Dr Heather McLean

Funding period: 1 August 2014 – 31 December 2016
Type of funding: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Heather’s research focuses on culture-led regeneration, precarity, arts interventions and everyday geographies of agency and resistance. Working from feminist, queer, postcolonial and participatory paradigms, she engages in research that de-centres dominant discourses and involves participants in knowledge co-production. Her Urban Studies Foundation research examined underrepresented artists’ and activists’ efforts to forge cross sectoral solidarities within a paradigm of austerity urbanism. Specifically, she explored how arts collectives and artist-run centres are supporting marginalised communities and forging solidarities across the UK.

During her Fellowship Heather also received a Scholar-Activist Award from the Antipode Foundation as the lead organiser of a workshop on the arts and precarity. The Arts and Precarity: Forging New Solidarities combined a radical cabaret with a day of academic-artist-activist workshop discussions. Programmed in Glasgow’s Kinning Park Complex, an autonomous, resident-led social centre, the events brought together a transnational network of artist-activists and scholars to discuss strategies for analysing and resisting precarious labour in a time of austerity.

Profile | @mcleanhe

Fellowship Publications

McLean, H. (2017). ‘Hos in the garden: Staging and resisting neoliberal creativity’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 35/1: 38–56. DOI: 10.1177/0263775816654915

Kern L. and McLean, H. (2017). ‘Undecidability and the Urban: Feminist Pathways Through Urban Political Economy’, ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 16/3.

McLean, H., Rankin, K. and Kamizaki, K. (2015). ‘Inner-Suburban Neighbourhoods, Activist Research, and the Social Space of the Commercial Street’, ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 14/4.

Rankin, K., and Mclean, H. (2015). ‘Governing the Commercial Streets of the City: New Terrains of Disinvestment and Gentrification in Toronto’s Inner Suburbs’, Antipode, 47/1: 216–39. DOI: 10.1111/anti.12096

Mclean, H. (2014). ‘Cracks in the Creative City: The Contradictions of Community Arts Practice’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38/6: 2156–73. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12168