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Rod Bain

Rod Bain

MusB (Hons), MSc, PhD, AFHEA

Recent graduate

Education

2011-2017. PhD, School of Management, University of St Andrews.

2010-2011. Master of Science Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews.

1996-1999. Bachelor of Music (Honours), University of Manchester.

Biography

My work is a response to the social, environmental and economic topsy-turviness of the world, and flows from my belief that alternatives to current ways of being in the world are possible. My research and teaching are located within the evolving interdisciplinary academic field focused on sustainability, which has developed as a response to what have been called the "wicked" sustainability problems, including climate change, social injustice, resource scarcity, and dwindling biodiversity, which challenge current and future human flourishing.

I am a qualitative social scientist, and take a constructionist approach. My aim is to extend current understanding of the practices of organisation which contribute to a society prioritising human flourishing within ecological limits. I am particularly interested in the role of arts and culture within such a society.

Beyond the PhD, I intend to craft a career in engaged research and teaching, developing my interests within the following areas:

  • alternative organisations, particularly within the arts, culture, and creative sectors.
  • practice-based understandings of organisations and society.
  • the role of visual methodologies in sustainability research and education.

Before returning to university to focus on sustainability issues, I enjoyed 12 years of arts project management, working most recently with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Highlights of that time include programming and producing the annual Fireworks Concert which marks the finale of Edinburgh International Festival, and, amid over 30 significant foreign tours, managing the Orchestra's groundbreaking multi-city tour of India. Following this extensive experience, I now enjoy contributing to the School's Creative Industries teaching programme.

Research interests

Currently, I'm engaged in doctoral research (2011-2014) which explores practices of grassroots artistic activism in Scottish community woodlands. My research flows from observations that grassroots activism, and the arts and humanities, are under-studied within sustainability research. Yet, these fields are both important arenas of human activity.

Community woodlands within Scotland are a growing social movement which seeks to re-establish a long-lost woodland culture and to reconnect communities with their local forest. I identify community woodlands as places of possibility. They are sites of grassroots activism focused on a vision of 'sustainable woodlands for sustainable communities', and real world experiments in alternative ways of organising society.

Artistic and creative activities are significant among the diverse projects undertaken by community woodland groups. My research explores the practices which constitute artistic activism. Through this analysis, I seek to answer the following questions:

  • what artistic and creative activities are undertaken by Scottish community woodland activists?
  • how do the practices of grassroots artistic activism construct the meaning and identity of the movement?
  • what are the impacts of these practices, and how do they intersect with the movement's wider development?

Teaching

I'm committed to teaching and research, and am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

2013-2014

  • Lecturer: MN5496 Valuing and Evaluation
    (MLitt in Managing in the Creative Industries programme)
  • Tutor: SD2001 Sustainable Development: Ecology and Environment
  • Lead Tutor/Seminar Leader: SD2002 Sustainable Development Society and Economy
  • Tutor: MN1001 Organisations and Society

2012-2013

  • Lecturer: MN5496 Valuing and Evaluation
    (MLitt in Managing in the Creative Industries programme)
  • Lead Tutor: SD2001 Sustainable Development: Ecology and Environment
  • Lead Tutor/Seminar Leader: SD2002 Sustainable Development Society and Economy
  • Tutor: MN1001 Organisations and Society

2011-2012

  • Lecturer: MN5496 Valuing and Evaluation
    (MLitt in Managing in the Creative Industries programme)
  • Lead Tutor/Seminar Leader: SD2002 Sustainable Development: Society and Economy
  • Tutor: MN1001 Organisations and Society

Supervisors

Professor Jan Bebbington
Dr Shona Russell

Publications

Book Review

Stojanovic, T., Musgrave, M., & Bain, R. (2013) Franklin, A., and P. Blyton, Researching Sustainability: A Guide to Social Science Methods, Practice and Engagement, Society & Natural Resources. 26(7): 860-864. DOI:10.1080/08941920.2012.744643

Conference papers/presentations

2014 "Stages of change? Artistic alternatives in community woodlands"
5th Latin American & European Meeting on Organization Studies [LAEMOS]: Constructing Alternatives; Havana, Cuba.

2014 "Stages of change? Artistic alternatives in community woodlands"
presentation to Ethics, Sustainability, and Accountability research group; School of Management, University of St Andrews.

2013 "Community owned woodlands: what ownership allows"
Scottish Universities Insight Institute workshop: Strengthening Democracy: Community Ownership, Voice, and Participation; Glasgow.

2013 "Practically sustainable? Performances of ecocitizenship in community woodlands"
presentation to Ethics, Sustainability and Accountability research group; School of Management, University of St Andrews.

2012 "Crafting ecocitizenship and creativity in community woodlands"
presentation to interdisciplinary Craft research group; University of St Andrews.

2012 "Do community woodlands help communities become less unsustainable?"
presentation at Community Woodlands Association conference; Melrose, Scotland.

Conference organising

2014 workshop leader: Conference planning for postgraduates
CAPOD, University of St Andrews

2013-2014 Organising Committee, ESRC Scottish DTC Business and Management Pathway Doctoral Students Colloquium 2014

2011-2012 Organising Committee, Future Connections 2012
(1st Scottish Sustainable Development Doctoral Students Conference)

Research funding

2011-2014 School of Management PhD Studentship, University of St Andrews.

2010-2011 St Andrews Sustainability Institute Bursary, University of St Andrews.

Grants awarded

2014 School of Management: travel award to attend
LAEMOS: Constructing Alternatives conference (Havana, Cuba).

2013 St Andrews Sustainability Institute: travel award to attend
Economy & Society: Society in the Anthropocene conference (Bristol, UK).

2012 Future Connections conference (for Sustainable Development Doctoral Students):

  • co-organiser
  • £1,000 Gradskills Innovation Grant
  • £1,500 Scottish Alliance for Geography and Environmental Sciences Grant
  • £500 St Andrews Sustainability Institute Grant
  • £300 St Andrews School of Management Grant
  • £150 St Andrews School of Geography & SD Grant.

2012 Royal Geographical Society: Participatory Geographies Workshop travel award.