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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Bethan Prosser is a Doctoral Researcher funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. Her PhD project investigates urban seaside gentrification on the UK South Coast, using listening to explore residential experiences of displacement injustices. Bethan teaches undergraduate social science students on the Community Engagement: Theory into Practice module. She is an active member of the Centre for Spatial, Cultural and Environmental Politics and Cities and Injustices Research and Enterprise Group.

Bethan’s academic background starts with undergraduate Philosophy and Politics, moving through Migration Studies and Social Research Methods at post-graduate level. Bethan has worked extensively in developing community-university partnerships and brokering knowledge exchange activities that benefit both the university and the local community. She brings over ten years’ experience of working in the community/voluntary and public sectors both nationally and internationally. This includes roles in support work and management supporting young people, Black and mixed parentage children and families, people experiencing homelessness and refugees and asylum seekers.

Research interests

My research interests predominantly come under the umbrella of urban injustice. I am currently focusing on gentrification and displacement, but have previously undertaken research into homelessness and the community/voluntary sector. Within gentrification, I am interested in the full spectrum of im/mobilities encompassed by gentrification-induced-displacement, bringing a mobilities lens to understand the processes of un-homing and loss of a sense of place. I am interested in finding out the specific ways gentrification is manifesting and experienced at the urban seaside, looking at the relationship between tourism and gentrification. Furthermore, I am interested in theories of justice, particularly social, spatial and mobility justice.

I am also interested in creative, participatory, multisensory and mobile methods. I have developed a socio-sonic-mobile methodology using listening as a method. My doctoral project explores how listening practices can elicit people’s changing relationships to place. I am working with a local community music organisation to learn and share how listening activities and sound walks can be used as a tool for both research, community engagement and wellbeing purposes. This also furthers my interest in understanding how universities can work with local communities for mutual benefit. 

Approach to teaching

I bring my experiences of working in the community/voluntary sector to my teaching. In particular, my experience of facilitating group work with young people experiencing homelessness and other challenging situations has developed my ability to create a supportive and engaging learning environment. My approach to seminars and lectures is driven by an ethos of participatory pedagogy, whereby students can develop their own meaningful relationship with the topics and a variety of learning tools are used. I am also committed to diversifying and decolonising the curriculum.

Knowledge exchange

I am committed to sharing and learning with those outside of academia. I have in-depth experience of knowledge exchange activities through my previous professional role in the university’s Community University Partnership Programme, supporting partnerships to develop between the local community and researchers and students.

Through my Doctoral student role, I instigate and take part in a range of knowledge exchange activities. This includes organising a series of creative public walks around the city that brought together local residents, academics and students to explore themes of urban injustice. I have developed a partnership with local community music organisation, Open Strings Music, and the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage programme based at The Keep. Following on from the collaborative project, Sounds to Keep, we have adapted listening and community music activities to carry out innovative online workshops that engage with the local sound collections for wellbeing purposes.  

Education/Academic qualification

Master, MSc in Social Research Methods, University of Southampton

1 Oct 201730 Sept 2018

Award Date: 26 Jul 2019

Master, MA Migrations Studies, University of Sussex

1 Oct 200630 Sept 2008

Award Date: 30 Jan 2009

Bachelor, BSc (Hons) Philosophy & Politics, University of Bristol

1 Oct 200127 Jun 2005

Award Date: 27 Jun 2005


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