Creative Manchester appoints new research leads

The Creative Manchester research platform has appointed three new research leads from The University of Manchester to oversee each of its key research themes.

Since becoming a research platform at The University of Manchester, Creative Manchester has witnessed immense growth, nurturing exciting research and delivering outstanding workshops and events. The platform’s research is centred on three key themes: Creative Industries and Innovation; Creative and Civic Futures; and Creativity, Health and Wellbeing. 

The newly appointed Creative Manchester Research Leads will support and grow strong multidisciplinary communities around each key theme, and provide strategic direction to each area.

The research leads will work closely with Creative Manchester Director, Professor John McAuliffe, who said of their appointment, “I am delighted to welcome Claudia, Stephen, and Jenna to the Creative Manchester team. They bring with them a huge amount of knowledge and expertise, and I am looking forward to working closely with each of them across the three Creative Manchester research themes.

The new research leads took up their appointment on 1 September 2022, each of whom will be leading their respective research theme:

  • Dr Claudia E Henninger – Creative Industries and Innovation
  • Dr Stephen Hicks – Creativity, Health and Wellbeing
  • Dr Jenna C Ashton – Creative and Civic Futures

Dr Claudia E Henninger is a Reader Lecturer in Fashion Marketing Management, holding interest in sustainability and the circular economy within a fashion context. She has been published in internationally leading journals, such as the European Journal of Marketing and the International Journal of Management Reviews, and has disseminated her work at various leading conferences. Claudia is also an Executive Member of the Sustainable Fashion Consumption Network and the Chair of the Academy of Marketing’s SIG Sustainability.

Dr Stephen Hicks is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. He is also a member of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives and, until recently, was the Senior Postgraduate Tutor for the Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work. He is currently the Manchester lead on the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and School for Social Care funded project, LOASCA, which is working with eight co-researchers to examine social care workers’ assessments of the welfare needs of older LGBTQ+ people. Stephen has also carried out research into community belonging and questions of place with colleagues from Sociology, Anthropology, and Architecture, and has written extensively on LGBTQ+ parenting.

Dr Jenna C. Ashton is an artist and Lecturer in Heritage Studies in the Institute for Cultural Practices. Jenna's research contributes to evolving creative and community methods within heritage and cultural studies for addressing social and ecological (in)justice. Her work is often site-specific, highlighting experiences and knowledge(s) of place, and she has over 15 years’ experience in community collaboration and co-production. Jenna also holds advisory and trustee roles in the UK and internationally, and is currently leading the project, ‘Community Climate Resilience through Folk Pageantry’ (AHRC UK Climate Resilience Programme (2020-2022)), is a Co-Investigator on ‘Creative Adaptive Solutions for Treescapes of Rivers’ (NERC Future of UK Treescapes programme (2021-2024)), and is part of The University of Manchester’s Cottonopolis Collective (AHRC-NERC Hidden Histories of Environmental Science funded project, Cottonopolis).