Research Team: Follow-on Project 2012-13

MIRIAM BERNARD (Principle Investigator)

Mim Bernard is Professor of Social Gerontology and Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology at Keele University. She came to Keele as an undergraduate student in the 1970s, taking a Combined Honours degree in English Literature and Geography. After a year away, she returned to undertake her PhD (in Social/Human Geography) and has lived in the Potteries ever since. Mim worked with older people in the local voluntary sector for six years (as Research Officer for the Beth Johnson Foundation) before returning to Keele in 1988 to help set up the first programmes in Gerontology (Certificate, Diploma and Masters) outside London. She has been a social gerontologist for the last 25 years and has extensive experience of policy and practice-relevant research with older people. Mim is the author/editor of 19 books and monographs, over 70 book chapters and journal articles, and many research reports. She is currently on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships and the Policy Press book series Ageing and the Lifecourse; and was President (2010-2012), and is now Past President (2012-2014), of the British Society of Gerontology.


Mim Bernard  


JILL REZZANO (Co-Investigator)

Jill Rezzano is Head of Education at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme. She is responsible for managing New Vic Education’s workshop and participatory programme which includes the Youth Theatre (comprising in excess of 100 members) and the adult learners group ‘Revolve’. Jill and the New Vic work in partnership with schools, colleges and Staffordshire County Council to develop cross-curricular learning through drama. Jill has also written and co-directed work for Staffordshire County Youth Theatre where she devises and manages the theatre’s production based workshop programme, working with actors and directors to promote learning and deliver professional development. From 2004 to 2005, Jill and New Vic Education were involved in developing and producing an intergenerational piece of theatre entitled ‘Stages’. Directed by Susanna Harding, this work culminated in performances at Keele University as part of two international conferences: one on intergenerational practice and one on ageing. Link to New Vic Theatre.


jill rezzanos  


MICHELLE RICKETT (Research Associate)

Michelle Rickett was the Research Associate for the Ages and Stages project from 2009-2012, and is now Research Associate for the follow on project, ‘translating research into practice’. She has an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Bristol, then switched to Social Anthropology for her MA and PhD at the University of Manchester. Her PhD research (funded by the ESRC) explored social memory, museum practices and land restitution in relation to District Six in Cape Town. This involved 18 months’ ethnographic fieldwork in Cape Town - at the District Six Museum and with older former residents of District Six in the Cape Flats. Michelle is interested in pursuing research that draws from both the Humanities and Social Sciences, in relation to her research interests in ageing, later life, memory, place and performance. Link to RI for Social Sciences.


Michelle Rickett  

JACKIE REYNOLDS (Research Associate)

Jackie Reynolds is the Research Associate (Maternity Cover) for the Ages and Stages follow-on project: Translating Research into Practice (May-July 2013).  She has an undergraduate degree in Applied Social Studies from Staffordshire University and a PhD in Social Gerontology from Keele University. Her key research interests are in arts engagement, community, social capital and ageing. Her PhD research investigated the meanings that older people attach to their participation in group arts activities throughout their lives. She has also worked at the Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University since 2006, where she teaches, provides consultancy and undertakes research relating to community practice and ageing, with a particular focus on volunteering, active citizenship and community arts. In August 2013, she was appointed as a Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies at Staffordshire University.


 Jackie Reynolds

TRACEY HARRISON (Project Administrator)

Tracey Harrison works as the part-time administrator for the ‘Ages and Stages’ project providing administrative support to the team. She has previous experience of work of this nature having been administrator on another NDA-funded project working with older people in disadvantaged areas of Manchester. Tracey has a vast amount of administrative experience having worked in industry for some 20 years at Director level.  She has also undertaken further roles in training and assessing administrators and been involved with worked-based skills mentoring. This project is of great personal interest as, from a young age, Tracey attended the theatre with her family - something which she is now carrying on with her own children. Link to RI for Social Sciences.


Tracey Harrison  

Research Team 2009-12

LUCY MUNRO (Co-Investigator)

Lucy Munro is Senior Lecturer in English at Keele University. She is the team’s drama expert with specific expertise in documentary research in major theatre archives. Her interests lie in the intersections between literary criticism, theatre history and performance studies, and in the performance and representation of age. Building on her work on the representation of older men and women in children’s company plays, she has recently been contracted to edit Thomas Dekker, William Rowley and John Ford’s The Witch of Edmonton, a play containing one of the seventeenth century’s most important portrayals of an older woman, for the major new series, Arden Early Modern Drama. She has carried out documentary research in major theatre archives including those of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is a consultant and visiting lecturer at the Education Department of Shakespeare’s Globe, advising on play selection for their acclaimed staged-reading series, ‘Read Not Dead’.


Lucy Munro  


DAVID AMIGONI (Co-Investigator)

David Amigoni is founder Director of the Research Institute for Humanities at Keele University and Professor of Victorian Literature. He has developed particular notability in the field of life writing and has specific expertise in cultural theory and narrative analysis.  His essay on Carlyle’s Reminiscences (1996) adopts a Bakhtinian (dialogic) approach to the understanding of the multiple life writings written by an ageing Victorian writer mourning the loss of his wife. The work of Raymond Williams has also been a constant source of reference and he has published in Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism, a publication dedicated to the continued exploration of Williams’s legacy. David has substantial experience of overseeing and monitoring research projects and of successful and close working with colleagues in social science disciplines.


David Amigoni  


MICHAEL MURRAY (Co-Investigator)

Michael Murray is Professor of Social and Health Psychology and Head of the School of Psychology at Keele University. He previously held positions at St. Thomas’ Hospital Medical School (now part of King’s College, London), the University of Ulster and, most recently, at Memorial University, Canada. He has published over 100 journal articles and chapters as well as six books  on aspects of applied social and health psychology. He is particularly interested in social representation and narrative theory and in qualitative and participatory action research approaches. Michael has been involved in developing a number of collaborative ventures exploring innovative approaches to community health action through the arts and leads the NDA CALL-ME research project which is based at Keele. He is also external examiner for the MA programme in ‘Community and Participatory Arts’ at Staffordshire University and is a member of the editorial board of  Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice ( and several health psychology journals. See staff page.


Michael Murray  



Ruth Basten is the PhD student linked to the project. Ruth is an English and Drama graduate and she also has an MA in Theatre Studies. She worked for many years in stage management in a number of different theatres and, for a time, as an Assistant and then Deputy Stage Manager at the New Victoria Theatre. She was appointed as Production Manager for The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and subsequently became a senior lecturer there, developing and running the performance and production technology courses. Ruth has very recently gained another Masters qualification – this time in Counselling Psychology. Link to RI Humanities


Ruth Basten