Dr John Crossan
- Honorary Research Associate (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)
My research is concerned fundamentally with the urban environment - its production, its use and its potential. My work is also driven by broader social and political concerns about inequality in contemporary cities, particularly Glasgow, where I live and work. Inspired by a variety of theories and practices (e.g. post-political theory, feminist theory and anarchist theory and practice) my work focuses on the spatial dimensions of existing power relations and the generative potential of place making in aiding the production of new forms of power.
My recent work is centered around two research projects:
Banners Tales of Glasgow
Banner Tales of Glasgow is a series of witness workshops around selected labour history banners held in Glasgow Museums’ collection. People with direct experience of the events or organisations represented by the banners, and people with an interest in the subject and the local area of the city associated with the banners, are invited to discuss them – their creation, use, care and decommission. This is a platform to share personal testimony and experience about the banners and discuss the aspects of Glasgow’s recent past which they represent. The project met four key aims: (1) to give presence and voice to those who have participated in organising movements, disputes, and occupations in Glasgow; (2) to impact on the way Glasgow Museums interacts with hard-to-reach groups who would not usually take part in Glasgow Museum’s core venue and festival programmes; (3) to further enrich existing object files for each banner; and (4) to contribute to a growing academic literature on past urban civic traditions and movements. The first phase of the project – the workshops – has recently concluded. Dr David Featherstone and I have now begun the second phase of the project. Working in collaboration with Glasgow Museums and the curators of the Janey Buchan Political Song Collection our aim is to develop an online multimedia platform that draws together different materials – songs, photographs, poems etc. – on community and workplace organising cultures in Glasgow in the post-war period.
The Caring City: Sustainable Communities of Care in Glasgow
In collaboration with the Glasgow Local Food Network (GLFN) this research project explores the inter-relationships between sustainability, health and quality of life. It does this through actively engaging with grassroots groups involved in initiatives concerned with improving health, sustainability and quality of life in urban areas. By focusing on how these groups develop new, and maintain existing collaborative initiatives around local food production and consumption, the project looks beyond existing top-down public policy initiatives to aid in the development of a bottom-up and collaborative model of sharing and learning in urban food systems.
Banner Tales of Glasgow: Workplace, cultures, solidarities and political activity in Glasgow, University of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund (research in collaboration with Glasgow Museums and GMB)
Banner Tales of Glasgow in Print, University of Glasgow Chancellors Fund
Workplace and Community Organising Cultures in Glasgow: Online Media Platform, ESRC Impact Fund
I have taught at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year undergraduate levels in both tutorial and lab/class settings. I am currently teaching high school pupils at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5 as part of the University of Glasgow's Widening Participation program.