Dr Lucy Wright

Photo of Lucy WrightDepartment of Music
The University of Sheffield
Jessop Building
34 Leavygreave Road
S3 7RD

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0473

Email : l.j.wright@sheffield.ac.uk

Website : www.artistic-researcher.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter : @research_artist


I am an ethnomusicologist and dialogical artist with specialist interests in contemporary English folk arts, and the performance legacies of the ‘town carnival movement’ in the North of England and Wales. In particular, I work regularly with members of the girls’ morris community, exploring the social history and contested status of troupe dancing within the canon of English folk.

Having been awarded an MMus with Distinction from SOAS in 2009, my PhD explored the potential efficacies of participatory, ‘artistic research’ methodology in the context of ethnomusicological inquiry. I continue to undertake occasional artist’s residencies; for example, in 2015 I was artist-in-residence with KULES at the Airspace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, producing work with and about ‘entertainer’ troupe dancers in Staffordshire. Additionally, from 2009 – 2016, I performed nationally and internationally as lead vocalist with the BBC Folk Award-nominated act, Pilgrims’ Way, in which I also played the melodic jews harp.

I am currently employed as Research Associate on the AHRC-funded Digital Folk project, examining the ways in which folk arts participants utilise digital resources, tools and networks in order to learn, collaborate, reinterpret traditional material and create new work (www.digitalfolk.org).

Research Interests

  • performances associated with the ‘town carnival movement’, in particular girls’ (carnival) morris dancing.
  • notions of ‘folk’ and ‘tradition’ in 21st century Britain, and the intersection between performance and material practices.
  • practice-led, ‘artistic research’ methodologies, in particular dialogical / ‘socially engaged’ arts practice as research.

Selected Publications (articles and papers)

(Forthcoming) ‘Et in Orcadia Ego’: Girls’ carnival morris dancing and contemporary folk dance scholarship. Folklore.

(Forthcoming) Review: The Anglo-Scottish Ballad and its Imaginary Contexts by David Atkinson. Ethnomusicology Review.

(2016) Girls’ ‘carnival’ morris: a hidden folk dance. EDS magazine, Spring 2016, pp. 28 - 29.

(2015) ‘Less Me More Us’: Girls’ morris dancing and contemporary folk scholarship. Guest speaker at Folklore and Anthropology symposium at the Royal Anthropological Institute, London.

(2015) [with Dr Amanda Ravetz] Validation Beyond the Gallery. Axisweb report.

Selected Publications (practice)

(2016) Red Diesel. Pilgrims’ Way, Fellside Recordings.

(2015) Make Your Own Entertainment: Girls’ carnival ‘entertaining’ troupes in Stoke-on-Trent. KULES artists’ residency. Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.

(2014) Making Traditions. Pop-up PhD exhibition at the People’s History Museum, Manchester.

(2011) Wayside Courtesies. Pilgrims’s Way, Fellside Recordings.