Music Conference (2008), the Fourth Annual Society for Musicology in Ireland Postgraduate Conference (2010), the 14th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music (2010), the Eighth Biennial Conference for Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2011), Nine Tenths Under ICAN Conference (2012), Cities of Memory Colloquium (2013), World Cinema on Demand Symposia, the Location of Narratives: Storytelling and Archives Conference (2013), the BFE/ICTM Ireland Ethnomusicology in the Digital Age Conference (2013), the expansion of the annual Two Thousand + Symposia (2006 -), The Creative Museum: Extending Participation through Collaboration with Irish Museums Association, funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Republic of Ireland (2015) and the longstanding Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music (1981 - ).



Strategic partnerships have been established with Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the Folger Shakespeare Library (Washington, DC), the University of São Paulo, The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, The University of Utrecht and The Human Rights Media Centre, Cape Town. These links have facilitated student and staff mobility as well as collaborative research projects. The School has also been pro-active in the internationalisation of resources, as in the case of the Bach Bibliography Database; a world-wide reference in the field of Bach studies now developed in partnership with the Bach-Archiv Leipzig.